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Effect of tillage intensity on population densities of Heterodera glycines in intensive soybean production systems

Westphal, A., Xing, L.J., Pillsbury, R., Vyn, T.J.
Field crops research 2009 v.113 no.3 pp. 218-226
Glycine max, soybeans, Heterodera glycines, cyst nematodes, population density, tillage, intensive cropping, farming systems, long term experiments, cropping sequence, plowing, chiseling, ridge tillage, no-tillage, soil depth, regression analysis, soil penetration resistance, potassium, soil fertility
The effects of tillage on Heterodera glycines, the most important yield-reducing pathogen of soybean in the U.S., were examined in a long-term tillage and crop sequence study initiated in 1975 on a mollisol at Purdue University. Population densities of H. glycines were monitored under corn-soybean rotation and soybean monoculture in 2003 and 2004. Tillage treatments included: (A) fall moldboard plow+spring secondary tillage; (B) fall chisel plow+spring secondary tillage; (C) ridge tillage; and (D) no-tillage. In both years in the rotational plots, final population densities of H. glycines were proportional to tillage intensity. Under both soybean and corn rotation crops, highest population densities were observed with plowing+secondary tillage and lowest population densities were detected under no-tillage. In 2004, population densities in monoculture soybean soil declined with depth intervals in layers of 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30-cm depth under no-till, but not in plowed plots. Multiple regression analysis determined that the stratification of nematode population densities was strongly correlated to penetrometer resistance and potassium concentration of the soil. Tillage seemed to affect population densities of H. glycines by modification of the soil physical parameters in corn-soybean rotation plots. Reducing tillage intensity was beneficial in reducing population densities of H. glycines in rotational soils. Thus, the choice of tillage system can reduce the risk for damage by this widely distributed pathogen.