Contributing authors to the LSU AgCenter's Louisiana Conservation Tillage Handbook.
This publication was designed to inspire producers considering moving to a conservation tillage system. As with conventional tillage, conservation tillage systems have hurdles that must be overcome. Technology exists to overcome all of these obstacles, however.
Well maintained and adjusted planting and spraying equipment is crucial for obtaining good stands and weed control in conservation tillage systems.
A disease develops when these three factors are present and work together. This is referred to as the disease triangle.
Prior to implementing a conservation tillage system, producers should identify the specific weed species and their densities present in the field(s), determine the weeds' growth habit (annual or perennial), and whether the weeds have developed resistance to herbicides based on past experiences in a specific field and surrounding areas.
The objective of this section is to identify pest issues inconservation tillage systems and briefly summarize theproper integration of selected integrated pest management (IPM) strategies in these systems.
Although variety selection for conservation practices isnot greatly different from that used in other croppingsystems, selection of suitable varieties for planting canhelp make conservation tillage planting more successful.
Winter cover crops fall into two general categories– grass (grain) crops and legumes. The grass cropsinclude wheat, rye and oats, while the legumes includesuch crops as the vetches, peas and clovers.
Crop rotations are especially important for cropping systems with soybeans, wheat and sweet potatoes - crops that quickly lose yield and quality potential with continuous cropping practices, because of disease, insect and weed problems. In addition to the yield benefits, other benefits are derived from rotation in conservation systems are described in this chapter.
Conversion from a conventional tillage system in which the soil is worked extensively, to a conservation tillage system in which the soil is rarely or never disturbed, causes significant changes in the soil.
The purpose of this publication is to provide up-to-date information on agronomic and pest management practices for southern row crops in conservation tillage systems. Many of these recommendations will help producers and private crop consultants implement conservation tillage and other soil-conserving practices to maintain efficient and economical production while minimizing negative effects on soil and water quality. (PDF format only)
Introduction to the Louisiana Conservation Tillage Handbook prepared by the LSU AgCenter and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Conservation Tillage was prepared in cooperation with and through funding provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the LSU AgCenter's Louisiana Master Farmer Program.