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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319482

Title: Industrial oilseeds bolster "hub" crop yields when used in rotation

item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item Forcella, Frank
item Schneider, Sharon
item EBERLE, CARRIE - University Of Minnesota
item Riedell, Walter
item Lundgren, Jonathan
item Nemec, Kristine
item Weyers, Sharon
item Johnson, Jane
item Thom, Matthew

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/22/2015
Publication Date: 10/22/2015
Citation: Gesch, R.W., Forcella, F., Papiernik, S.K., Eberle, C., Riedell, W.E., Lundgren, J.G., Nemec, K.T., Weyers, S.L., Johnson, J.M., Thom, M.D. 2015. Industrial oilseeds bolster "hub" crop yields when used in rotation [abstract]. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops. p. 19.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Lack of agroecosystem diversity across the U.S. agricultural landscape is linked to several environmental issues associated with air, water, and soil quality and biodiversity. Several new industrial oilseed crops with commercial potential, offer farmers new economic opportunities and a portfolio of crops that could be used to rotate with primary commodity crops (i.e., “hub” crops) to diversify cropping systems while improving environmental and economic sustainability. However, few studies have addressed the effects of rotating new crops with hub crops for a given agricultural region. A field study was conducted from 2013 to 2015 at two sites: Morris, Minnesota, and Brookings, South Dakota, in the Northern Corn Belt to address some of the effects of following several new/alternative oilseed crops with the hub crops: corn, soybean, and spring wheat. Oilseeds grown in the study included sunflower, crambe, flax, canola, calendula, camelina, echium, cuphea, and borage. Results including water use, water-use efficiency, and crop yields are reported for the first two years of the study. Seed yields of new/alternative oilseed crops across both locations ranged from about 0.3 to 2.5 Mg ha-1. Seasonal water use varied among industrial oilseed crops at each location, but was always lower than that of corn and soybean, except for sunflower at Brookings. However, water-use efficiency of seed production tended to be greater in the more genetically-refined corn and soybean, indicating an area for improvement of industrial oilseeds. Corn, soybean, and wheat yields were generally greater when following the oilseed crops than when they followed each other or were continuously cropped in rotation. When following industrial oilseeds in rotation, soybean grain yields were as much as 44% greater and corn yields as much as 28% greater than when continuously cropped. Our initial results indicate that corn, soybean, and spring wheat yields benefit when following industrial oilseeds in crop rotation.