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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323315

Title: 120 years of sustainable crop production

item MITCHELL, CHARLES - Auburn University
item DELANEY, DENNIS - Auburn University
item Balkcom, Kipling

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2015
Publication Date: 11/15/2015
Citation: Mitchell, C.C., Delaney, D., Balkcom, K.S. 2015. 120 years of sustainable crop production. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the late 1800s, the Southern U.S. was producing most of the world’s cotton on highly erodible soils with little or no lime or fertilizer. Cotton every year without cover crops was taking a toll from the land and its farmers. Land Grant Universities and Experiment Stations were just getting started when Professor J.F. Duggar at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Auburn University) established an experiment to test his theories that agriculture could thrive if only farmers would “. . . keep their fields green in winter.” Thus began Alabama’s “Old Rotation” experiment (circa 1896) followed by the nearby “Cullars Rotation” experiment (circa 1911) two of the oldest, continuous experiments in the world involving cotton. They continue because of their contribution to our knowledge of sustainable crop production on the highly weathered soils of the Southeastern U.S. These experiments remain relevant because they have been modified for conservation tillage, irrigation, moisture monitoring and IPM and support relevant topics such as “sustainable agriculture”, “soil health”, and “nutrient use efficiency”.