Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2007
Publication Date: 6/5/2007
Citation: Tanaka, D.L., Krupinsky, J.M., Merrill, S.D., Liebig, M.A., Hanson, J.D. 2007. Dynamic cropping systems for sustainable crop production in the northern great plains. Agron. J. 99(4):904-911. Interpretive Summary: Agricultural producers are changing cropping systems to stay sustainable. Many are changing to dynamic cropping systems to take advantage of the inherent internal resources of cropping systems and capitalize on external resources such as weather, markets, government programs, and new technology. To develop dynamic cropping systems that are sustainable, producers need to know how to sequence crops in cropping systems. Research at Mandan, ND was designed to determine the influences of previous crop and crop residues on seed and residue yield and precipitation-use efficiency (PUE) for no-till crop production of buckwheat, canola, chickpea, corn, dry pea, grain sorghum, lentil, proso millet, sunflower, and spring wheat. Crops were grown in 2003 and 2004, years with below-average precipitation. For buckwheat, corn, dry pea, grain sorghum, proso millet, sunflower, and spring wheat, highest or near highest seed yield occurred when the previous crop was dry pea or lentil. Lowest or near lowest seed yield occurred when the crop was seeded on its own residue. Residue yields followed patterns similar to seed yield. For sustainable dynamic cropping systems, dry pea, sunflower, or spring wheat need to be included since they were consistent in their PUE no matter what the growing season precipitation distribution.
Technical Abstract: Dynamic cropping systems create a crop production environment that is changing. To take advantage of the inherent internal resources of a cropping system and capitalize on the external resources such as weather, markets, government programs, and new technology, producers need to know how to sequence crops to develop sustainable cropping systems. The objective of our research was to determine influences of previous crop and crop residues (crop sequence) on relative seed and residue yield and precipitation-use efficiency (PUE) for the no-till production of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), canola (Brassica napus L.), chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), corn (Zea mays L.), dry pea (Pisum sativum L.), grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.), lentil (Lens culinaris Medik), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.), sunflower (Helianthus annus L.), and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in the northern Great Plains. Growing season precipitation (May through September) during the research was below the long-term average (28.9 cm). Relative seed yield in 2003 was the highest or near highest for 7 of the 10 crops (buckwheat, corn, dry pea, grain sorghum, proso millet, sunflower, and spring wheat) when the previous crop was dry pea or lentil. In 2004, highest or near highest relative seed yield for 7 of the 10 crops (buckwheat, canola, chickpea, corn, lentil, proso millet, and spring wheat) occurred when dry pea was the previous crop. Lowest or near lowest relative seed yield both years occurred when the crop was seeded on its own residue from the previous crop. Relative residue yield followed a pattern similar to relative seed yield. Precipitation-use efficiency (PUE) grand means fluctuated for 7 of the 10 crops (buckwheat, canola, chickpea, corn, grain sorghum, lentil, and proso millet) both years, but those of dry pea, sunflower, and spring wheat remained somewhat constant suggesting these crops may have mechanisms for consistent PUE and were not as dependent on growing season precipitation distribution as the other 7 crops.