Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast

Other Considerations

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Conservation tillage systems are needed in the Blackland Prairie due to the high erosion rates associated with conventional tillage. That said, the rolling topography coupled with clayey soils presents special challenges. A raised-bed system works well for flat, bottomland fields with very little slope. But a winter cover crop may be necessary to preserve the ridges and protect the row middles from erosion. Planting no-till flat without soil disturbance may reduce gully and rill erosion on slopes greater than 2 percent where concentrated water flow is not a problem. The crops will do fine with the no-till planted-flat system in dry years. But in wet growing seasons, especially when the soil remains saturated for long periods, loss of nitrogen through denitrification can be severe and can result in reduced crop yield [21].

Download the tables from Chapter 19.