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Can one-time tillage improve no-till?
Date:6/27/2010

One possible negative effect of tillage was reduced microbial biomass at one site, but it did not affect grain yield.

The study areas consisted of one plot of grain sorghum rotated with soybean and corn with soybean at the other location. Tillage treatments included deep plowing with moldboard plows or a mini-moldboard plow, and disk tillage, and was done in late fall or very early spring to have low soil temperature and microbial biomass preceding and following tillage to minimize soil organic matter losses.

The authors concluded that one-time tillage of no-till can be done in eastern Nebraska without measureable long-term effects on yield or soil properties except for a change in soil microbial communities. Since tilling increases erosion risk, the authors recommend tilling only to address problems that cannot be cost-effectively managed with no-till practices.


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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

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