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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228721

Title: Yields of Corn Silage Fertilized with Manure and Grown with Legume or Non-legume Companion Crops

item Grabber, John

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2009
Publication Date: 11/1/2009
Citation: Grabber, J.H. 2009. Yields of Corn Silage Fertilized with Manure and Grown with Legume or Non-legume Companion Crops. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Abstract No. 54579.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In addition to reducing nitrate and soil losses, cover crops and living mulches could enhance corn silage yields. In a four-year study in southern Wisconsin, no-till corn was grown with herbicide-suppressed Kura-clover or with June-interseeded red clover followed by one year of clover production. These rotations were compared to continuous corn grown with June-interseeded Italian ryegrass, September-seeded winter rye, or no cover crop. Each year, manure slurry was applied on a phosphorus basis and continuous corn plots received additional fertilizer at planting to supply 180 kg/ha of available nitrogen. In 2003 (dry summer), dry matter yields of corn silage were greatest with red clover (23.0 Mg/ha) and lowest with Italian ryegrass (18.4 Mg/ha). In 2004 (wet spring and cool summer), corn silage yields with kura clover (20.0 Mg/ha) exceeded other companion crop systems (16.1 to 17.8 Mg/ha). In 2005 (dry spring and early summer), corn silage yields with red clover (22.1 Mg/ha) surpassed other systems (14.1 to 16.3 Mg/ha). In 2006 (wet spring, uneven stands), corn silage yields were greatest with kura and red clover (16.0 Mg/ha, respectively) and lowest with Italian ryegrass (12.2 Mg/ha). Spring vs. fall manure application did not influence corn yields. Growth of companion crops was greatest for Italian ryegrass (0.9 to 2.0 Mg/ha) by late October while growth of winter rye (2.9 to 5.7 Mg/ha) exceeded other companion crops by late April. Overall, corn silage yields tended to be enhanced by clovers, depressed by Italian ryegrass, and not influenced by winter rye companion crops.