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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365741

Research Project: Management Practices for Long Term Productivity of Great Plains Agriculture

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Yields of First and Second Wheat Crops in Two Four-year Dryland Rotations

item Nielsen, David
item Vigil, Merle

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: n/a

Technical Abstract: Wheat remains the base crop for all dryland crop rotations in the Central Great Plains. Yet adding diversity to cropping systems and intensifying rotations beyond the traditional wheat-fallow system remains a goal of many farmers. The objective of this study was to determine first and second year wheat crops in two four-year dryland rotations varying in crop water use during the non-wheat phases and the length of the non-crop period prior to planting the first wheat crop. The study was conducted from 1998-2017 (20 yr) at Akron, Colorado. The two rotations were wheat-wheat-corn-millet (WWCM) and wheat-wheat-millet-pea (WWMP). Wheat yield (averaged over first and second wheat crops) was 12.9% greater for WWMP than for WWCM due to the greater non-crop period water accumulation before the first wheat crop with WWMP than with WWCM. First crop wheat yield was 28.5% greater for WWMP than for WWCM. Second crop wheat yields were not affected by rotation and averaged 1661 kg/ha (1483 lb/a). Both rotations provided adequate wheat yields to recommend their use in continuous dryland cropping systems. However, for farmers having the marketing opportunities for producing peas, the WWMP rotation offers the potential for somewhat greater wheat yields and the benefits of having a legume as one phase of the rotation.