Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2010
Publication Date: 10/31/2010
Citation: Arriaga, F.J., Balkcom, K.S., Duzy, L.M., Acosta Martinez, V. 2010. Cotton yield and soil properties are affected by the harvest of a winter cover crop for bioenergy production [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting.
Technical Abstract: Rye (Secale cereale) is commonly used as a winter cover crop for conservation systems in the southeastern U.S. This cover crop can produce a significant amount of dry biomass, which is terminated and left as a mulch for the summer cash crop. However, the potential exists to harvest this biomass for bioenergy use. A study was established in 2004 in central Alabama to determine the impact of winter cover crop harvest on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) productivity and soil properties. Preliminary findings of this study thus far have shown that harvesting the rye biomass in the spring might provide an additional source of income to producers. Even after harvest, growing a winter cover crop increases cotton yields and provides some benefits to the soil, when compared to not having a cover crop. However, greater yields and soil benefits are achieved by growing a winter cover crop and leaving its biomass in the field.