Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #134963

Title: SOYBEAN RESPONSE TO PLANT DENSITY AND RESIDUAL SOIL MANAGEMENT

Author
item Singer, Jeremy
item HECKMAN, JOSEPH

Submitted to: Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2002
Publication Date: 12/15/2003
Citation: SINGER, J.W., HECKMAN, J.R. SOYBEAN RESPONSE TO PLANT DENSITY AND RESIDUAL SOIL MANAGEMENT. JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE. 2003. V. 23. P. 79-90.

Interpretive Summary: Proximity to animal production determines the feasibility of using animal manures in cash crop farming systems. The objectives of our research were to determine the effect on continuous soybean growth and yield of dairy manure. The results of a three year study suggest that the use of manure in previous years had a more beneficial effect in dry years than years with average rainfall. This benefit is related to retention in soils with greater levels of organic matter. Our results also demonstrate that organic matter levels will persist and possibly increase under no-till soybean production. Finally, we do not recommend seeding full-season soybean in narrow row spacings at greater than 371,000 seeds per hectare in upland New Jersey soils. These results will assist soybean producers in deriving benefits from manure use.

Technical Abstract: Proximity determines the feasibility of using animal manures in cash crop farming systems. The objectives of our research were to determine the residual effect of dairy (Bos taurus) manure application to corn (Zea mays L.) on subsequent continuous soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] light interception, dry matter (DM), nitrogen (N) accumulation, root nodule number, and seed yield at different plant densities under previous soil management regimes. The 3-yr study was conducted on a Quakertown silt loam (fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludult) at an upland New Jersey location. Plant densities were 371,000, 494,000 and 618,000 plants ha-1 and previous soil management treatments applied to corn from 1995-1998 were a control, sidedress N, manure, and manure plus sidedress N. Light interception, DM and N accumulation at R1-R2 were poor predictors of seed yield under these plant densities and residual soil management regimes. Seed yield in manure treatments was 48% greater than non-manure treatments in a dry year, but was similar or minimally greater in the two years with average precipitation. However, our results suggest that agricultural land with a short-term history of manure inputs can provide beneficial effects even for continuous no-till soybean production, particularly in dry years.