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Biology Articles » Agriculture » Plant Production » Tillage, Rotation Impacts Peanut Crops
November 2008 — The increasing popularity of
reduced tillage on crops has not only been an important development in
combating soil erosion, but it has also been associated with increasing
organic material and producing high crop yields.
For peanut crops, however, reduced tillage has not gained a large
acceptance as a viable practice, as findings of inconsistent yields
have not encouraged farmers to make a switch from conventional tillage
New research study was conducted on the effects of tillage systems
and crop rotation on peanut yield and pest development in the crops.
The study, conducted at North Carolina State University, was recently
published in Agronomy Journal, and was funded in part by the North
Carolina Peanut Growers Association and the National Peanut Board.
The study found that there is an independent relationship between
tillage and rotation practices with respect to peanut yield and pest
development. The research began in 1999 and 2000 at two locations that
used various crop rotations, including corn, cotton, and peanut, and a
comparison was made between conventional tillage versus strip tillage
into stubble from the previous crop stubble.
“The primary objective of this research was to determine
interactions of crop rotations and tillage systems with respect to
peanut,” said David Jordan, the principle researcher for the project.
“Although differences in peanut yield were associated with crop
rotation and tillage system, these data suggest that while farmers
should expect some differences in peanut yield due to rotation and
tillage, response to these management practices most likely will be
The study did find that the tillage system used did have an effect
on the development of tomato spotted wilt, a disease common in southern
growing states. Additionally, the research also determined that the
most effective method found to increase crop yield and manage pests is
to increase the number of years between peanut plantings.
Research continues to be conducted at North Carolina State
University comparing crop rotation and tillage systems and possible
relationships between these important aspects of cropping systems in
the southern United States. According to the author, additional
research is needed in other geographical regions to study alternative
crops, soil characteristics, and other pest complexes.
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