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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Crop Residue Coverage of Soil Influenced by Crop Sequence in No-Till System

Authors
item Krupinsky, Joseph
item Merrill, Stephen
item Tanaka, Donald
item Liebig, Mark
item Lares, Michael
item Hanson, Jonathan

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2007
Publication Date: June 5, 2007
Citation: Krupinsky, J.M., Merrill, S.D., Tanaka, D.L., Liebig, M.A., Lares, M.T., Hanson, J.D. 2007. Crop residue coverage of soil influenced by crop sequence in no-till system. Agron. J. 99(4):921-930.

Interpretive Summary: The use of crop residue–conserving management practices has allowed dryland cropping systems in the Great Plains to diversify. Crop diversification and crop sequence can influence crop residue coverage of the soil surface. Crop residue on the soil surface protects soil from erosion, conserves soil water, and maintains soil quality. The influence of crop sequencing with 10 crops (buckwheat, canola, chickpea, corn, dry pea, grain sorghum, lentil, sunflower, proso millet, and spring wheat) on crop residue coverage of the soil surface was evaluated. With combined information from two locations, crop residue coverage following 65 out of 100 crop sequences was lower than a continuous wheat treatment. Crop residue coverage after spring wheat seeding indicated that crop sequences composed of wheat, proso millet, and grain sorghum had higher residue coverage compared to sequences composed of the other crops. A producer operating on more fragile soil and concerned about reducing soil erosion hazards would be advised to grow crops that provide high residue coverage in the year before crops that provide low residue coverage.

Technical Abstract: The use of crop residue–conserving management practices, such as reduced tillage, no tillage, and chemical weed control, has allowed dryland cropping systems in the Great Plains to diversify. Crop diversification has increased the use of crop species that leave considerably less residue cover on the soil than do cereal grains. Crop diversification and crop sequence can influence crop residue coverage of the soil surface in no-till cropping systems. Crop residue on the soil surface protects soil resources from erosion, conserves soil water, and maintains soil quality. The influence of crop sequencing with 10 crops (buckwheat [Fagopyrum esculentum Moench], canola [Brassica napus L.], chickpea [Cicer arietinum L.], corn [Zea mays L.], dry pea [Pisum sativum L.], grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], lentil [Lens culinaris Medik.], oil seed sunflower [Helianthus annuus L.], proso millet [Panicum miliaceum L.], and hard red spring wheat [Triticum aestivum L.]) on crop residue coverage of the soil surface was evaluated. A crop matrix with 100 crop sequence treatments was created when 10 crops were direct seeded (no-till) into the crop residue of the same 10 crops at two sites. Following the 100 two-year crop sequence combinations crop residue coverage was measured with a transect technique after seeding spring wheat. With combined data from two sites, crop residue coverage following 65 out of 100 crop sequences was lower than a continuous wheat treatment. In general, crop residue coverage after spring wheat seeding indicated that crop sequences composed of wheat, proso millet, and grain sorghum had higher residue coverage compared to sequences composed of the other alternative crops. A producer operating on more fragile soil and concerned about reducing soil erosion hazards would be advised to grow crops that provide high residue coverage in the year before crops that provide low residue coverage.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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