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Long-Term Effects of No-tillage in a Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum)-Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor)-Fallow Rotation

  • Gail A. Wicks (a1), Darryl E. Smika (a2) and Gary W. Hergert (a1)

Abstract

This research was conducted near North Platte, NE, over an 18-yr period to determine the feasibility of using herbicides to replace tillage as the weed control method in a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.]-fallow rotation. Five tillage treatments [two tillage and three reduced or no-till treatments] were used on the same plots during the duration of this experiment on a Holdrege silt loam (Typic Argiustolls). Herbicides effectively replaced tillage for weed control. The no-till plots treated with atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] after wheat harvest had higher sorghum and winter wheat yields, higher crop residue remaining on the soil surface, and lower weed yields than tilled plots. The most difficult weeds to control were volunteer wheat and barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv. # ECHCG]. Soil surface pH decreased over time because of increased use of nitrogen. The pH in nontilled plots was significantly lower than in tilled plots due to lack of soil mixing. Exchangeable calcium was the predominant cation leached from the top 5 cm but showed accumulation between the 5- to 12.5-cm depth. Organic matter content showed little change over time.

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Keywords

Long-Term Effects of No-tillage in a Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum)-Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor)-Fallow Rotation

  • Gail A. Wicks (a1), Darryl E. Smika (a2) and Gary W. Hergert (a1)

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