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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research » Research » Research Project #439193

Research Project: PCHI: Assessment of Soil Health and Nitrogen Economy in Lentil and Pea Cropping Systems

Location: Small Grain and Food Crops Quality Research

Project Number: 3060-21650-002-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

1. Develop cropping systems which improve soil health through inclusion of peas or lentils. 2. Determine the effect of crop sequence and rotation length on nodulation and root rot in peas and lentils. 3. Determine if yield and protein of small grain crops can be sustained following field pea or lentil using soil nitrogen credits in a no-till, semi-arid cropping system.

This project seeks to identify crop rotation length and crop sequence which maximizes the soil health and nitrogen fixing benefits of peas and lentils within the context of a cropping system. Data will be collected from three on-going cropping systems studies which feature alternative crops (canola, camelina or safflower) and small grains (HRSW, durum and/or barley) and different rotation lengths and/or rotation sequences. Root rot, nodulation and biomass nitrogen will be assessed over three years in the pea and lentil phases of these studies. Soil health analysis will be conducted on the durum or wheat phases of these studies over two years. Soil nitrate and pH will be monitored annually, and nitrate measurements will be used to determine fertility in small grain crops. Nitrogen fertilizer used will be minimized by using lentil and pea nitrogen credits, with the goal of reducing soil acidity, and increasing soil health and profitability.