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One form, called residue management, utilizes autumn applied glyphosate with no autumn tillage. The following spring, a conservation tillage implement is used to provide shallow incorporation of previous crop plant residue into the soil.
The tillage treatments examined were: 1) no autumn tillage with one spring pass with a conservation tillage implement, residue management, 2) no autumn tillage and no spring tillage, zero tillage, 3) no autumn tillage with spring zone tillage, and 4) conventional tillage.
Soil moisture data were collected from all treatments at three times: 1) before spring tillage (the three treatments with no fall tillage--zero tillage, no autumn tillage with spring zone tillage and residue management--were combined as there was no difference in tillage among the treatments prior to spring tillage); 2) post-planting to pre-hilling; and 3) post-hilling.
The three treatments zero tillage, no autumn tillage with spring zone tillage, and residue management that involved no autumn tillage were not significantly different but resulted in higher pre-spring (0 to 15 cm; 0 to 6 in) soil moisture levels than the conventional tillage treatment (Figure 1).
In 2002, no autumn tillage with spring zone tillage and conventional tillage had the lowest soil moisture but in 2001, residue management was the lowest.
In addition, the zero tillage treatment resulted in a significantly shallower seed depth when compared to the no autumn tillage with spring zone tillage treatment in 2002.
In two out of the three years examined, the no autumn tillage with spring zone tillage and conventional tillage treatments had significantly lower penetrometer resistance levels in comparison to zero tillage and residue management treatments (Table 5).
Method of autumn tillage affected surface residue cover (Table 1) and random roughness (Figure 1) of both soil types in the spring.
Averaged across dates of simulated rain and tillage methods, removal of residue from the soil surface prior to autumn tillage resulted in a loss of 2.49 kg [m.sup.-2] of soil.
In addition, spring runoff was more likely to occur in the absence of, rather than in the presence of, crop residue on the soil surface prior to autumn tillage. Soils were more susceptible to erosion in the spring when residue was removed as compared with retained on the soil surface prior to autumn tillage.
Soil Tillage- Runoff Soil loss type [residue.sup.+] mm [m.sup.-2] kg [m.sup.-2] Hattie clay MP-R 3.4 0.9 MP-NR 7.2 1.8 CP-R 6.2 0.6 CP-NR 7.9 2.5 Barnes loam MP-R 3.9 1.4 MP-NR 5.3 2.4 CP-R 6.4 1.2 CP-NR 8.0 2.7 MP is autumn moldboard plow, CP is autumn chisel plow, R is crop residue retained on soil surface prior to autumn tillage, NR is crop residue removed from soil surface prior to autumn tillage.
Sub-soil, plow, and chisel were autumn tillage operations followed by spring disk and planting.