Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production in the southeastern USA has increased in the past 10 yr, but because of soil loss from conventional tillage practices many areas cropped to cotton have shallow eroded soil profiles that limit production. Cover crops can improve soil productivity by increasing organic matter and nutrient retention. Interactions among crop residue N content, soil N mineralization rates, and climatic conditions make N management more difficult in conservation tillage systems. The effect of crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) and winter rye (Secale cereale L.)cover crops on N mineralization in two long term no-tillage cotton-cover crop systems was evaluated using in situ soil cores. Greater amounts and faster rates of N mineralization were observed following crimson than after rye. The results indicate that N availability may be limited in the rye system and that N loss through leaching could occur during the fall in both systems. Patterns of N release should be considered when N management strategies are developed in cover crop systems to avoid loss of N to the environment.