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AGRO 3444 Tillage Case Study 4 - Deep Zone Tillage

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Rob Proulx

on 13 September 2017

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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?
To help reduce residue cover to help the soil warm up faster in the spring, and also to help with soil drainage and compaction.
The deep tillage would be worth the extra fuel costs to increase some soil drainage and make it easier for roots to permeate the soil horizons.
The better the soil is tilled the better seed to soil contact you have and a better seed bed.
I chose ridge-till for two reasons, first is that is is the more fuel efficient option. Secondly it is still going to be able to incorporate the residue.
I would use the ridge till system. Even though it doesn't qualify as conservation tillage, it still will leave more residue than deep zone tillage. This method uses less fuel as well. I would however, incorporate deep zone tillage every couple of years in order to break up compaction and improve the drainage.
Ridge till would be my choice because the deep till just works the residue in to much and can cause erosion. This can also hurt the biology of the soil because it would kill the microorganisms.
I would say ridge-till is the better option, it has more residue coverage.
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