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AGRO 3444 Tillage Case Study 4 - Deep Zone Tillage

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Rob Proulx

on 7 September 2018

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Transcript of AGRO 3444 Tillage Case Study 4 - Deep Zone Tillage

Tillage Case Study 4: Deep Zone Tillage
Experimental Layout
Deep Zone Tillage
Soil Biology
Soil Compaction
Deep zone tillage did not affect soil carbon or microbial biomass carbon in this study.
Measured three weeks after planting
in the row
7.5" from the row
15" from the row
Examples of restriction layers (not from this study)
For all treatments, penetrometer resistance was less in 2004 than in 2003. Any guesses as to why that is?
measures a soil's resistance to penetration
indicator of soil compaction
Farmer near Elrosa, MN
16-year field history
corn-soybean rotation
ridge tillage
deep zone tillage (DZT) followed by ridge tillage (RT)
RT alone
Assignment: decide on a system
fuel usage
residue cover
corn and soybean yield
soil biology
liklihood of a benefit
Potential to increase soil permeability and drainage
Potential to improve root growth
Not sure if a hardpan is present
May reduce soil biological activity
Fall 2002
Fall 2003
Without a restricted layer, no evidence of a yield benefit
Certain soils more likely to have compaction
Without yield benefit, no economic incentive.
Check for root impedance before investing in DZT
DZT is not without risk!
In the first year (corn following soybean), how much residue is left after planting within each tillage system?
In the first year (corn following soybean), did each of the tillage systems qualify as conservation tillage?
In the second year (soybean following corn), did the ridge till system qualify as conservation tillage?
In the second year (soybean following corn), did the ridge till system qualify as conservation tillage?
How much diesel fuel is used by each tillage system?
Rank the following factors, with 1 being most important and 6 being least important, influencing your decision on whether or not to use deep zone tillage.
Which tillage system would you use, and why?
I would recommend the deep zone tillage + ridge tillage system because it would be the most beneficial for the poorly drained soils of the area. This deep tillage will allow for better soil permeability and internal drainage. Neither system reached the desired 30% residue cover and I think that the deep zone tillage will display more benefits towards yield and save money as the farmers may not have to use a tile system. The fuel costs were higher with the deep zone but the saved costs of not having to tile the field will even it out.
Due to the somewhat poorly drained soil I feel that the deep zone till would provide a better drainage for the compacted soil.
I don't have enough information to recommend deep zone tillage. I would first do some digging to determine whether or not there is a defined hardpan in the field. If there is then I would set the depth of the tillage implement to work just deep enough to break through the hardpan. I would also want to see a soil test to determine base saturation calcium and magnesium. If magnesium is over 20% base saturation and calcium over 60% then I might consider using some gypsum to raise base saturation calcium and lower base saturation magnesium.
I would use ridge till due to it
leaving the soil undisturbed
from harvest to planting except for the strips up to 1/3 of the row width. By doing so this will help will overall crop residue and less compaction as well.
Because soybeans do not leave as much residue as other crops. Using the ridge-till system you are giving some oxygen to the soil. soybeans do not have a deep root system either so you don't need a deep zone till system.
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