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Title: Removal impact of rye (Secale cereale L.) as a winter cover crop for biomass production on soil properties and cotton yields

item Arriaga, Francisco
item Balkcom, Kipling

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2006
Publication Date: 10/23/2006
Citation: Ducamp, F., Arriaga, F.J., Balkcom, K.S., Mitchell, C.C. Removal impact of rye (Secale cereale L.) as a winter cover crop for biomass production on soil properties and cotton yields. 2006 Alternative Energy Solutions from Alabama's Natural Resources Conference.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Recently, there has been a renewed interest on alternatives sources of energy, especially renewable sources. Numerous materials can be used for this purpose, including crop residues. The use of crop residues would give farmers a new source of income. Utilization of winter cover crops (WCC) is a recommended practice for sustainable cropping systems in the Southeast. Biomass generated during winter months by cover crops is typically left on the soil surface during the summer growing season. It has been proposed that this biomass can be harvested for alternative fuel use. However, harvest of this material can have long-term detrimental effects on soil properties and quality. We are developing a long time experiment in Central Alabama, with the objective of studying the effect of WCC biomass removal on a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production system. The main plot-effect are WCC residue managements and the sub-plot effects are levels of N in cotton. Some of the measured variables include rye biomass and infiltration rate at cotton planting, and cotton yields. First year data has shown higher inputs of C and N when rye (Secale cereale L.) is left on soil surface than when it is removed. Infiltration rate at cotton planting was not different among residue treatments. WCC residue treatments and N fertilization had significant effects on cotton yields. This work will help determine the effect of residue removal on long-term productivity and soil properties, for crops systems including cotton.