Yields and yield stability of no-till and chisel-plow fields in the Midwestern US Corn Belt

Aaron L.M. Daigh, Warren A. Dick, Matthew J. Helmers, Rattan Lal, Joseph G. Lauer, Emerson D Nafziger, Carl H. Pederson, Jeff Strock, Maria Bonita Villamil, Atanu Mukherjee, Richard Cruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Scientists have dedicated many decades and resources to studying the effects of tillage on soil properties and crop yields. However, the literature lacks empirical data on corn/soybean yields and their stability to variable-weather years under long-term management at multiple locations in mid-Western USA. Thus, the objective of the current study was to evaluate yields and their stability from 2009 through 2013 at eight long-term sites with no-till (NT) and chisel-plow (CP) managed continuous corn (CC) and corn (Zea mays)-soybean (Glycine max) rotations (C-s and c-S for corn and soybean phase). The tillage-treatment durations among the eight sites ranged from eight to 51 years in the Midwestern U.S. Corn Belt. The data indicates that tillage had no significant effect on long-term crop yields, with a few exceptions. During one site-year (southern Minnesota in 2012) in the CC system, NT yielded significantly 15.2% more than CP (9.1 vs. 7.9 Mg ha−1). However, CC yields averaged across sites were significantly 10.5 and 13.6% more in CP than NT in 2009 and 2010, respectively (12.6 vs. 11.4 Mg ha−1 in 2009; 12.5 vs. 11.0 Mg ha−1 in 2010). In the corn-soybean rotations, CP yielded significantly 18.7% more than NT (12.7 vs. 10.7 Mg ha−1) when averaged across years at one site in Iowa for the C-s phase. Yield stability indexes to environmental conditions indicated no differences in NT than CP yield stabilities among variable-weather years. However, NT had significantly lower range of relative yields across the variable-weather years as compared to CP for the CC system and C-s phase. These direct and synthesized data provide evidence of little to no differences between CP and NT managed corn/soybean research plots exist in the Midwestern US. Although CP may produce greater yields when averaged across the region's research plots during some years, this effect was not evident at the individual research plot scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalField Crops Research
Volume218
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

Corn Belt region
plows
no-tillage
maize
corn
soybean
soybeans
tillage
weather
crop yield
Glycine max
soil properties
Zea mays
soil property

Keywords

  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Conservation agriculture
  • Conventional tillage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

Cite this

Daigh, A. L. M., Dick, W. A., Helmers, M. J., Lal, R., Lauer, J. G., Nafziger, E. D., ... Cruse, R. (2018). Yields and yield stability of no-till and chisel-plow fields in the Midwestern US Corn Belt. Field Crops Research, 218, 243-253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2017.04.002

Yields and yield stability of no-till and chisel-plow fields in the Midwestern US Corn Belt. / Daigh, Aaron L.M.; Dick, Warren A.; Helmers, Matthew J.; Lal, Rattan; Lauer, Joseph G.; Nafziger, Emerson D; Pederson, Carl H.; Strock, Jeff; Villamil, Maria Bonita; Mukherjee, Atanu; Cruse, Richard.

In: Field Crops Research, Vol. 218, 01.04.2018, p. 243-253.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Daigh, ALM, Dick, WA, Helmers, MJ, Lal, R, Lauer, JG, Nafziger, ED, Pederson, CH, Strock, J, Villamil, MB, Mukherjee, A & Cruse, R 2018, 'Yields and yield stability of no-till and chisel-plow fields in the Midwestern US Corn Belt', Field Crops Research, vol. 218, pp. 243-253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2017.04.002
Daigh, Aaron L.M. ; Dick, Warren A. ; Helmers, Matthew J. ; Lal, Rattan ; Lauer, Joseph G. ; Nafziger, Emerson D ; Pederson, Carl H. ; Strock, Jeff ; Villamil, Maria Bonita ; Mukherjee, Atanu ; Cruse, Richard. / Yields and yield stability of no-till and chisel-plow fields in the Midwestern US Corn Belt. In: Field Crops Research. 2018 ; Vol. 218. pp. 243-253.
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