no-till, herbicide resistant weeds, crop rotation
Beginning in 2012, research was conducted in Garden City and Tribune, KS, to determine the effect of a single tillage operation every 3 years on grain yields in a wheat-sorghum- fallow (WSF) rotation. Grain yields of wheat and grain sorghum were generally not affected by a single tillage operation every 3 years in a WSF rotation. Grain yield varied greatly by year from 2014 to 2020. Wheat yields ranged across years from mid-20s to 90 bu/a at Tribune and less than 10 to 100 bu/a at Garden City. Grain sorghum yields ranged from 40 to greater than 140 bu/a, depending upon year and location. In 2019 wheat yields at Garden City were less when tillage was implemented post-wheat harvest in 2016. There were no other years or locations where grain yields were significantly affected by a single tillage operation. However, at Tribune, when averaged across the 7-year period, a single tillage after wheat harvest reduced grain sorghum yields compared to a complete no-till (NT) system. At Garden City, averaged across the 7-year period, wheat yields were not different, but tended to be greater following a single one-time tillage prior to wheat. This indicates that if a single tillage operation is needed to control troublesome weeds, that tillage during fallow prior to wheat planting may be better than tillage after wheat harvest. This study supports the hypothesis that if herbicide-resistant weed populations are high enough to cause yield reductions, then tillage might improve yields.
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Schlegel, A. and Holman, J.
"Occasional Tillage in a Wheat-Sorghum-Fallow Rotation,"
Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Reports: