Short term cotton lint yield improvement with cover crop and no-tillage implementation

Mark D. McDonald, Katie L. Lewis, Glen L. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No-tillage has been used for mitigating wind erosion on the Southern High Plains US for decades. This study investigated the effects of tillage and nitrogen (N) fertilizer timing on cotton lint yield, fiber quality, and seed N content during a three-year transition from conventional tillage (CT) to a no-tillage system both with a wheat (Triticum aestivum) cover crop (NTW) and without a cover crop (NT). Lint yield was different between tillage systems within each year with the NTW system producing greater lint yield than the CT system in the second and third year of the transition period. The concentration of cotton seed N was not different within years, although it was decreased in the no N added control in the third year. Cotton fiber strength was increased in the NTW system compared to the CT system in the second year of the study. However, the CT system produced increased fiber strength compared to the other two systems in 2018 and is likely the result of late-season weather conditions. It was determined that implementing a NTW system may increase lint yield within the first few years and has no effect on most fiber quality parameters, especially in environmentally challenging conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number994
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Agronomic efficiency
  • Conservation practices
  • Nitrogen uptake
  • Nutrient management
  • Soil health
  • Soil management


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