Effects of Reduced Tillage and Planting Systems on Seed Cotton Yield and Quality


Abstract: There is increasing scientific and practical interest in the importance of reduced tillage systems for increasing yield, and obtaining it more economically, in cotton production. Reduced tillage systems which involve lesser field applications have several advantages when compared to conventional systems. Field trials were conducted over 2 years. The aim was to establish the greatest applicability of reduced tillage systems. The 4 types of tillage compared were conventional, precision, strip and ridge tillage. In each of these plots, seeds were planted in 8 rows. A mechanical seed drill was used in 4 rows of each plot at a seed rate of 50 kg ha^{-1}. In the other 4 rows planting was done at 0.05 m seed spacings using a pneumatic spacing drill. Planting was performed in 0.7 m row spaces. Tillage and planting treatments were evaluated for 8 different criteria. The emergence degree, plant height, number of bolls/plant, seed cotton yield, first picking percentage and fibre quality parameters such as fineness, length and strength were measured. Analysis of variance revealed, no significant differences among the systems in terms of seed cotton yield, number of bolls/plant or fibre quality parameters. The height of the plants in the ridge planting applications was 10% greater than that in the conventional planting applications. However, 10.6% greater first picking percentage was observed in the ridge planting applications. Finally, it was concluded that reduced tillage systems were more advantageous than conventional tillage systems.

Keywords: Cotton, reduced tillage systems, planting, mechanisation

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