1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Determine the amount of corn stover residue needed to maintain soil C content (soil quality) and crop productivity.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Soil properties, agronomic and economic crop yields will be monitored in replicated plots, with three tillage treatments, and three corn stover harvest rates.
This project is a continuation of 3645-11610-001-03R, the overall goal is to develop the data and tools necessary to assess long-term agronomic sustainability of removing corn stover residue for energy production, and is directly related to Objective 1 of the parent project: Determine crop residue needs to protect soil resources and identify management strategies that enable sustainable production of food, feed, and biofuel. Specifically, we are determining the amount of corn stover or cobs that can be harvested from a corn and soybean rotation in the northern Great Plains. The 2012 crop has been planted at the Swan Lake Research Farm. Spring percent soil coverage and germination count completed. Anhydrous ammonia was side-dressed based on soil test data, weed control applied, and the crop is developing on schedule. Abstracts for national meetings are completed and accepted. Two manuscripts and a proceedings paper are in progress. Preparation is continuing on a manuscript entitled "Energy and GHG savings using corn cob biomass as a process energy source for ethanol production." In addition, corn stover team members are integrating their results in preparation for the National SunGrant workshop to be held in October. The ARS researcher at Morris, MN, contributed three-years of greenhouse data, soil organic carbon data and yield data. The ARS researcher at Morris, MN, is taking the lead on coordinating the impact of stover harvest on soil organic matter.