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Jabro J.D.,Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory NPARL | Stevens W.B.,Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory NPARL | Iverson W.M.,Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory NPARL | Evans R.G.,Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory NPARL | Allen B.L.,Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory NPARL
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2014

One of today’s greatest challenges of irrigated agriculture is to produce more food and fiber with less water, which can be accomplished by maximizing crop water productivity (CWP). A study was conducted to evaluate and compare the effect of conventional tillage (CT) and strip tillage (ST) on crop water use (CWU) and CWP of sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) on clay loam soil in the northern Great Plains (NGP). Seasonal CWU and CWP for sugarbeet root and sucrose yields were determined for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 growing seasons according to the water balance and CWP equations under CT and ST practices. No significant differences due to tillage were found for CWU of sugarbeet. In 2006, CWP for root yield was significantly greater in ST relative to CT due to wind damage early in the spring which reduced sugarbeet plant population in the CT. The mean CWP for root yield across three growing seasons was10% greater for ST than for CT due to the protected soil–plant environment under the ST. The ST greatly reduces wind erosion and the related plant damage. The ST system used 0.0093 m3 and 0.061 m3 of irrigation water less than CT system to produce 1 kg of sugarbeet root and 1 kg of sucrose yield, respectively, throughout the growing season. We concluded that ST can be used to produce sugarbeet root yield and CWP comparable to CT or even in some instances greater than CT in areas that are prone to wind damage to sugarbeet seedlings. © 2014 by the American Society of Agronomy, 5585 Guilford Road, Madison, WI 53711. All rights reserved. Source

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