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AGRO 3444 Tillage Case Study 4 - Deep Zone Tillage

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Rob Proulx

on 9 September 2016

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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 do both because the soil has fairly poor drainage and permeability. This would open the soil up and allow for greater absorption."
"I would use the deep zone till + ridge-till system because it would help to improve the drainage and make a more favorable root bed."
"Since this field has been on a Ridge till system for 16 years, I believe it is important for the sake of the seed bed and soil types to stir up the soil with a Deep Zone till as well. This will bring the Normania soil up and help create a better drained system."
"Not only are your fuel costs cut in half from deep zone plus ridge till, only using ridge till helps develop a better soil profile and over time compaction will break from the roots that are allowed to grow through it."
"I would use ridge till because you will still get some drainage, since there is no sign of a hardpan deep zone tillage would not be as beneficial."
"The fact is by using deep ridge tilling, I am not depleting anymore residue than ridge tilling. I am also using almost twice the amount of fuel. Drainage does concern me, but I would rather keep the moisture in the deeper soil. I would consider, however, using different tillage systems for various parts of the field if applicable."
"I would recommend the Ridge-till, because I feel the benefits of the deep zone till does not outweigh the fuel use."
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