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TILLAGE INTENSITY, CROP ROTATION, and FERTILIZER TECHNOLOGY for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. 7 th International Wheat Conference November 29, 2005 Mar del Plata, Argentina T.L. Roberts and A.M. Johnston Potash & Phosphate Institute. Introduction.

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7 th international wheat conference november 29 2005 mar del plata argentina

TILLAGE INTENSITY, CROP ROTATION, and FERTILIZER TECHNOLOGY for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

7th International Wheat Conference

November 29, 2005

Mar del Plata, Argentina

T.L. Roberts and A.M. Johnston

Potash & Phosphate Institute


Introduction
Introduction for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • North America is a world leader in no-till crop production


Extent of no tillage adoption worldwide million hectares 2004 05

USA for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE25.3

Brazil23.6

Argentina16.0

Canada13.4

Australia9.0

Paraguay1.7

Indo-Gangetic-Plains1.9

Bolivia0.6

South Africa0.3

Extent of no-tillage adoption worldwide, million hectares, 2004/05.

Spain0.3

Venezuela0.3

Uruguay0.3

France0.2

Chile0.1

Colombia0.1

China0.1

Others (estimate)1.5

Total94.6

Source: J. Hassell, Conservation Technology Information Center, personal communication


Introduction1
Introduction for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • North America leads the world in no-till crop production

  • USA produces about 60 billion t wheat and exports 30 billion t

  • Canada produces 26 billion t and exports 18 billion t


Northern great plains
Northern Great Plains for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Total area about 125 M ha

    • 52 M ha in crop production

  • Wheat is the dominant crop, followed by barley and oats

    • Corn is dominant only in the southern regions


Northern great plains1
Northern Great Plains for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Canola is the dominant oilseed, grown mainly on the Canadian prairies

  • Dry peas and lentils … crop diversification option, but represent small proportion of cropping mix


Northern great plains environmental conditions
Northern Great Plains for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCEEnvironmental Conditions

  • Severe … cold winters and hot summers

  • Moisture is limiting

    • 300 to 500 mm of annual precipitation; 165 to 300 during the April to July growing season

  • Frost free period … 83 to 157 days

  • Soils are frozen for 4 to 6 months … minimizing microbial activity, nutrient release, and crop residue decomposition


No till wheat production
No-till Wheat Production for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Farmers in Canadian prairies and Northern Great Plains pioneered wheat production in reduced tillage systems.

  • No-till, or direct-seeding, is used on about ~third of U.S. wheat farms and half the Canadian wheat area.


No till wheat production1
No-till Wheat Production for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Erosion control is the main reason for adopting no-till in much of the world, but in Canadian prairies … improved moisture efficiency


Soil zones of the canadian prairies
Soil zones of the Canadian prairies. for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • About 30 M ha of cultivated land

    • Spring wheat is the principal crop

  • Rotations … historically included high proportions wheat and summerfallow, but fallow has been declining and no-till area is increasing


No till area in the canadian prairies
No-till area in the Canadian prairies. for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Source: B. McClinton, Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association


Trends in cropping intensity in the canadian prairies
Trends in cropping intensity in the Canadian prairies. for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Average rotation length*

Soil zone197619801985199019951998

Brown1/1.11/1.11/1.31/1.31/1.31/1.6

Dark Brown1/1.41/1.51/2.11/2.21/31/4

Black and Gray1/2.21/2.61/4.91/4.91/6.71/10

*Interpret rotation 1/1.1 as one year fallow to 1.1 year in crop

Source: Campbell et al., 2002


Cropping systems
Cropping Systems for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Growers now incorporate cereals, oilseeds, pulse crops, and forages into their rotations.

  • Wheat still dominates, but the improved water conservation gives growers greater flexibility.


Soil changes related to tillage
Soil Changes Related to Tillage for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Tillage accelerates the natural processes of soil degradation

    • Erosion, salinization, and acidification increase

    • amount and quality of organic matter decreases

  • Reduced tillage … greater crop residues accumulate on the soil surface


When residues accumulate
When residues accumulate … for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Less wind and water erosion … improved soil quality

  • Increased water infiltration and less evaporation

  • Cooler soil temperatures … slower nutrient release, reduced diffusion, less root growth


When residues accumulate1
When residues accumulate … for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Changes in nutrient cycling … increases in N immobilization … eventually increased N mineralization

  • Immobile nutrients tend to accumulate at the soil’s surface

  • Soil pH may decline

  • Fertilizer management becomes more important


Effect of zero and conventional tillage on p and k distribution in a manitoba silty clay

70 for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

1300

60

1200

Conventional Till

Conventional Till

50

1100

Zero Till

Zero Till

Phosphorus, mg/kg

40

1000

Potassium, mg/kg

30

900

20

800

Silty Clay Soil

10

700

Silty Clay Soil

600

0

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

500

Depth, cm.

Depth, cm.

400

300

Effect of zero and conventional tillage on P and K distribution in a Manitoba silty clay

Source: Grant and Bailey, 1994


Fertilizer management
Fertilizer Management for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • Fertilizer management in no-till seeding requires careful management to optimize nutrient use efficiency

    • Soil characteristics, climate, crop type, and agronomic practices impact nutrient use efficiency


Fertilizer management1
Fertilizer Management for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • N is the most yield limiting nutrient world wide, followed by P and K

  • Broadcasting N onto surface covered residue is not efficient


Fertilizer management2
Fertilizer Management for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NORTH AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

  • In-soil band placement of N is usually the most effective … reduces immobilization, but applying all the crop’s N requirements can be challenging

  • P and K applied in bands minimizes fixation and increases early season uptake … especially when applied as a starter


Yield increase from starter p in a saskatchewan fallow wheat wheat rotation 1967 2004
Yield increase from starter P in a Saskatchewan fallow-wheat-wheat rotation, 1967-2004

Mean

Fallow = 342 kg/ha

Stubble = 197 kg/ha

Source: R.P. Zentner, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


7 th international wheat conference november 29 2005 mar del plata argentina

F-W-W (N+P) fallow-wheat-wheat rotation, 1967-2004

F-W-W (N)

Influence of starter P on soil test P in the wheat phase of a Saskatchewan fallow-wheat-wheat rotation, 1967-2004

Olsen P, kg/ha

Source: R.P. Zentner, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Fertilizer management3
Fertilizer Management fallow-wheat-wheat rotation, 1967-2004

  • All P needs for wheat can be safely applied at seeding … not so for N and K

  • Too much N and K can reduce germination and delay emergence resulting in poor stands and lower yields


Fertilizer management4

Many factors influence how much fertilizer can be safely applied with the seed

Row spacing

Seed bed utilization (SBU)

Soil texture

Soil moisture

Fertilizer Management

  • Soil variability

  • Fertilizer placement

  • Seed furrow opener

  • Fertilizer source

  • crop


Row spacing

30 cm applied with the seed

10 cm

20 cm

Row Spacing

  • The amount of fertilizer that can be safely applied with the seed decreases as row spacing increases

  • Row spacing ranging from 10 to 30 cm … higher concentrations of P in wider rows had no effect on yield (SK and MB research)


Seed bed utilization
Seed Bed Utilization applied with the seed

  • Measure of the amount of soil used for applying fertilizer.

  • Calculated as:

Width of seedrow

%SBU =

X 100

row spacing


Seed bed utilization1

25% applied with the seed

12%

8%

30 cm

10 cm

20 cm

Seed Bed Utilization

  • Assuming a 2.5 cm seed row (knife opener) and a 10 cm row spacing

SBU = 2.5/10 x 100 = 25%


Seed bed utilization2
Seed Bed Utilization applied with the seed

  • Heavier textured soils tolerate more N because the increased cation exchange and water holding capacity reduces ammonia toxicity … a major cause of germination and seedling damage


Approximate safe rates of urea n kg ha that can be applied with wheat
Approximate Safe Rates of Urea-N (kg/ha) that can be applied with wheat.

2.5 cm spread

(Disc or knife)

Row spacing, cm

152330

SBU, %

17118

Light221717

Medium342822

Heavy 392424

Source: Henry et al., 1995


Approximate safe rates of urea n kg ha that can be applied with wheat1
Approximate Safe Rates of Urea-N (kg/ha) that can be applied with wheat.

2.5 cm spread7.5 cm spread

(Disc or knife) (Sweep)

Row spacing, cmRow spacing, cm

152330152330

SBU, %SBU, %

17118503325

Light221717453428

Medium342822564539

Heavy 392424675645

Source: Henry et al., 1995


Specialized seeding equipment
Specialized Seeding Equipment with wheat.

  • Many growers have adopted the use of specialty seeding equipment that places fertilizer in a separate band from the seed

No-Till Seeding Original Equipment

No-Till Seeding Present Equipment



7 th international wheat conference november 29 2005 mar del plata argentina

Stealth with wheat.tm Opener

2.5 cm

2.5 cm


7 th international wheat conference november 29 2005 mar del plata argentina

3.8 x 7.2 cm with wheat.

3.8 x 3.8 cm


Urea and anhydrous ammonia nh 3 are the two main n sources used by the region s farmers
Urea and anhydrous ammonia (NH with wheat.3) are the two main N sources used by the region’s farmers

  • NH3 is common in higher moisture regions, where higher N rates are required to optimize yields




7 th international wheat conference november 29 2005 mar del plata argentina

Horizontal with wheat., Not Vertical Separation of NH3 Band is Critical to Avoiding Damage


Sulfur is the third most limiting nutrient in the northern great plains
Sulfur is the third most limiting nutrient in the Northern Great Plains

  • Estimated 30% of the acreage in Canadian prairies is S deficient

  • SO4-S soil test is difficult due to variability of SO4 in the field and release of organic S

S deficient wheat


S fertilizer
S Fertilizer Great Plains

  • S is normally applied as elemental S or as as SO4

  • Elemental S requires microbial oxidation

    • Temperature, moisture, aeration, pH and particle size influence oxidation

  • Application of elemental S in the spring or near planting is not recommended for annual crops because oxidation is too slow

    • Mixtures of bentonite and elemental S are available which increase the dispersion of S particles and increase oxidation rates


Average wheat yield response to applied s in alberta soils with no previous s application
Average wheat yield response to applied S in Alberta soils with no previous S application

-S+S*Yield No. of

--- kg/ha ---inc., %trials

Gr. Wooded soils142216191412

Breton‡ 94918309320

U of A§ 24822731108

* 15 kg S/ha as Na2SO4

‡ Average total S=100 mg/kg, § Average total S=670 mg/kg

Source: Doyle and Cowell, 1993


Average wheat yield response to applied s in alberta soils with 20 year history of s application
Average wheat yield response to applied S in Alberta soils with 20-year history of S application

-S+SYield No. of

--- kg/ha ---inc., %trials

Breton‡ 17741178525

22059222585

316902737625

425233641444

U of A§ 13379365984

21999202314

* 15 kg S/ha as Na2SO4

‡ Average total S=100 mg/kg, § Average total S=670 mg/kg

Source: Doyle and Cowell, 1993


Effect of n p and s fertilization on wheat yields in alberta
Effect of N, P, and S fertilization on wheat yields in Alberta.

TreatmentNP2O5 SYieldYield Inc.

------------- kg/ha -------------%

10002310--

20022255010

3182202480 7

41822223020 31

Source: Doyle and Cowell, 1993


Influence of n and p on wheat grown on fallow and stubble in a dark brown soil in southern alberta
Influence of N and P on wheat grown on fallow and stubble in a Dark Brown soil in southern Alberta.

Rotation sequence,

13-yr Ave. yield, kg/ha

Fertilizer, kg/ha Fallow wheat Stubble wheat

NPF-WF-W-WF-W-WCont. W

0 02775233212031156

0202802264111761284

45 02722246015191505

45203031265419081747

Letters in bold face represent the phase of the rotation the yield was determined.

Source: Campbell et al., 1990


Concluding comments
Concluding Comments a Dark Brown soil in southern Alberta.

  • Understanding soil nutrient behavior and its implications to fertility management is important to maximize nutrient use efficiency and wheat production in no-till

  • Soil testing is the best available tool to estimate soil nutrient levels and make appropriate fertilizer recommendations


Thank you
Thank You a Dark Brown soil in southern Alberta.


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