Effects of tillage systems and crop rotations on the economics of spring wheat, winter wheat, flax and field peas for a thin Black soil at Indian Head
The long term viability and profitability of agriculture in western Canada is dependent on our ability to maintain or enhance the production potential of the soil. The current problems associated with wind and water erosion and the widespread use of soil degradative cultural practices threaten the long term sustainability of dryland crop production. The adoption of new soil conserving production systems requires that they be profitable in the short and long term. This paper discusses the economic performance of zero, minimum and conventional tillage management using three different crop rotations in the thin Black Soil Zone of east central Saskatchewan. All inputs were costed according to local prices quoted at the time of use. The same procedure was used for prices of commodities. The production costs for flax, spring wheat, and field peas grown on stubble were similar for all three tillage systems. The production costs for spring wheat grown on fallow was higher under zero till than either minimum or conventional tillage. Given similar production costs and higher yields for crops grown on stubble under zero and minimum tillage management, these production systems were more profitable than the traditional conventional tillage production system.
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