Cover crops may be more effective at reducing soil erosion and runoff after maize harvest than rough tillage, according to scientists from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in collaboration with the Independent Center for the Promotion of Forage (CIPF).
The three-year study, supervised by Charles Bielders and conducted by Eric Laloy, measured erosion and runoff losses from silt loam and sandy loam soils in continuous silage maize cropping. The research revealed that cover crops reduced erosion by more than 94% compared to bare soil during the intercropping period. Cover crops and reduced tillage appeared equally effective in reducing runoff and soil loss between cropping cycles, despite the fact that the cover crop development was very poor.
The results were reported in the May/June 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.
This study was done in Belgium, but Tifton A soil we have around here is a sandy loamy soil.
And as we know from research done in Georgia,
around here we also need to manage the mutant pigweed, and for that
a combination of plowing and winter cover crops works best.
Steckle said we’ve now reached the point where we have to begin thinking in terms of controlling “resistant weeds” instead of “resistant marestail” or “resistant Palmer pigweed” because they are both beginning to show up in the same field.
“We have to manage them both,” he said. “There’s a new product from BASF called Sharpen that I’ve been looking at for five years and I’ve been very impressed with the marestail control. I still like dicamba, Roundup and Gramoxone.
“But if you have Palmer pigweed, too, then you’re going to have to overlap with residuals ― Cotoran, Caparol, Prowl ― to have any chance to do a good job of controlling them.”
Deep tilling of crop land pocked and rutted by heavy equipment used on rain and snow soaked, often frozen farm land may not only clean up the land, but may have a significant positive effect on managing herbicide resistant weeds, especially
Back to the future!
“Deep tilling” is the current buzzword for plowing.
That’s how my father farmed, with a bottom plow, a subsoiler, a harrow,
The same article continues to defend no-till:
There is no doubt about the many benefits of minimum or no-till cropping systems. Reduced-tillage saves farmers money in equipment, improves soil quality, improves the environment by making the soil more porous and produces better drainage. The list of benefits goes on and on.
Promotes more erosion, is my observation.
And how does no-till save farmers money if they have to pay for increasing
amounts of pesticides to try to deal with mutant weeds like pigweed?
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