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Title: Grazing winter cover crops in a cotton-cover crop conservation tillage system

item Schomberg, Harry
item Reeves, Donald
item Fisher, Dwight
item Raper, Randy
item Endale, Dinku
item Jenkins, Michael

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2009
Publication Date: 11/1/2009
Citation: Schomberg, H.H., Reeves, D.W., Fisher, D.S., Raper, R.L., Endale, D.M., Jenkins, M. 2009. Grazing winter cover crops in a cotton-cover crop conservation tillage system [Abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting, November 1-5, 2009, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Grazing of winter annual cover crops may offset costs and increase farm revenue in conservation tillage systems. However, cattle may create management problems due to soil compaction and removal of surface residues which may cause potential loss of yield. We report on a four year study to evaluate grazing effects on conservation tillage cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) grown on Cecil soil (fine, kaolinitic, thermic, Typic Kanhapludult) at the USDA-ARS Research Center, Watkinsville, GA. In 2006 and 2007 cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) provided 4.0 to 4.5 Mg ha-1 of forage, enough for 3.5 Angus heifers (Bos Taurus) ha-1 between February 1st and April 15th. Rye consumed in 2008 was about ½ this amount due to dry weather. Cotton lint yields averaged 1.29 Mg ha-1 in 2006, 15 to 20% of this amount in 2007 (a year of sever drought) and 0.98 Mg ha-1 in 2008. There appeared to be little difference in yields due to grazing.