WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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231. Allmaras, R.R., C.L. Douglas and K. Ward. 1976. More infiltration, less runoff and evaporation.. OR Agr. Expt. Sta. Special Report 459.

3170. . 1988. International Symposium on Windbreaks Proceedings.. Agric. Ecosystems, Environ. 22/23.

5725. Rasmussen, V.P. and R.L. Newhall. 1989. High residue conservation tillage increases soil moisture and profits. IN: Utah Agricultural Statistics, 1989. p. 121-124. Utah Agricultural Statistics Service, Salt Lake City, UT.
Three years of data are reported for several locations comparing a number of consevation tillage and cropping systems. The no-till and chemical fallow were better both for conserving soil and moisture, and generated the highest net returns. The chem fallow conserved about 1-2 inches of soil moisture. Erosion under the no-till chem fallow ranged from 1-5 T/ac compared to 17-30 T/ac with conventional tillage. The study included tests of continuous cropping, but more years are needed to make an economic comparison.

5751. Redinger, G.J., G.S. Campbell, K.E. Saxton, and R.I. Papendick. 1984. Infiltration rate of slot mulches: measurement and numerical simulation.. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 48:982-986.

7018. USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1974. Summer fallow in the western United States.. Conservation Research Report #17.
This is an excellent summary of the research to date on the impact of summer fallow on dryland cropping. Each chapter covers a separate geographic region, and uses the following categories: introduction, climate, soils, cropping practices, water conservation, erosion, water, soil fertility, crop yields, summary. In general, research points to the feasibility of eliminating summer fallow in certain areas where moisture storage efficiency is extremely low and N needs can now be met with fertilizer. Summer fallow is beneficial in many cases in terms of yield stability and can protect the soil from erosion by guaranteeing a crop and adequate residue cover. The need for a flex cropping system is stressed as a way to maximize water use efficiency. In the great basin area of Utah, summer fallow has a clear yield advantage over continuous cropping. Reduction in tillage operations can help minimize the destructive effects of summer fallow on soil organic matter and structure. This report is clearly written and full of solid information and references.

8822. Brandle, J.R. and D.L. Hintz. 1987. An ill wind meets a windbreak.. Nebraska State Forester, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0814.
Windbreaks are valuable for reducing soil erosion and lowering evaporative stress on crops, leading to higher yields. Crop yields begin to decline at a distance from the windbreak of about 5 times its height.

8831. Soil Conservation Service. 1990. Windbreaks and sustainable agriculture.. Fact Sheet - USDA-SCS.
Windbreaks don't cost, they pay. They reduce erosion, increase crop yields, improve water quality, and provide wildlife habitat. Yield increases due to windbreaks of 23% (winter wheat) to 100% (alfalfa) have been measured. There are other fact sheets on windbreaks discussing herbaceous barriers, erosion control, and economics.

8840. Kuhn, G., J.R. Brandle, and W.J. Rietveld. 1990 June. Forestry's role in sustainable agriculture.. paper presented at Great Plains Agr. Council Forestry Comm. meeting, Colorado Springs, CO.
Windbreaks increase crop yields by protection from dessication, improved snow conservation and distribution, and reduced evaporative demand. Windbreaks investment is usually paid for in 10-20 years and more than compensates for any lost production resulting from land planted to trees.

9800. Siddoway, F.H., H.C. McKay, and K.H. Klages. 1956. Dryland tillage: methods and implements.. ID Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. 252 Combined Series, Moscow, ID.
Research at Tetonia, ID. High elevation, ave. ann. precip. 13", evenly distributed. 3% SOM. Examined various stubble and tillage treatments. T: yield, soil moisture, soil erosion.

10040. Wohld, M.. 1991 Mar.. Good farming practices reduced erosion this winter.. Washington Farmer-Stockman, p. 22-23..
Erosion would have been worse after the winter of 1990-91 if it had not been for good erosion control measures such as strip cropping, divided slopes and straw residue management. Strip cropping and divided slopes alone can reduce erosion by about 50%. Leaving as little as 200 pounds of straw residue on the surface per acre can have some positive impact on erosion, according to WSU research. Strip cropping is also important for moisture conservation.

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