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Research Project: Precision Farming for Development of Sustainable Dryland Cropping Systems of the Central Great Plains Region

Location: Central Great Plains Resources Management Research

Title: Soil chemical properties after 12 years of tillage and crop rotation

Author
item Mikha, Maysoon
item HERGERT, GARY - University Of Nebraska
item QIAO, XIN - University Of Nebraska
item MAHARJAN, BIJESH - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2020
Publication Date: 6/19/2020
Citation: Mikha, M.M., Hergert, G., Qiao, X., Maharjan, B. 2020. Soil chemical properties after 12 years of tillage and crop rotation. Agronomy Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.20281.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.20281

Interpretive Summary: The inclusion of various crop rotations in agricultural systems were found to have several benefits, such as breaking pest life cycles, reducing weed problems, controlling soil erosion, enhancing soil nutrient dynamics, improving productivity, and increasing overall net returns. In recent years, conservation tillage and/or strip tillage (ST) is being implemented with some crops in rotation to address some of the concerns regarding soil quality parameters and land sustainability. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of different tillage practices and crop rotations on: (1) crop yield; (2) chemical properties; and (3) particulate organic matter (POM). The study was initiated in 2007 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and extension Center near Scottsbluff, NE. Tillage practices were no-tillage (NT); zone tillage (ZT); and Plow. Crops in rotation were Corn (Zea-mays), C; Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), DB; and Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), SB, organized in 3- and 4-year rotations where each phase of rotation accrued at the same year. The 2018 crop yields were influenced by the previous crop, but not by tillage, except for SB where tillage influenced yield. In the 3-year rotation of corn following dry bean (C-C-DB), corn had the highest yield (15.6 Mg ha-1) when compared with other corn yields in other rotations. Whereas, corn following corn at the same rotation (C-C-DB) had significant yield reduction by an average of 4.7 Mg ha-1 (30%). In the 4-year rotation, corn yield following DB in C-DB-C-SB rotation was significantly greater by approximately 1.8 Mg ha-1 (14%) when compared with corn yield following SB at the same rotation. The SB yield was enhanced by an average of 10 Mg ha-1 (17%) for plow and by 8 Mg ha-1 (13%) for ZT when compared with NT practices. After 12 years of management, soil chemical properties were not influenced by tillage or crop rotation. Crop rotation with higher biomass production enhanced soil organic matter (SOM) by 22% and soil organic carbon (SOC) by 28% in C at 66% cropping frequency (CF) compared with C at 50% CF. Soil POM at 0- to 20-cm was higher with NT by 32% and with ZT by 17% compared with plow. In In general, the addition of organic amendment could be the possibility to offset lower crop biomass production

Technical Abstract: In Western Nebraska, crop rotation can improve productivity, enhance economical return, and reduce soil erosion. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of different tillage practices and crop rotations on: (1) crop yield; (2) chemical properties; and (3) particulate organic matter (POM). The study was initiated in 2007 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center near Scottsbluff, NE. Tillage practices were no-tillage (NT); zone tillage (ZT); and Plow. Crops in rotation were Corn (Zea-mays L.), C; dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), DB; and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), SB, organized in 3- and 4-year such that each phase of rotation was present each year. Soil samples were taken in the spring of 2019 at 0- to 20-cm depth for evaluation of POM and soil chemical concentration. Crop yields were influenced by the previous crop, but not by tillage, except for SB where tillage influenced yield. Corn yield following DB was the highest yield (15.6 Mg ha-1) compared with corn following C or SB. Soil chemical properties were not influenced by tillage or crop rotation. Crop rotation with higher biomass production enhanced soil organic matter (SOM) by 22% and soil organic carbon (SOC) by 28% in C at 66% cropping frequency (CF) compared with C at 50% CF. Soil POM at 0- to 20-cm was higher with NT by 32% and with ZT by 17% compared with plow. In general, the addition of organic amendment could be the possibility to offset lower crop biomass production