77022 Effect of an Integrated Strip-Tillage and Cover Cropping System On Crop Yield and Soil Moisture in a Semi-Arid Environment.

Poster Number 26

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Sunday, February 3, 2013
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Reagan L. Noland, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, TX, Jamie L. Foster, Beeville, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Beeville, TX, Cristine L. Morgan, Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, T. David A. Forbes, Uvalde, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Uvalde, TX, Michael J. Brewer, Corpus Christi, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Corpus Christi, TX, Gaylon Morgan, Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, College Station, TX and Vanessa A. Corriher, Overton, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Overton, TX
Strip tillage and cover cropping are beneficial agronomic practices that secure soil tilth and can reduce input costs, but are largely underused in Texas agriculture. To encourage system integration in Southern Texas, demonstration and quantification of their benefits to crop yield and soil properties are necessary. The objective of our experiment is to assess the benefits of integrated strip tillage and cool-season legumes in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum cv. DP 0935)-sorghum (Sorghum bicolor cv. GA 3696) (Beeville) and cotton-corn (Zea mays cv. DKC67-21) (Uvalde) rotational cropping systems.  Plots were planted in a randomized complete block design with split-split plots.  The main effect was row crop with split-plots strip-tilled into the residue of four legume species (Medicago polymorpha cv. Armadillo; M. minima cv. Devine; M. lupulina cv. BEEBLK; or Trifolium incarnatum cv. Hykon), or control (conventional tillage). The split-split plot treatment was cutting and removal of the cover crops from half of each plot in Beeville. The herbage mass of the cover crops was not different (P > 0.14) at either location and the means were 3990 ± 280 (Beeville) and 1200 ± 150 kg ha-1 (Uvalde). There were no interactions (P > 0.42) between cover crop/tillage and cutting regime for cotton and sorghum yields (Beeville), nor were there significant differences (P > 0.08) among treatments.  There were no differences (P > 0.34) in cotton or corn yields (Uvalde) between treatments. Mid-season soil moisture did not vary by treatment.  This is the first year of a three year study.
See more from this Division: Submissions
See more from this Session: Graduate Student Poster Crops