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Title:Tillage and cover cropping effects on soil properties and crop production
Author(s):Dozier, Ivan A
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Cover Crop
Nitrogen Scavenging
Abstract:Cover crops (CCs) have been heralded for their potential to retain nutrients in the field and improve soil properties, but their adoption within the Midwestern Corn-Belt remains limited. We assessed the effects of integrating five sets of CCs into corn-soybean rotations under no-till and chisel till systems compared with fallow controls on soil attributes and crop yields after one complete rotation cycle. The experimental layout was a split split-block where whole plot treatments (phase of the rotation and year) had a Latin square design and sub plot treatments accommodated 4 replications each split in the N_S direction into levels of tillage (NT, no-till vs. Till, chisel till) and further split into sub-subplot treatments of CC rotations (R) arranged in the W-E direction across tillage treatments. Crop yields, CC stand counts in late fall, and spring biomass samples were taken from actively growing CCs each year. Studied soil attributes included bulk density (BD), water aggregate stability (WAS), and penetration resistance (PR), as well as chemical properties of soil organic matter (SOM), total carbon stocks (TCs), pH, plant available nitrogen (TIN, NO3-N and NH4-N), available phosphorus (P), and exchangeable potassium (K). Compared to winter fallows, crop yields and soil attributes under corn-soybean rotations that included CCs did not show any significant change after one cycle of production. Our results show that the inclusion of CCs does not cause significant drops in crop yield in either till or no till systems while there is potential for N scavenging when including overwintering CCs in the corn soybean rotations.
Issue Date:2016-04-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Ivan Dozier
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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