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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #330481

Title: Rotating annual crops with perennial grassland may increase micronutrient content of foodstuffs

item Kronberg, Scott
item Combs, Gerald
item Liebig, Mark
item RYSCHAWY, JULIE - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Some essential nutrients that plants provide to people and animals are minerals that must be derived from the soil. Several of these minerals are under-consumed by large numbers of people and likely contribute to costly health problems. Several factors influence mineral uptake by plants and some of these are influenced by soil and crop management such as crop rotation, soil treatment before seeding and fertilization. Therefore, this study evaluated the mineral content of a legume (pea) when it was grown 1) using no tillage, minimum tillage or conventional tillage techniques, 2) with or without artificial nitrogen fertilization and 3) if the perennial grassland vegetation that grew on the land several years before pea or wheat production was left on the soil to decay or removed as hay. The mineral content of a small grain (wheat) was also evaluated when it was grown using only no-till techniques, with or without artificial nitrogen fertilization and with or without perennial grass left to decay or removed as hay. Dry peas contained greater concentration (µg/g; P < 0.05) of calcium and zinc when grown with no-till techniques versus minimum or conventional tillage and contained more (P < 0.05) magnesium and manganese when grown using no-till or minimum till versus conventional tillage. Zinc and manganese concentrations in dry pea were higher (P < 0.05) with nitrogen fertilization while magnesium concentrations were lower. Copper and iron concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) in dry pea and wheat when the perennial vegetation was not removed. Only for magnesium in wheat was a mineral concentration elevated (P < 0.05) in either foodstuff when perennial vegetation was removed. These results suggest that concentrations of some micronutrients in important foodstuffs may be increased by disturbing soil less and rotating perennial grassland with annual crops.