Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2006
Publication Date: 2/5/2007
Citation: Ducamp, F., Arriaga, F.J., Balkcom, K.S., Mitchell, C. 2007. Impact of Winter Cover Crop Biomass Removal on Soil Properties and Cotton Yield [Abstract}. Southern Branch American Society of Agronomy Annual Meetings Abstracts. 2007 CD-ROM.
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. The use of winter cover crops (WCC) is recommended 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 term 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-effects are WCC residue managements and the sub-plot effects are levels of N in cotton. Measured variables include aggregates stability and soil penetrability at cotton planting, and cotton yields. First year data has shown no difference in aggregates stability among residue treatments, while differences in soil penetrability were significant at some depths. 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.