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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL AND CROP MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR IMPROVED NATURAL RESOURCE QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY

Location: North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory

Title: Long-term crop rotation effects on soil attributes, soybean mineral nutrition, yield, and seed composition

Authors
item Riedell, Walter
item Osborne, Shannon
item Pikul, Joseph -

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2014
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Citation: Riedell, W.E., S.L. Osborne, J.L. Pikul Jr. 2014. Long-term crop rotation effects on soil attributes, soybean mineral nutrition, yield, and seed composition. p. 60-65. In: T. Shaver (ed.) Proc. Great Plains Soil Fert. Conf. 4-5 March 2014. Denver CO. International Plant Nutrition Institute, Brookings SD.

Interpretive Summary: Extensive use of sustainable crop and soil management systems would result in profitable farms producing greater yields while maintaining or enhancing natural resources. Development of sustainable agricultural systems depends on understanding complex relationships between soil management, crop management, and crop yield. This study was designed to investigate the impact of extended crop rotations on soil physical and chemical properties and their effect on the growth, yield, and seed composition of soybeans under no-till soil management. Rotation treatments under no-till soil management were established in 1997 and soybean measurements made during the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons. Our data suggest that long-term rotation treatments that contain a diversity of crops affect certain soil attributes as well as impact crop yield. Specifically, our observations indicate that changes in soil physical and chemical properties under extended rotations that include annual and perennial forages may play an important role in improving biomass mineral nutrition levels, increasing grain yield, and enhancing seed components of soybeans grown in those rotations. These data and observations elucidate the complex relationships between soil attributes, crop rotations, and crop yield under long-term rotational treatments and no-till soil management. Results of this study provide knowledge of the complex interactions between soils and crops needed to develop soil and crop management methods that will provide food security for a growing world population in a sustainable manner.

Technical Abstract: Study objectives were to measure how soil chemical and physical attributes as well as soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] stover dry weight and mineral concentrations, seed yield, and seed composition (protein, oil, and minerals) responded to soybean-maize (Zea mays L.) 2-yr rotation (S-C); soybean-spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-maize 3-yr rotation (S-W-C); soybean-oat/pea (Hordeum vulgare L./Pisum sativum L.) hay-maize 3-yr rotation (S-H-C); and soybean-oat/pea hay underseeded with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)-alfalfa-alflafa-maize 5-yr rotation (S-H/A-A-A-C). Rotation treatments under no-till soil management were established in 1997 and soybean measurements were made during the 2009 and 2010 growing seasons. Soils under the 5-yr rotation had 129 kg ha-1 preseason residual NO3-N concentration while the other rotations averaged about 65. The 5-yr rotation also had lower bulk density (1.35 g cm-3) than S-H-C (1.46) with S-W-C (1.38) and S-C (1.38) intermediate. Soybean seed yield was about 10% greater in the 5-yr rotation than in the other treatments. Kernel protein was 3% greater and kernel Zn was 11% greater under the 5-yr rotation than under the S-C rotation while the others were intermediate. Changes in soil physical and chemical properties under extended rotations that include perennial forages may play an important role in increasing soybean seed yield and enhancing seed protein but may, because of high preseason soil NO3-N levels, also be susceptible to potential NO3-N leaching beyond the root zone.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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