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Effect of Wheat Residue Management on Continuous Production of Irrigated Winter Wheat

Undersander, D. J., Reiger, Cecil
Agronomy journal 1985 v.77 no.3 pp. 508-510
Triticum aestivum, burning, clay loam soils, crop residue management, energy, furrow irrigation, furrows, grain yield, infiltration (hydrology), long term effects, soil organic matter, soil water, straw, wages and remuneration, winter wheat, Texas
Where furrow irrigation is practiced, the residue from the previous crop must be removed from the soil surface to prevent furrow blockage, resulting in disuniform irrigation. High energy and labor costs have caused some producers to consider burning the residue rather than incorporating it. Thus, a 14-year study was conducted on a clay loam soil (fine, mixed, mesic Torrertic Paleustall) in north Texas to test the long-term effects of straw management on land cropped continuously to irrigated winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L). The study included three management treatments: i) residue incorporated into the soil, ii) residue mechanically removed, and iii) residue burned. All other management practices were identical. All treatments caused the soil organic matter in the top IS cm to increase from 1.29 2 years after being broken from native sod to 2.11% during the study. Incorporation of wheat residue did not increase soil organic matter to a greater extent than burning or removing wheat residue. Soil water infiltration was not affected by burning. While grain yield showed considerable variation among years, there were no differences in yield attributable to burning or incorporation of wheat residue.