Location: Crop Genetics Research
Project Number: 6066-21220-013-21-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Jun 30, 2021
Project 1: 1) Quantify the long-term impacts of cover crops, crop rotations, and their interactions on soil health including soil physical, chemical, and biological properties and their relationships with nutrient cycling and soil water availability under no-tillage, 2) Evaluate the long-term impacts of cover crops, crop rotations, and their interactions on crop yields, quality and crop resilience to temperature and moisture stresses under no-tillage, and 3) Quantify the long-term impacts of cover crops, crop rotations, and their interactions on the profitability and soybean and corn resistant to biotic stress under no-tillage. Project 2: 1) Quantify the short- and long-term effects of sawdust and biochar amendment on soil health including soil physical, chemical, and biological properties and their relationships with nutrient cycling and soil water availability, 2) Evaluate the short- and long-term impacts of soil additives on crop yields, quality and crop resilience to abnormal weather patterns and climate change, and 3) Access the short- and long-term impacts of remediated soil on the profitability and soybean and corn resistant to biotic stress.
Management Practices: Existing long-term field experiments at The University of Tennessee research and education centers will be used for this project. The first experiment is a soybean tillage study. This test was initiated on a Lexington silt loam at Jackson, Tennessee, in 1984, and has been conducted continuously for 34 years. Treatments of moldboard plow, no-till, and no-till with winter wheat as the cover crop will be used in this proposed project. The second field is a cover crop/N rate/tillage experiment conducted on cotton continuously on a Lexington silt loam at Jackson, Tennessee for 37 years (1981-present). This is probably one of the longest ongoing cover crop and tillage experiments on cotton in the Mid-South and the nation. The combinations of no cover crop, hairy vetch, and winter wheat with two tillage systems of no-tillage and conventional tillage will be used in this proposed project. Hairy vetch and winter wheat were established each fall with a no-till drill, and were killed in spring before cotton planting. The tilled plots were disked in the fall and then disked and field-cultivated during the following spring every year. The third trial is a crop rotation/cover crop study. This test has been continuously conducted on a Grenada silt loam at Milan, Tennessee for 16 years since 2002. Six crop rotation treatments of continuous corn, corn rotated with soybean, continuous soybean, soybean rotated with cotton, continuous cotton, and cotton rotated with corn under the no cover crop treatment will be used. Sand-Deposit Remediation: In 2018, we have established three new study plots to test various treatments of soil additives at the three Research & Education Centers in Jackson, Ames, and Milan, Tennessee. Soybeans are planted in Jackson and Milan, and cotton in Ames. A suite of in-situ and laboratory measurements and monitoring of soil and crop quality and yield will be done to evaluate the treatments. Future research will include test of drought and disease tolerant species.