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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343265

Research Project: Quantifying Air and Water Quality Benefits of Improved Poultry Manure Management Practices

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Diverse rotations and poultry litter improves soybean yield

item Ashworth, Amanda
item ALLEN, FRED - University Of Tennessee
item SAXTON, ARNOLD - University Of Tennessee
item TYLER, DONALD - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: CSA News
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2017
Publication Date: 6/1/2017
Citation: Ashworth, A.J., Allen, F.L., Saxton, A.M., Tyler, D.D. 2017. Diverse rotations and poultry litter improves soybean yield. CSA News. 62:14-14.doi:10.2134/csa2017.62.0606.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Continuous cropping systems without rotations or cover crops are perceived as unsustainable for long-term yield and soil health. Continuous systems, defined as continually producing a crop on the same parcel of land for more than three years, is thought to reduce yields. Given that crop rotations and soil amendments (cover crops and poultry litter) may alleviate issues associated with continuous cropping, research into their combined effects is necessary to make recommendations that improve soil quality and yield. In the 2017 issue of the Agronomy Journal, researchers studied 35-50 cropping sequence (corn, soybean, and cotton) and soil amendment/cover crops (hairy vetch, Austrian winter pea, wheat, poultry litter and a fallow control) combinations at two sites in Tennessee over a 12-yr study period. Based on 12-yr yields, a moderate-to-no yield penalty existed for continuous soybean, whereas yield benefits (11%) arose from poultry litter compared to wheat cover crop. This study determined that across all study years, incorporating corn once within a 4-yr cycle resulted in 8% greater yields than continuous soybean, whereas cotton (once or twice within a rotation) did not. Consequently, including corn once within a 4-yr cropping rotation with poultry litter improved soybean yields, concurrent with increases in soil N, P, K, and soil organic carbon.