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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND PRODUCER PROFITABILITY Title: Centennial of Alabama's cullars rotation, the south’s oldest, continuous, soil fertility experiment

Authors
item Mitchell, Charles -
item Delaney, Dennis -
item Balkcom, Kipling

Submitted to: Agricultural Experiment Station Publication
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Citation: Mitchell, C.C., Delaney, D., Balkcom, K.S. 2011. Centennial of Alabama's cullars rotation, the south’s oldest, continuous, soil fertility experiment. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Research Bulletin No. 676. Available: http://www.aaes.auburn.edu/comm/pubs/bulletins/bull676.pdf.

Interpretive Summary: Alabama’s “Cullars Rotation” experiment (circa 1911) was placed on the National Register of Historical Places as the oldest, continuous, soil fertility experiment in the South in 2003. Along with its nearby predecessor on the National Register, “The Old Rotation” (circa 1896), these experiments contain the oldest, cotton research plots in the world. Both are located on the campus of Auburn University in east-central Alabama with management performed by Auburn Univ. scientists and ARS researchers in Auburn, AL. Treatments on the Cullars Rotation demonstrate dramatically the long-term effects of fertilization and the lack of specific nutrients on non-irrigated crop yields over a 100-year period. The Cullars Rotation is one of the few sites where controlled nutrient deficiencies can be observed on 5 different crops during the course of a year (cotton, crimson clover, corn, wheat, and soybean). The experiment preserves a site for monitoring nutrient accumulation and loss and soil quality changes and their effects on long-term sustainability of an intensive crop rotation system.

Technical Abstract: Alabama’s “Cullars Rotation” experiment (circa 1911) was placed on the National Register of Historical Places as the oldest, continuous, soil fertility experiment in the South in 2003. Along with its nearby predecessor on the National Register, “The Old Rotation” (circa 1896), these experiments contain the oldest, cotton research plots in the world. Both are located on the campus of Auburn University in east-central Alabama. Treatments on the Cullars Rotation demonstrate dramatically the long-term effects of fertilization and the lack of specific nutrients on non-irrigated crop yields over a 100-year period. The Cullars Rotation is one of the few sites where controlled nutrient deficiencies can be observed on 5 different crops during the course of a year (cotton, crimson clover, corn, wheat, and soybean). The experiment preserves a site for monitoring nutrient accumulation and loss and soil quality changes and their effects on long-term sustainability of an intensive crop rotation system.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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