WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center

Organic & Integrated Tree Fruit Production

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Browse on keywords: legume alfalfa tillage

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Search results on 06/23/18

7434. Walter, D.T.. 1987. Early studies on the use of legumes for conservation tillage in Nebraska.. IN: J.F. Power (ed.). The role of legumes in conservation tillage systems. p. 9-10.
Describes early research beginning in the 1930s. Surface residues, especially alfalfa, improved soil structure and infiltration. Erosion and runoff from dense, subtilled legume plots was minimal compared to oat or wheat stubble. Sweetclover and alfalfa were the principal legumes. Erosion and excess N mineralization were problems with sweetclover. Subtilling legume residues retarded decomposition and nitrification, increased earthworm casts, and enhanced aggregate stability. When sweetclover decomposed on the surface, 5-10 lb N/ac were lost as NH3, with only a trace lost when residue was plowed under.

8043. Welty, L.E., R.L. Ditterline, J.A. Hall, and L.E. Prestbye. 1988. Effect of tillage for renovation of established alfalfa.. Applied Agric. Res. 3:123-127.

8080. Welty, L.E., J.A. Hall, R.L. Ditterline, and L.S. Prestbye. 1987. Response of alfalfa to three levels of spring tillage.. Montana AgResearch 4(3):5-7.
Tillage of alfalfa is practiced in many areas of Montana to control weeds and stimulate alfalfa growth. Results from around the country have been variable. Three tillage methods were compared in this study: deep, one-pass with a field cultivator; shallow, one-pass; one-pass discing. Increased tillage did reduce stand densities, but yields were not greatly affected due to plant compensation. Under no circumstances did tillage of a young vigorous stand significantly increase alfalfa yields compared to the control. Tillage did increase N and P concentrations in alfalfa, particularly in early spring.

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