Impact of Tillage on Corn, Cotton and Peanut Yield Peanut Notes No. 38 2023

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We have long-term rotation/tillage trials that have been in place since 1999/2000. Occasionally, I will summarize those data. This coming week I am making a presentation at the Soil Science Society of North Carolina and will include our most recent results. I’ve attached those here. The tillage systems (conventional vs. strip tillage) have been continuous since 1999 (Lewiston-Woodville) and 2000 (Rocky Mount). These trials can be challenging to maintain. Leadership and staff at the Peanut Belt Research Station and the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station have been essential in helping maintain these plots. These stations are operated by NCDA&CS. I am indebted to these folks along with my technical help and the North Carolina Peanut Growers Association for making these trials possible. This summary is just a small portion of what we have learned over the years. While my focus is on peanuts, we have learned a great deal about how corn and cotton respond to rotation and tillage on these soils. In fact, there are more data points when in comes to tillage for cotton than peanuts. This is also the case for corn compared to peanuts at Lewiston-Woodville. For sustainable peanut production, we need two to three times as many acres of crops like corn and/or cotton relative to peanut acres. This explains why we have a great deal of data for corn and cotton from these trials.

Rotation and Tillage Study Summary 1999 to 2022