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The effectsof snow management and one-time fall subsoiling on grain yields and water conservation for continuous zero-till spring wheat (Triticum aestivumL.) were assessed over a four year period in two separate experiments at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Although snow management practices resulted in a winter snowpack averaging twice that obtained with conventional height stubble, restricted infiltration prevented this water from affect ing water conservation or wheat yields. Subsoiling in the fall to a 35 cmdepthsubstantiallyincreasedsnowmeltinfiltration for the first crop year after fall subsoiling. In subsequent years, fall subsoiling did not significantly increase the amount of snowmelt infiltration although it did increase the depth to which snowmelt had penetrated. Water extraction from the root zone was greater between seeding and harvest under subsoiling. For the four crop years following subsoiling, subsoiling increased grain yields over the control treatment by an average of 1%when conventional height stubble was left, and by an average of 20% when snow management was practiced. The yield benefit from subsoiling persisted for three years when snow management by tall wheat stubble trap strips retained a snowpack water equivalent of at least 4.9 cm.
B.G. McConkey, H. Steppuhn and W. Nicholaichuk 1990. EFFECTS OF FALL SUBSOILING AND SNOW MANAGEMENT ON WATER CONSERVATION AND CONTINUOUS SPRING WHEAT YIELDS IN SOUTHWESTERN SASKATCHEWAN. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 32(2):225-234.
Canadian Society for Bioengineering