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Extension > Agriculture > Tillage > Optimum tillage systems for corn and soybean production and water quality protection in South Central Minnesota – Minnesota River Basin

Optimum tillage systems for corn and soybean production and water quality protection in South Central Minnesota – Minnesota River Basin

Gyles Randal, Soil Scientist, Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN
Jeffrey Vetsch, Asst. Scientist, Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN

Copyright © 2013 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Purpose

This publication provides information that can help corn and soybean farmers in south-central Minnesota choose tillage systems that will optimize erosion control and associated pollutants as well as crop production profitability. It draws on over 30 site-years of University of Minnesota field research at Waseca including recent research on strip-till and deep zone-till systems and supplements more than 50 site-years of tillage research described in "Tillage Best Management Practices for Corn-Soybean Rotations in the Minnesota River Basin" published in 1996 (Randall et al., 1996b). Key factors affecting tillage, including soil erosion potential, internal drainage, crop grown, nutrient and weed management, and risk, are addressed. This bulletin identifies tillage and P management systems for improved crop production and water quality benefits in the eastern Minnesota River Basin (Figure 1).

Acknowledgements
The authors sincerely appreciate and thank the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Fluid Fertilizer Foundation, Potash and Phosphate Institute – Foundation for Agronomic Research, and John Deere Company for their financial support of the research contained in and production of this bulletin.

Reviewers for this bulletin were Les Everett (Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota), John Moncrief (Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota), and Larry Gunderson (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency). Assistance was provided by Adam Birr (Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota) in the preparation of the figures and Les Everett in the publication process. The authors gratefully acknowledge and appreciate their many helpful suggestions and thank them for their contributions in developing this bulletin.

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