Dr. Paul DeLaune, environmental soil scientist at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon, said tillage operations can increase soil compaction, thereby increasing runoff.
Each year, depending on market conditions, up to 75 percent of wheat planted in Texas may be grazed, and of that, 95 percent is under conventional tillage, DeLaune said.
"There is a perception among some producers considering no-till production that using no-till in dual-use wheat production will increase compaction and therefore reduce water infiltration and decrease yields," he said. "Studies are needed to determine whether or not this perception is valid."
One management practice to potentially reduce compaction and/or increase water infiltration is the use of an aerator in no-till dual-use systems, DeLaune said.
The tines of the aerator can be varied from 0 to 10 degrees offset, with soil disturbance increased by increasing the offset, he said. The aerator will disturb the soil down to the depth of 8 inches, yet leave considerable residue on the soil surface.
At the Smith-Walker research field near Vernon, DeLaune studied the impact of different tillage operations in dual-use wheat on runoff quantity, water quality and nutrient loss.
Tillage treatments were applied in early September and included: conventional-till, no-till and no-till with aerator offsets at 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10 degrees. Although two production systems were to be compared (graze-out and graze plus grain), no livestock grazing took place due to drought and poor forage production. However, there was extensive grazing from whitetail deer, he said.
In mid-December, 1.5- by 2-meter plots were established in the two production systems. Rainfall simulators were used to apply a runoff-producing event to the crop, he said.
A simulated rainfall of about 2.75 inches per hour was showered over the crop and allowed to continue until one-half hour after runoff had started. The runoff water was collected, measured and analyzed for quantity and quality.
In his study, DeLaune timed the minutes it took to achieve runoff. He said the runoff came quickest, in the highest quantity and with the most soil erosion from the conventional-tilled plots.
The total amounts of ammonium and phosphorous in the runoff water were higher also from the conventional-tilled plots.
There was no statistical difference in runoff volume, soil erosion and nutrient runoff amounts between the no-till plots and the aerated treatments, he said.
These initial results show that the use of an AerWay aerator may not be economical, based solely on soil and water conservation. Grazing effects and grain yields may indicate otherwise as the study continues, DeLaune said. Grazing effects and grain yields were not taken due to the extreme and persistent drought in 2008-2009.
Runoff quantity, water quality and yield data will continue to be collected over the next two years.
Dr. Paul DeLaune | EurekAlert!
How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences