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Title:The effects of winter cover crops and soil compaction treatments on soil properties and soybean production in Illinois
Author(s):Acuna, Juan
Advisor(s):Villamil, Maria B.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Winter cover crops
corn-soybean systems
induced compaction
soil compaction alleviation
soil physical and chemical properties
soybean growth
soybean yield
Abstract:Winter cover crops (WCC) are suggested as a tool to alleviate compaction while improving soil properties. However, WCC have also been reported to have detrimental effects on the following crop. Our goals in this study were twofold: i) to evaluate the short-term ability of radish and companion cover crops to alleviate induced soil compaction and improve soil physical and chemical properties and ii) to assess soybean growth, development and yield following compaction and cover crop treatments under conventional corn-soybean systems in two different environments and on poorly drained soils typical of Illinois. The experimental design was a 6 x 4 factorial arrangement of the WCC and compaction treatments in a CRD with two reps. WCC included radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) “R”, alone and mixed with rye (Secale cereale L.) “RR”, triticale (× Triticosecale cv Presto) “RTR”, buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum L. Moench) “RB”, or hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) “RHV”, and a control with no cover crop “NCOV”. Compaction treatments included a control with no compaction (Nc), and three levels of compaction achieved with either a small tractor (ST), a large tractor (LT) or a hauling truck (TK). After the WCC growing season, soil physical properties improved compared for all treatments including the NCOV. The studied soils in this experiment showed high resilience to imposed compaction treatments probably related to inherently high levels of soil organic carbon and of natural weathering processes. Soybean growth parameters, yield components and grain yield showed no significant differences due to compaction treatments, WCC or their interactions. Results from this study show that one growing season is not enough time to evidence changes in the soil related to the incorporation of cover crops in the rotation, and that following adequate management practices WCC should not affect soybean growth and yield parameters.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Juan Acuna
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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