The effect of deep-ripping and para-plowing on crop production in Saskatchewan – an update
Peer Reviewed StatusNon-Peer Reviewed
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The feasibility of deep ripping and para-plowing in terms of improving crop production was investigated over a three-year period. A total of 15 sites from different soil zones were included in the study involving soils varying in texture and in Solonetzic characteristics. In the spring of 1988, the soils tended to be less dense in the 25-40 cm depth in the deep ripped and in the para-plowed plots. The difference in density between the para-plowed and the control plots was less dramatic than the difference between the deep ripped and the control plots. Both deep-ripping and para-plowing increased soil water recharge for up to two years following the deep tillage operation. Soil NO3-N levels in the spring of 1988 were significantly higher in the ripped and in the para-plowed plots compared to the control plots. Crop emergence at some sites was decreased in the tillage plots, due to poor seedbed conditions. Deep-ripping resulted in significant yield increases on 4 of the 6 Solonetzic soils and on one of the four mixed Solonetzic/Chemozemic soils. There were no significant yield increases due to deep ripping on five non-Solonetzic soils. Para-plowing significantly increased crop yield at only one of five sites. There was little effect of either deep tillage treatment on the percent protein in the crop. Deep-ripping increased crop water-use efficiency by an average of 22 %. Results from three years of data indicate that crop yield was significantly increased due to deep ripping or para-plowing on Solonetzic soils. Increases were more dramatic following deep ripping than following para-plowing. The yield increases lasted at least two years following the deep tillage operations, and at two sites the yield increases lasted into the third year. Deep-ripping and para-plowing increased yields on only one of the four mixed Solonetzic/Chemozemic soils, and in none of the five non-Solonetzic soils.
Part OfSoils and Crops Workshop
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