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Conservation production systems in the mid‐southern USA: III. Zone tillage for furrow‐irrigated soybean

Bryant C.J., L.J. Krutz, D.B. Reynolds, M.A. Locke, B.R. Golden, T. Irby, R.W. Steinriede Jr, G.D. Spencer, B.E. Mills, C.W. Wood
Crop, forage & turfgrass management 2020 v.6 no.1 pp. e20057
Glycine max, Raphanus sativus, costs and returns, cover crops, furrow irrigation, grain yield, no-tillage, profitability, radishes, silt loam soils, soybeans, subsoil, subsoiling, water use efficiency, Mississippi
Mid‐southern U.S. soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] producers are frequently encouraged to adopt no‐tillage systems to capture the associated environmental benefits; however, adoption is minimal due to the need for raised seedbeds for irrigation and drainage purposes. This research was conducted to determine if zone tillage systems, with and without a tillage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) cover crop, can maintain yield, profitability, and water use efficiency relative to that of a conservation tillage system with subsoiling. The effects of conservation systems on soybean grain yield, net returns above specified costs, and water use efficiency were investigated near Stoneville, MS on a Dubbs silt loam (Fine‐silty, mixed, active, thermic Typic Hapludalfs). Relative to a conservation tillage system with subsoiling, switching to a zone tillage system with or without a cover crop had no effect on soybean grain yield (P = .4986), net returns above specified costs (P = .3724), or water use efficiency (P = .5652). Our data indicate that mid‐southern U.S. soybean productivity and profitability are maintained in zone‐tillage systems.