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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cropping Systems, Precipitation, and Runoff Trends in Southwestern Minnesota: the Case for Cover Crops

Authors
item Porter, Paul - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Russelle, Michael
item Finley, Robert - REDWOOD COTTONWOOD CONTR

Submitted to: Minnesota Water Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 25, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The corn-soybean rotation has come to dominate land use in southwestern Minnesota. In the Cottonwood River watershed, which is characterized by extensive artificial drainage, 90% of agricultural land is now devoted to this cropping system. According to long-term Weather Service records, precipitation has increased by 10% during the last two decades. These two developments have accompanied a 128% increase in runoff to the Cottonwood River. We present evidence that addition of cover crops, such as cereal rye, to the corn-soybean rotation can reduce runoff and, more importantly, nitrate loading of surface waters in this watershed.

Last Modified: 12/28/2014
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