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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Crop Production Systems Research » Research » Research Project #427342

Research Project: Development of Productive, Profitable, and Sustainable Crop Production Systems for the Mid-South

Location: Crop Production Systems Research

2019 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Optimize early soybean production system and associated pest management strategies for the Mid-Southern United States. Objective 2: Develop innovative cotton management approaches that will optimize physiological responses of the cotton plant to environmental factors so that it can make the most efficient use of production inputs to improve lint yield and fiber quality. Sub-objective 2.1: Quantify yield, fiber quality, growth and development for varying cotton plant population densities with adequate and less-than-adequate N fertilization, and under irrigated or dryland production. Sub-objective 2.2: Quantify yield, fiber quality, growth and development for varying cotton varieties grown in both twin-row and single-row planting patterns under irrigated or dryland production. Sub-objective 2.3: Assess benefits of transgenic and non-transgenic cotton-soybean rotation systems on soil properties, weeds, yield, and seed and fiber quality in the Mississippi Delta. Objective 3: Assess the benefits of new drought tolerant, multiple herbicide-resistant, and insect-resistant (stacked gene traits) in current or new production systems. Objective 4: Assess impacts of transgene and glyphosate applications on soil microbial communities, plant-microbe interactions, as well as plant health and productivity in corn and soybean. Objective 5: Identify new and/or alternative crops for the Mid-South, determine their potential, and develop management strategies for integration and production.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The purpose of this project is to develop productive, profitable, and sustainable crop production systems for three of the mid-southern major row crops (soybean, cotton, and corn) that increase yield, improve quality, and reduce production costs. Over the next five years, we will conduct customer-driven basic and applied research aimed at improving regional-specific cropping systems that are profitable, conserve natural resources, provide effective pest control, and make efficient use of production inputs. The specific production practices to be researched in these 3 major crops include row patterns and row spacing, seeding rates, new genotypes, nutrient management, crop rotations, irrigation, planting dates, and transgene and glyphosate effects on plant health and productivity of corn and soybean. In addition, alternative crops that could be produced using existing equipment and fit into rotation systems will be researched.

3. Progress Report:
This is the final report for this project; replaced by bridging project 6066-22000-089-00D pending completion of National Program 305 review. Final field evaluations and laboratory assays of MG III soybean germplasm are completed and data being used in a Variety Registration which is in preparation. Growth and yield of cotton was improved following rotation with soybean. Three manuscripts thus far have been published from cotton-soybean rotation study. A third growing season was necessary for the drought tolerant corn hybrids. Data were analyzed, a manuscript submitted for publication and minor revisions requested from the reviewers. Changes were made, resubmitted, and accepted. Assessment of glyphosate-resistant gene and glyphosate applications on soil microbial communities, plant-microbe interactions, as well as plant health and productivity in soybean and corn was completed along with soil and plant sample analysis. Manuscripts on soybean and corn have been published. A third planting of grain sorghum hybrids X population x row spacing was unnecessary. Data were analyzed and a manuscript submitted, and published. An experiment examining potentially genetic resistance to sugarcane aphid was initiated in response to the insect’s appearance. Two seasons have been successfully harvested. Data analyzed, manuscript prepared, and published. An experiment on grain sorghum hybrids X planting date X irrigation has been completed, data analyzed, and a manuscript published. A 2-yr field experiment on guar (alternate crop for the mid-south, was terminated. Although Guar crop can be grown under Stoneville environment, it failed to produce seed. This was mainly due to lack of availability of suitable cultivars for the region.

4. Accomplishments
1. Soybean rotation with cotton. Rotating soybean with cotton has a potential to increase crop yields but information is lacking. ARS researchers in Stoneville, Mississippi, examined four irrigated cotton:soybean rotation systems to continuous soybean from 2012 to 2015 and found no differences in seed yields among the rotations. Yearly average yields across all rotations did differ and coincided with differences in rainfall/irrigation totals. Weights of 100-seed samples across rotations found 2015 to be lower (13.9 g) than the previous years (16.2, 15.6, and 16.2 g; 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively). These results indicate that rotations of cotton with soybean appear to have neither a beneficial nor negative effect on soybean yield.

2. Effect of cotton:soybean rotation on the soil fertility levels. Information on soybean and cotton rotations, particularly their effect on soil fertility is limited. ARS researchers in Stoneville, Mississippi, examined six irrigated cotton:soybean rotation systems for changes in soil fertility levels from 2012 to 2016 and found no differences in cation exchange capacity, organic matter, pH, or macro nutrient levels among the rotations, over the five sampling periods or weed control methods used for either crop.

3. Very little information is available about double cropping grain sorghum behild wheat in the Mississippi Delta. ARS researchers in Stoneville, Mississippi, evaluated the potential of using grain sorghum as a drought tolerant option in a double-crop system behind wheat harvest instead of soybean by comparing yields of several hybrids seeded in June, and the usual seedings of sorghum made in May. Irrigation vs. no irrigation was included in the experiment. Irrigation had no benefit to yield on either seeding date. May seedings yielded more grain (>5168 kg/ha than June seedings (<4626 kg/ha). Though June seedings yield less than May seedings, double-crop grain sorghum is a potential water saving crop that can be as profitable as double-crop soybean given production without irrigations, reduced seed costs, and prices paid for the two crops.

Review Publications
Huang, Y., Fisher, D.K., Silva, M., Thomson, S.J. 2019. A real-time web tool for safe guide system for aerial application to avoid off-target movement of spray induced by staple atmospheric conditions in the Mississippi Delta. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 35(1):31-38.
Reddy, K.N., Molin, W.T. 2019. Sustainable weed control in cotton. In: Korres, N.E., Burgos, N.R., and Duke, S.O., editors. Weed Control Sustainability, Hazards and Risks in Cropping Systems Worldwide. Boca Raton, Florida, CRC Press: Taylor and Francis Group. p. 306-324.
Anapalli, S.S., Fisher, D.K., Reddy, K.N., Krutz, L.J., Rao, S.P., Sui, R. 2019. Quantifying water and CO2 fluxes and water use efficiencies across irrigated C3 and C4 crops in a humid climate. Science of the Total Environment. 663:338-350.
Reddy, K.N., Cizdziel, J.V., Williams, M., Maul, J.E., Rimando, A.M., Duke, S.O. 2018. Glyphosate resistance technology has minimal or no effect on maize mineral content and yield. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 66:10139-10146.
Anapalli, S.S., Reddy, K.N., Jagadamma, S. 2018. Conservation tillage impacts and adaptations in irrigated corn production in a humid climate. Agronomy Journal. 110(6):1-14.
Huang, Y., Lee, M.A., Nandula, V.K., Reddy, K.N. 2018. Hyperspectral imaging for differentiating glyphosate-resistant and glyphosate-susceptible Italian Ryegrass. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 9:1467-1477.
Duke, S.O., Reddy, K.N. 2018. Is mineral nutrition of Glyphosate-resistant crops altered by Glyphosate treatment? Outlooks on Pest Management. 29(5):206-208.
Korres, N.E., Rouse, C., Reddy, K.N., King, A.C. 2019. Sustainable weed control in soybean. In Korres, N.E., Burgos, N.P., Duke, S.O., editors. Weed Control Sustainability, Hazards and Risks in Cropping Systems Worldwide. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. p.288-305.
Bruns, H.A., Reddy, K.N., Pettigrew, W.T. 2018. A lack of response of irrigated soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) in rotation with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in the Mississippi Delta, USA. Archives of Agriculture and Environmental Science. 3(3):261-263.
Bruns, H.A. 2019. Grain sorghum yield components as influenced by hybrid, seeding date and irrigation. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 2:180030.