Published August 17, 2009 | By admin
10 year study Shows that Conservation Tillage Systems Shine
In a long term research study (1999-2008) at the ARDEC irrigated research farm managed by Colorado State University; cooperating scientist with USDA Ardell Halvorson, PhD has presented some interesting results. This study has several goals in mind for the folks considering Conservation Tillage practices in multi-crop rotations. They are: develop sustainable crop production systems that can improve water use efficiency, reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic carbon and total soil nitrogen, reduce fuel consumption, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that may have effects on global warming potential.
At a field day (8/14/2009) along with two Colorado Conservation Districts at ARDEC, Halvorson shared a portion of the results which should encourage the grower looking close at conservation tillage. His work shows with yields of No-Till in continuous corn compared to two other systems; strip-till and conventional plow-disk system that with increasing N fertilization that at approximately 150 lbs N per acre the conventional yielded 182-184bpa, strip-till 177-179bpa and the No-Till The 170bpa. Looking at the economic side of things, Halvorson says at 150 lbs N per acre in the No-Till system the net return is $115/acre. The conventional till net return is $85 per acre. This data he explains is an average of the years 2000-2005.
More work was described during the field day where Ag Industry, Extension Service, USDA-NRCS, USDA-ARS and CSU are all collaborating to observe different tillage types with furrow irrigation and how they perform all season long. This study is led by Niel Hansen, PhD with the Crops and Soils Department at CSU. Orthman is playing an important role by providing some equipment and time from Orthman’s agronomist.
Keep checking the PrecisionTillage.com website for how the crops will turn out and a coat analysis.