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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Research Project #444367

Research Project: Getting to the ROOT of the Corn Yield Drag Following Cover Crops: A Cereal Rye Residue Manipulation Experiment

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Project Number: 5030-21600-002-004-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2023
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

To improve our understanding of the mechanistic drivers of corn yield decreases following a cereal rye cover crop (CC), including soil nitrogen (N) dynamics, soil water availability, and corn seedling disease.

Field experiments will be conducted at two cooperator research sites in Central and Southeast Iowa. We will implement main plot treatments with corn grown in plots with i) a cereal rye CC; ii) cereal rye roots only; iii) cereal rye shoots only; or iv) no cereal rye (control). Subplots within each main plot will include six different N rates: 0, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300 lb N/acre. ARS will lead data collection for continuous measurement of i) soil water content, temperature, and electrical conductivity using time-domain reflectometry sensors and data loggers, ii) infiltration using ring infiltrometers, and iii) wet aggregate stability. These metrics will be assessed with only one N application rate at each field site.