Strip-till improves soybean yield

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Crop yield can be improved by ensuring adequate nutrient availability. But how should you place the fertilizer and what cropping system gives the best yields?

Research conducted by University of Illinois assistant professor of crop sciences Fabian Fernandez, professor of crop sciences Emerson Nafziger, and graduate student Bhupinder Farmaha looked at how tillage, and phosphorus and potassium placement and rates, affected the distribution of soybean roots and the levels of water and nutrients in the soil.

"Strip-till produces higher yields than the no-till systems," said Fernandez. "We were interested in understanding why."

In a three-year field experiment conducted near Urbana with soy following corn, they applied different rates of potassium and phosphorus in no-till broadcast (NTBC), no-till deep-band (six inches below the planted row) (NTDB), and strip-till/deep-band (STBC). Roots and shoots along with water, phosphorus, and potassium were measured periodically in-row and at between-rows positions at various depth increments up to 16 inches.

What they found was that, when they looked below ground, root density in strip-till systems was slightly lower than for no-till broadcast systems. "Basically, the plants are putting less energy into the root systems," explained Fernandez. The NTBC system probably put more stress on the plants, and the plants compensated by putting out more roots.

"When we look at the total phosphorus and potassium taken up by the plant, we see that the strip-till definitely had a more efficient system because with a smaller root system, these plants ended up with much higher nutrient levels in the plant and higher yields," said Fernandez

Strip-till seems to provide better conditions for plant growth, including more soil water. The researchers found slightly more soil water in the strip-till than the no-till in the between-row position.

"We are not sure why that happened," said Fernandez. "We cannot say whether it was due to better infiltration or if the tillage of the strip-till is allowing more water to come into the soil, but we saw it consistently."

The other question they considered was whether deep-band applications allow for improved fertilizer use efficiency — specifically, can less fertilizer be used in deep-banding than in broadcast applications?

"We found no evidence for that," said Fernandez. "It doesn't save you anything, and it might cost more to deep-band the fertilizer than to broadcast it."

The finding that strip-till works well for soybeans is important, because farmers tend to think about the system as being mainly for corn.

This research, "Distribution of Soybean Roots, Soil Water, Phosphorus and Potassium Concentrations with Broadcast and Subsurface-Band Fertilization," was published in the May-June 2012 Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Source: Fabian Fernandez, Assistant Professor, fernande@illinois.edu


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Portable Conveyors

Convey-all portable conveyors are designed to handle your crops gently and efficiently. We offer an extensive line of high capacity ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form