Viewing Document
Title No-tillage and high-residue practices reduce soil water evaporation
File Options PDF | Additional Information
Quick Link Repository View:
Direct to File:
Abstract Reducing tillage and maintaining crop residues on the soil surface could improve the water use efficiency of California crop production. In two field studies comparing no-tillage with standard tillage operations (following wheat silage harvest and before corn seeding), we estimated that 0.89 and 0.97 inches more water was retained in the no-tillage soil than in the tilled soil. In three field studies on residue coverage, we recorded that about 0.56, 0.58 and 0.42 inches more water was retained in residue-covered soil than in bare soil following 6 to 7 days of overhead sprinkler irrigation. Assuming a seasonal crop evapotranspiration demand of 30 inches, coupling no-tillage with practices preserving high residues could reduce summer soil evaporative losses by about 4 inches (13%). However, practical factors, including the need for different equipment and management approaches, will need to be considered before adopting these practices.

Mitchell, Jeffrey P
CE Cropping Systems Specialist
Vegetable cropping systems, irrigation management, soil quality, organic soil amendments, extension models, postharvest physiology
Singh, Purnendu N. : P.N. Singh is Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis
Wallender, Wesley W
Professor   Irrigation Engineer-AES
Surface, sprinkle and trickle irrigation evaluation and design; irrigated agriculture hydrology; mathematical modeling of surface irrigation systems; statistical description of water distribution; nondestructive remote soil moisture measurement techniques; computer aided design of irrigation systems; sampling theory
Munk, Daniel S.
Farm Advisor
Irrigation, crop nutrient management and cotton production systems
Wroble, Jonathan F.
Cotton, Soils and Water Assistant
Horwath, William R.
AES Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry Soil Biogeochemist
Stable isotope studies, soil organic matter dynamics, soil fertility, sustainable agriculture, water quality, plant-microbe interactions, soil microbial biomass, denitrification, residue decomposition, root turnover.
Hogan, Philip : P. Hogan is District Conservationist, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS), Woodland
Roy, Robert : R. Roy is Resource Conservationist, USDA NRCS, Fresno
Hanson, Blaine R
CE Irrigation and Drainage Specialist
Drainage; wells and pumps; micro-irrigation, sprinkler irrigation; furrow irrigation, border and basin irrigation, irrigation scheduling; salinity; soil moisture sensors
Publication Date Apr 1, 2012
Date Added Jun 13, 2012
Copyright © The Regents of the University of California
Copyright Year 2012

Conservation tillage, which reduces tractor passes and leaves residues on the soil surface, greatly improves water use efficiency.

Posted By
NALT Keywords