TILLAGE INTENSITY, CROP ROTATION, and FERTILIZER TECHNOLOGY for SUSTAINABLE WHEAT PRODUCTION … NOR...
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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

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


Extent of no tillage adoption worldwide million hectares 2004 05

USA25.3

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 PlainsEnvironmental 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Source: B. McClinton, Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association


Trends in cropping intensity in the canadian prairies

Trends in cropping intensity in the Canadian prairies.

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

  • 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

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

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

  • 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

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

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

  • Calculated as:

Width of seedrow

%SBU =

X 100

row spacing


Seed bed utilization1

25%

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

  • 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

  • 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


Side band openers many to choose from

Side Band Openers – Many to Choose From


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

Stealthtm 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

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 (NH3) 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


Wheat seedling response to side banded n form x n rate

Wheat Seedling Response to Side Banded N Form x N Rate

AB and SK Locations


Wheat yield response to side banded n form x n rate

Wheat Yield Response to Side Banded N Form x N Rate

AB and SK Locations


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

Horizontal, 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

  • 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

  • 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


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