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Tillage System Effects on Cotton Yield and Profitability on Silty Upland Soils

H.S. Stiles, L.L. Reinschmiedt, G.B. Triplett, S.M. Dabney


Tillage practices for cotton production were evaluated over a five-year period on a highly erosive wind transported soil in northern Mississippi (Tate Coun-ty). A tillage study for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was established fol-lowing sod on a site with loess soils. The sod was tilled prior to establish-ment of treatments which included conventional (chisel, disk, bed, cultivate), ridge-till (remove ridge tops at planting, cultivate postemergence to rebuild ridges), no-tillage [wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cover seeded following harvest, killed prior to planting], and minimum tillage (one pass with a mulch finisher prior to planting, cultivate postemergence). During the first year of the study, no-tillage cotton yields were lower compared to yields of cotton grown on conventional tilled soil. During years three to five, no-tillage crop yields were 19 to 43 percent greater than conventional tillage. Results of this study indicate viable no-tillage production systems for cotton can be developed for highly erosive loess soils in the Mid-South.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 489 - 494
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998