Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2004
Publication Date: 11/3/2004
Citation: Osborne, S.L., Schumacher, T.E., Riedell, W.E., Humburg, D.H. 2004. Utilizing cover crops to increase adoption of no-till soil management [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting, October 31-November 4, 2004, Seattle, WA.
Technical Abstract: Protecting soil from erosion, improving soil organic matter and improving soil moisture storage are benefits of no-till (NT) soil management. Even with these benefits there are potential problems without proper management. One of the potential problems with NT soil management in eastern South Dakota is the wet and cold soils at the time of planting leading to delayed planting and crop emergence and growth. Cover crops have the potential to utilize excess soil moisture and improve soil conditions. A field experiment was established to evaluate the impact of 14 different cover crop species as well as no cover crop in a NT system and a conventional tilled (CT) treatment on soil conditions prior to planting and the effect on corn yield, and quality. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with four replications. Cover crop species that survived the winter (hairy vetch, red clover, sweet clover, Alsike clover, slender wheatgrass, and winter ryegrass) increased soil strength and reduced soil moisture. Corn yield for plots grown after red clover, winter ryegrass and no cover crop were significantly higher than corn grown after CT, hairy vetch and slender wheatgrass. This experiment illustrated the ability of cover crops to utilize excess soil moisture and increase soil strength compared to CT or no cover crop.