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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improving Corn Yield by Utilizing Alternative Crop Rotations

Authors
item Osborne, Shannon
item Anderson, Randal
item Riedell, Walter

Submitted to: State University Ag Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: February 26, 2006
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Citation: Osborne, S.L., Anderson, R.L., Riedell, W.E. 2006. Improving corn yield by utilizing alternative crop rotations. State University Ag Report available at http://plantsci.sdstate.edu/soiltest/data2005/Report%2005-29.pdf.

Interpretive Summary: Traditionally in the northern Corn Belt crop rotations consist of corn/soybean with little if any small grains included. This short two-year rotation has resulted in significant problems with various pests (weeds, insects and disease). A field experiment located near Brookings, SD was established in the fall of 2000 to evaluate the impact of diversified four-year crop rotations on crop yield and quality. Eight four-year rotations were evaluated with crops including corn, soybean, winter wheat, spring wheat, oat, dry pea, canola, and sunflower. Plots were set-up such that each phase of the rotation was present each year. A corn/soybean rotation was also included for comparison purposes. Rotation effects will be evaluated by comparing the corn phase of each rotation. Analysis will be performed on grain yield. Initial results show that there was a significant difference in corn yield when compared between the different rotations. Corn yield following dry peas resulted in the highest yield (>140 bu/ac), while corn following corn in a four-year rotation with spring wheat and soybean had yield lowest yields (~110 bu/ac). Initial grain yield data shows that corn only once in four years results in higher yields compared to corn grown every other year or grown in a shorter rotation.

Technical Abstract: Traditionally in the northern Corn Belt crop rotations consist of corn/soybean with little if any small grains included. This short two-year rotation has resulted in significant problems with various pests (weeds, insects and disease). A field experiment located near Brookings, SD on a Barnes clay loam (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid Calcic Hapludolls) was established in the fall of 2000 to evaluate the impact of diversified four-year crop rotations on crop yield and quality. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with four replications. Eight four-year rotations were evaluated with crops including corn, soybean, winter wheat, spring wheat, oat, dry pea, canola, and sunflower. Plots were set-up such that each phase of the rotation was present each year. A corn/soybean rotation was also included for comparison purposes. Rotation effects will be evaluated by comparing the corn phase of each rotation. Analysis will be performed on grain yield. Initial results show that there was a significant difference in corn yield when compared between the different rotations. Corn yield following dry peas resulted in the highest yield (>140 bu/ac), while corn following corn in a four-year rotation with spring wheat and soybean had yield lowest yields (~110 bu/ac). Initial grain yield data shows that corn only once in four years results in higher yields compared to corn grown every other year or grown in a shorter rotation.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014