1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To develop a novel management system based on holistic approaches which include no-tillage, cover crop and gypsum soil amendment to enhance crop productivity and environmental sustainability of marginal soils for U.S soybean farmers.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Field experiments will be conducted at two locations including Hoytville and Piketon in Ohio to test the efficacy of: (a) continuous soybean versus soybean/corn rotation; (b) cover crops versus no cover crop; (c) reduced levels of mineral fertilizers, and (d) FGD gypsum which will be surface applied annually at 3 different rates (0; 200 lbs per acre per year; and 2,000 lbs per acre per year). FGD gypsum will be obtained from coal-fired power plants in the local region. Each treatment will be replicated four times. Data will be collected to quantify the effectiveness of the proposed agronomic practices on (1) plant health, pest control, nitrogen fixation and grain yield, (2) core soil biological, chemical, and physical indicators that affect long-term soil quality and fertility of the soil; and (3) reducing soil greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts including soil carbon sequestration.
Activities conducted for this Specific Cooperative Agreement contribute directly to Sub-Objective 2a of the parent project: Evaluate no-till, soil amendment, and cover crop practices as compared to conventional management practices for improving crop yield and soil/water quality in intermittently wet soils.
Plots were established, treatments applied as planned, baseline soil samples were collected, sampling for greenhouse gas emission is underway as is observation of plant health parameters.