Strip-Till, No-Till, and Conventional Till Weed Management Systems in the Texas Southern High Plains
Peter A. Dotray1, J. W. Keeling2, B. W. Bean3, and L. V. Gilbert2. (1) Texas Tech University, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Cooperative Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science, MailStop 2122, Lubbock, TX 79409-2122, (2) Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 1102 E FM 1294, Lubbock, TX 79403, (3) Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79106
The number of production acres that are being strip-tilled have greatly increased in the South Plains and Texas Panhandle over the last three years. This acreage will likely continue to increase as producers search for ways to reduce costs and conserve rainfall and irrigation water. In order for any cropping system to be profitable, weed control must be achieved. Strip-tillage offers some unique weed control challenges since a dinitroaniline herbicide is not broadcast incorporated. These challenges must be addressed in order for producers to realize the full benefit of strip-tillage. Not only must weed control options be effective, they must also be economical and sustainable. Strip-tillage provides a means of conserving soil water while providing the grower with an effective way to apply fertilizer and establish an excellent seedbed for planting. Several cotton growers will be experimenting with strip-tillage cropping system in the new future. In order for any cropping system to be profitable, effective and economical weed control must be achieved. The movement of cotton acres to the northern High Plains will benefit from strip-tillage research. These challenges must be addressed in order for producers to realize the full benefit of strip-tillage. The overall objective is to examine control options in strip-tillage cotton for weed control effectiveness and cost efficiency and compare weed control and returns to no-till and conventional tillage systems. Specific objectives to evaluate control in strip-tillage cotton will include: 1) using preemergence (PRE) herbicides applied either broadcast or in the tilled strip only to control weeds prior to planting, and using PRE and postemergence (POST) herbicide applications following planting, and 2) determining the cost per weed control system and comparing net returns above weed control costs per system.