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Minimum Tillage and No-Tillage Winter Wheat-Summer Fallow for Low Precipitation Regions

Winter wheat is among the most productive and profitable crops grown in rainfed agricultural regions of the world. The mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers in the Pacific Northwest (United States) are ideal for rainfed soft white winter wheat production using a two-year winter wheat–14-month fallow system. No-tillage (NT) adoption has remained lower in the low precipitation zone of east central Washington and north central Oregon. One of the most promising reduced tillage operations developed in the last 30 years is the undercutter or sweep-tillage (ST). Unlike the traditional system, tillage is limited to once in late spring or early summer with the undercutter. The ST system depends on herbicides for primary weed control throughout the first 10 to 12 months of fallow to reduce fuel, equipment, and time costs needed for tillage. This study was established in 2006 and concluded in 2018 and it evaluated the performance of NT and ST winter wheat–summer fallow production systems.

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