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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341386

Research Project: Stewardship of Upper Midwest Soil and Air Resources through Regionally Adapted Management Practices

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Long-term productivity in traditional, organic and low-input management systems of the Upper Midwest

item Weyers, Sharon
item Archer, David
item Johnson, Jane
item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item Forcella, Frank

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2017
Publication Date: 10/25/2017
Citation: Weyers, S.L., Archer, D.W., Johnson, J.M., Gesch, R.W., Forcella, F. 2017. Long-term productivity in traditional, organic and low-input management systems of the Upper Midwest [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Oct. 22-25, 2017, Tampa, FL. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Traditional cropping practices in the Upper Midwest are marked by low-diversity and high tillage disturbance. Eight years of production were evaluated to determine potential benefits of adopting low-input and organic management practices on system productivity. Increased crop rotation diversity, reduced tillage, and use of animal manure or no fertilizer, employed in organic and low-input systems, were compared to traditional management. A four-year, corn/soybean/wheat-alfalfa/alfalfa rotation replaced the traditional two-year corn-soybean rotation. Strip-tillage replaced conventional moldboard plow. Animal manure or no fertilizer, respectively in organic and low-input systems, replaced inorganic fertilizers. Eight years of findings indicated overall system productivity was better under traditional management, largely due to tillage impacts on corn yields. Within organic and low-input systems, tillage also had an impact on productivity due to a positive influence on corn yields. These systems were marked by strict adherence to a tillage management scheme. Future research should investigate rotational tillage schemes and alternative mechanisms to improve nutrient availability in organic and low-input production systems.