Andy R. Taylor1, Normie W. Buehring1, Mark P. Harrison1, Larry L. Falconer2, M. Wayne Ebelhar3, William L. Kingery4 and Shankar Ganapathi Shanmugam5, (1)North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University, Verona, MS (2)Delta Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University, Stoneville, MS (3)82 Stoneville Road, Mississippi State University, Stoneville, MS (4)Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS (5)Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
This is a report (2012-2014) on long-term studies (2011-2015) being conducted on a Marietta loam soil (non-irrigated), Verona, MS and a Bosket/Dubbs silt loam soil (irrigated) Stoneville, MS. The treatments are on the same site in a rotation with soybean for the duration of the study. The objectives were to evaluate long term crop residue management (burn and no-burn corn crop residue) and annual fall applied one-pass tillage systems effects on bed height, ground cover, corn yield and net returns. The studies were conducted as a split-plot with crop residue management as main plots and tillage systems as the sub-plots. The economic analysis was based on enterprise budgeting returns above total specified cost (variable + fixed cost). With the exception of ground cover in 2014 at Verona, crop residue management had no effect on corn yield, bed height and net returns. The tillage systems were no-tillage on old beds, bed-roller, TerraTill® (in-row-subsoiler-bed-roller, one-pass implement) and disk (2x) + TerraTill. After two years (2012 and 2013) of no-tillage production on old beds, the beds were flat and had to be reshaped in the spring of 2014. The TerraTill spring bed heights at both locations were lower than the bed-roller but higher than disk (2x) + Terratill two of three years. No-tillage spring ground cover (old crop residue and vegetation) (>61%) was higher than all other tillage systems at both locations. TerraTill most often resulted in greater ground cover than bed-roller and the disk (2x) + TerraTill. With irrigation (Stoneville), two (2012 and 2013) of three years there were no yield or net return differences between tillage systems. In 2014 bed-roller net returns were equal to TerraTill and higher than no-tillage and the disk (2x) + TerraTill. However, in a non-irrigated environment (Verona), TerraTill yields and net returns were higher than no-tillage and the bed-roller all three years. Both locations indicated the disk (2x) operations did not increase yield or net returns.