n South African Journal of Plant and Soil - Considering soil quality when comparing disc and tine seed-drill openers for establishing wheat - short communication

Volume 35 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0257-1862
  • E-ISSN: 2167-034X
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Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is planted widely in the Western Cape of South Africa in conservation agriculture systems. Although most producers rely on tine openers to establish wheat, the interest in planters with disc openers is increasing. Given that the soils in the Western Cape are highly variable, it is hypothesised that soil quality may influence the choice of openers to use. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the effects of tine and disc openers in soils of contrasting qualities, to discern whether soil quality is a factor to consider when choosing between tine and disc openers. The study was conducted on Langgewens Research Farm. Soil disturbance was evaluated directly after sowing wheat with tine and disc openers. Tine openers disturbed the soil more (p < 0.05) than the disc openers in low quality soil, and did not differ (p > 0.05) from the disc opener effect in high quality soil. Establishment of wheat with disc openers resulted in an 11% yield increase as opposed to when established with tines. Grain yield was 24% higher in the high quality soils compared with the low quality soils. To ensure high yields, the importance of ensuring that soil quality is maintained, is stressed.

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