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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Soil Tillage Practices and Root Disease Management
Jennifer Juzwik, R. R. Allmaras, and K. M. Gust
1997: Bemidji, MN
Field studies were conducted in North Central states nurseries to investigate the soil
conditions resulting from operational tillage and their potential effect on root disease development.
Compacted soil layers, or hard-pans, were found in pine fields of two nurseries that use rotary tillers after
sub-soiling but prior to sowing and use moldboard plows for incorporating cover crop residue. Water flow
through undisturbed soil in rotary tiller associated pans (110 to 15-cm depth) was slower than in non-compacted
soils above and below the pan and compared to non-compacted areas of the fields. Vertical
distribution profiles of soil-borne Fusarium spp. at each of five nurseries reflected the type of tillage
implement used to incorporate cover crop material that ultimately served as substrate for fungal
population increase. When a moldboard plow was used for incorporation and soil fumigation
subsequently conducted, depth of fumigation was found to be inadequate for reducing Fusarium levels
below 18 cm in methyl bromide - chloropicrin, metam sodium, and dazomet (when incorporated by rotary
tiller) treated fields. Implications of these results to management of root disease in pine fields are
discussed.
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