North Dakota State University * Dickinson Research Extension Center
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REPORT OF ROTATION AND TILLAGE TRIALS

1956

Thomas J. Conlon

THE SEASON OF 1956

Excepting for September, when 1.53 inches of rain fell, the fall and winter of 1955 - 56 was dry and although sufficient soil moisture was present for germination and early growth of the crop, there was practically no reserve moisture present in the spring of 1956. Weather for April was very favorable for getting the crop seeded, but the total rainfall for the month was only .22 inches which did nothing to augment the dwindling moisture reserve. The month of May was cool and rainy, and was generally favorable for crop growth. However, for the most part, grain crops were a week to ten days behind normal development. Drought and high temperatures in June combined to damage the grain crops, hay and pastures considerably, and it was the adverse weather for this month that was largely responsible for reducing yields. Precipitation in July and August came too late to benefit small grain crops but were beneficial to corn, hay and pastures.

A low temperature of 32oF was recorded at the Dickinson Experiment Station Weather Station on August 20th. Ordinarily this would not be considered a killing frost, but corn and other relatively tender vegetation in low spots, draws and areas that apparently do not have satisfactory air drainage was severely damaged, and silage cutting was begun 10 days ahead of schedule.

Grasshoppers were present in sufficient numbers to cause some damage, and some spraying to kill them was done on new grass seedings, flax and other fields where spot protection was necessary.

Diseases of cereal grains were of no consequence in this area in 1956.

Daily Precipitation & Climatic Data Summary Tables

ROTATION AND TILLAGE TRIALS - 1956

Harvest of the 1956 trials marked the completion of 50 years of study in dry land farming at the Dickinson Experiment Station.

In the following summary tables, 1956 yields for the 4 principal crops; wheat, oats, barley and corn included in these trials are compared with annual averages for the past five years and with the 45 year average for the more important cultural methods under investigation.

Rotation and Tillage Trial Summary Table

ROTATION - FERTILIZER SERIES

Yields from the Continuously Fertilized Corn - Wheat Rotation-Fertilizer Series are Summarized Below:

Yield Tables - 1956

Wheat yields on cornland fertilized at the rate of 125 lbs. per acre of 16 - 20-0 commercial fertilizer have averaged 15.6 bushels per acre as compared with 10.0 bushels per acre from unfertilized cornland for the 2 year period 1955-56. However, corn yields have not been increased by the application of 100 lbs. per acre of 8 - 32 - 0 commercial fertilizer applied in the drill row at seeding time.

This trial is scheduled to be continued for several years to aid in determining the effect fertilizer will have on yields when used continuously on the same land.

Table 11 - Comparing wheat yields on stubble land tilled in the spring in preparation for seeding with the moldboard plow, double disk and one-way disk.

Tillage implement used

Yield - Bu. per acre-1955

Yield - bu. per acre-1956

2 yr. av. 1955-56

1

2

3

4

Av.

1

2

3

4

Av.

Moldboard plow

20.2

18.0

26.8

22.0

22.0

5.7

7.1

4.9

7.5

6.3

14.2

One-way disk

15.2

11.3

18.3

25.5

17.6

4.3

4.3

5.3

7.5

5.4

11.5

Double disk

12.5

8.8

18.5

18.2

14.5

2.5

3.7

2.0

7.8

4.0

9.3

In this trial in 1955 production on spring plowed land was 34% better than on double disked land and 20% better than land worked with the one-way disk. In 1956 spring plowing produced 36% more than double disking and 14% more than land worked with the one-way disk.

This is a new trial, begun in 1955, and is scheduled to be continued for several years.

Land which has been seeded to crested wheat grass for many years was broken this summer in preparation for trials which will be started in 1957 to compare the relative effectiveness of narrow, intermediate and wide sweeps for fallowing land. This is the only new trial proposed in the rotation and tillage work for 1957.

Summary Sheets - Rotation and Tillage Experiments - Main Field - 1956

Summary Sheets - Rotation and Tillage Experiments - Field N - 1956

Rotation Sheets - Rotation and Tillage Experiments - Main Field - 1956

Rotation Sheets - Rotation and Tillage Experiments - Field N - 1956