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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2008-2009
WINTER 2008 Fluid Journal 15 5 15 25 35 45 12-24 0-6 Nitrate levels within the upper 2 feet of soil Soil Depth (Inches) 2005 2004 2006 Nitrate Levels (lbs/A) * * * 6-12 Te xas Agricultural Experiment Station 3 NO systems. Priority research has been placed on no-till and reduced-till systems in a dual-purpose wheat/ stocker enterprise, particularly development of efficient N and phosphorus (P) fertility programs. Our current research has shown that stand establishment in no-till systems can be successful with the proper equipment. Furthermore, soil compaction may not be as serious as previously believed, as long as a reasonable amount of residue is maintained on the soil surface to cushion hoof action and the impacting effect of rain. It may take several years for a new production system to stabilize, particularly when converting from conventional-till to a conservation tillage system. The major source of death loss and depressed stocker cattle performance on wheat pasture is bloat. Recently we have shown a relationship between bloat and soluble proteins in wheat forage, and how N fertilization affects soluble protein in wheat forage. Manipulating and managing the amount and/or timing of N application may reduce the incidence of bloat and enhance returns in wheat/stocker operations. Objective of this study was to identify N fertility levels that maximize forage and beef yields as well as maintaining grain yield and quality in no-till and conventional- till production systems. The severe drought in 2005 and 2006 devastated dryland wheat production and crucial information on wheat grain yields in dual-purpose wheat was lost. Drought effects The 2005 to 2006 winter wheat growing season was extremely poor, with a major drought from October 2005 through August 2006. Soil moisture profiles to 5 feet indicated increasingly dry conditions as the season progressed. By the end of February, little soil moisture was available to carry the plants to an economical grain yield. No statistical analyses were conducted in 2006. Forage production Figure 1 shows forage production in conventional-till and no-till plots from early December through early March of 2003- 2004, 2004-2005, and 2005-2006 across all N preplant applications and by N preplant applications across both tillage systems. There was no significant difference in forage production between tillage systems, indicating that no-till in dual-use wheat production was as effective in producing forage as conventional-till. However, there was a significant effect of increasing amounts of preplant N on forage production in the early part of the growing season in 2003- Figure 2. Soil nitrate levels from early December to early March, averaged across two tillage systems and five preplant N applications. * = significantly higher. 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 -500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 Conventional No-till Forage Production (lbs/A) -500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 0N3 0N 60N9 0N1 20N NS NS NS NS Wheat Response to Tillage and Preplant Nitrogen (lbs/A) Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Figure 1. Forage production from early December to early March in two tillage systems and five preplant N applications. NS = no significant difference
Fluid Journal 2005-2007