Determining response of agronomic crops to subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) in conventional and reduced tillage systems is important in defining utility of SDI. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to define interactions of SDI and tillage with respect to yield and economic return of corn (Zea mays L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), and peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) planted in rotation. Research was conducted in two 4-yr periods (2007–2010 and 2008–2011) in North Carolina using continuous strip tillage vs. continuous conventional tillage without irrigation or with SDI using a crop sequence of 1 yr of cotton, 2 yr of corn, followed by 1 yr of peanut. Corn, cotton, and peanut yields increased with SDI compared with no irrigation regardless of tillage system. Cotton and peanut yields were not affected by tillage system or the interaction of tillage and irrigation; corn yield was affected by this interaction. In the second year of corn, yield and economic return were higher in conventional tillage with SDI than strip tillage with SDI. Economic return for the sum of crops in the rotation was affected by the interaction of irrigation and tillage. Economic return was higher in both periods during each year corn was grown under SDI compared with non-irrigated corn while higher economic returns for cotton and peanut under SDI were noted in one of two periods. When pooled over periods, crops, and tillage, economic return for SDI was US$1,552 ha–¹ higher than non-irrigated production over 4 yr.