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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbus, Ohio » Soil Drainage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344321

Research Project: Agricultural Water Management in Poorly Drained Midwestern Agroecosystems

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Title: Cover crops and gypsum applications: soybean and corn yield and profitability impacts

Author
item Batte, Marvin - University Of Kentucky
item Dick, Warren - The Ohio State University
item Fausey, Norman - Norm
item Flanagan, Dennis
item Gonzalez, Javier
item Islam, Rafiq - The Ohio State University
item Reeder, Randall - The Ohio State University
item Vantoai, Tara
item Watts, Dexter

Submitted to: Journal of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2017
Publication Date: 6/14/2018
Citation: Batte, M.T., Dick, W.A., Fausey, N.R., Flanagan, D.C., Gonzalez, J.M., Islam, R., Reeder, R., Vantoai, T.T., Watts, D.B. 2018. Cover crops and gypsum applications: soybean and corn yield and profitability impacts. Journal of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. 2018:43-67.

Interpretive Summary: Farmers and agricultural scientists are continuously in search of improved production methods that achieve greater farm profitability, reduce negative environmental impacts and make our system of agriculture more sustainable. A team of ARS and University researchers designed and conducted a project at 4 locations in 3 states (Alabama, Indiana, Ohio) to evaluate the potential crop yield and profitability benefits of an innovative, holistic soybean and corn farming system incorporating no-till with cover crops and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum soil amendments. This 5-year study found no supporting evidence of increased profitability of either practice. Results suggest that a resource conservation based subsidy to encourage gypsum application would need to be in the range of $44 to $68 per acre for each 1 ton gypsum application if the goal is to leave farm profits unchanged. This subsidy could, however, potentially reduce environmental costs and benefit society at

Technical Abstract: This study evaluated no-tillage management systems for soybeans and corn with and without cover crops and FGD gypsum treatments. Replicated field experiments were conducted in Ohio (two locations), Indiana and Alabama during 2012-2016. This article addresses yield and profitability consequences of these systems. Results provided no evidence of yield change associated with gypsum application. There were significant differences in yield at all four sites for plots with cover crops (three positive and one negative). Profitability was negatively impacted by gypsum application at all four sites, while cover crop impacts on profits were statistically significant for only one site.