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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358505

Title: Corn and soybean grain yield responses to soil amendments and cover crop in upland soils

item Adeli, Ardeshir
item Brooks, John
item Read, John
item Feng, Gary
item Miles, Dana
item SHANKLE, MARK - Mississippi State University
item Jenkins, Johnie

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2019
Publication Date: 8/24/2019
Citation: Adeli, A., Brooks, J.P., Read, J.J., Feng, G.G., Miles, D.M., Shankle, M.W., Jenkins, J.N. 2019. Corn and soybean grain yield responses to soil amendments and cover crop in upland soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 42(19):2484-2497.

Interpretive Summary: Crops in upland soils are mainly grown under no-till systems. Interest in no-till was primarily driven by the need to reduce soil erosion. Poultry litter as fertilizer source for crop production on these soils has shown to be an effective fertilizer. However, surface application of broiler litter without incorporation in no-till fields exposes the litter N to potential loss through NH3 volatilization, concentrates P at the soil surface where it is vulnerable to runoff. Transfer of P from not-till fields not only poses potential problems for aquatic ecosystems but also reduces nutrient availability for crop production and may affect yields. Any management practice that reduces nutrient accumulation and minimizes nutrient losses into water bodies could be agronomically and environmentally advantageous. Mixing flue gas desulfurization (FGD gypsum), with poultry litter at the time of applications and seeding winter cover crops after harvesting row crops could be considered as management practices that mitigate P losses in surface runoff and prevent residual N from leaching during rainy season, respectively. The objective of this study was to evaluate the integration of cover crop, poultry litter and FGD gypsum into no-till corn-soybean rotation on corn and soybean grain yields, grain N and P utilization and post-harvest soil mineral N and P concentrations.

Technical Abstract: A field study was conducted on upland soils for six years to determine interactive effects of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cover crop, organic and inorganic soil amendments on grain yields and nutrient utilizations in a no-till corn (Zea mays)-soybean (Glycine max) rotation. Experimental design was a split-plot arrangement with four replicates. Cover crops were the main plots and fertilization treatments used as sub-plot. Fertilization treatments included an unfertilized control, poultry litter, poultry litter plus flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum and inorganic N fertilizer applied every other year to corn. Corn grain yield and grain N and P uptake were greater with poultry litter than inorganic fertilizer in 2014 and 2016. Addition of FGD gypsum to poultry litter significantly increased corn grain yield by 15% in 2016. Cover crop increased corn and soybean grain yields in a year with less seasonal rainfall possibly by conserving soil moisture.