Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 20, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tuesday, February 20, 1973 - THE LETHBKIOGE HER AID - 7 Do high yields need tillage? By C. W. LINDWAIX Agricultural Engineer Letlibt idge Research Station Is tillage needed to produce the highest yields on dryland? At the Lethbridge Research Station spring wheat sown on zero tillage has consistently out-yielded that sown on conventionally tilled soil in both stubble-wheat and fallow-w'heat cycles. Tillage, whether for summer-fallow, or seedbed preparation, is generally thought to be an essential operation in grain production. Land is tilled for a variety of reasons: to prepare a seedbed, to manage crop residue, to alter the physical condition of the soil, to prepare for land levelling, to incorporate soil amendments, to control weeds, to reduce erosion.and to control insects and diseases. We compared zero tillage, In which weeds are controlled with herbicides, to fallowing with a wide blade or a heavy-duty cultivator. Spring moisture sampling indicated that the un-tilled land had one to one and' one-half inches more water in the root zone than land fallowed with a wide blade or a heavy-duty cultivator. The surface soil of the unfilled fields was only sighty more compact than that of the tilled fie'ds; however, the subsoil of the tilled fallow was more compact than that of the tilled fields. More than 85 per cent of the original weight of stubble and straw was conserved on the zero-tilled fallow. Furthermore, the fully upright stubble provided optimum protection from wnd erosion an d maintained maximum snow cover over the winter. Sixty to 70 per cent of the stubble and straw was conserved on the tilled fallows. This also provided good erosion protection but less snow-holding capacity than the zero-tilled stubble. Increase Yields of spring Wheat sown on zero-tilled fallows were four and seven bushels per acre greater than those on bladed fallows in two-year and three-year rotations, respectively. The increased yields were attributed to a combination of factors but primarily to greater reserves of moisture in the soil at seeding time. Zero tillage provided a firm, shallow seedbed that gave uniform seed germination. The upright stubble from the previous crop also provided excellent protection for the crop in its early growth stages. The future acceptability of zero tillage will depend on the results of further research and the price of suitable herbicides. All farmers concerned about moisture conservation and erosion prevention should consider some degree of weed control by chemicals. It has been shown that an application of 12 ounces of 2-4,D per acre in late fall or early spring of the fallow cycle will economically control most troublesome weeds and at least postpone, if not eliminate, one or two tillage opera* Hons. We can help you save & Create a A fast easy way is with CEILIN TILES These plain white, satin finished, tiles can be easily painted to accent or co-ordinate. Tongue and grooved for fast easy installation. 12" or 16" Per 64 sq. ft. carton STYROTEX PANELS folded from self-extinguishing polystyrene, these lightweight 24" square panels are easily applied with adhesive. USE YOUR HANDY EACH ... STIPPLETONE TEXTURING PAINT Ready-to-use, ready for you to create your textured ceiling or wall. Apply with brush or roller. Also available in Gold Dust and Silver Frost. ! 0-95 ot ____ IV GAL. 9.95 GAL. SQUARETEX CEILING PANELS Designed for creating attractive ceilings at a low cost. Cover 16 sq. ft. at a time with high grade hardboard, topcoated to a satin sheen. Washable, too! Ott Silverglint mJol^S or White MANAGER SPECIALS NEEDLE PUNCH CARPET Green, gold, orange mm �q- yd. 12' wide foam back ACCOTONE CUSHION FLOOR 2.19 sq yd. CORAIRE 2nd* 2 PATTERNS ONLY 2.79 sq. yd. SURPLUS BRAND NAME PAINTS % Price 3rd Ave. and 17th St. S. Phone 328-4461 Open Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.