Location: Northern Great Plains Research LaboratoryTitle: Perennial forages influence mineral quality in annual cropping systems
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2020
Publication Date: 8/2/2020
Citation: Clemensen, A.K., Grusak, M.A., Duke, S.E., Franco Jr, J.G., Hendrickson, J.R., Liebig, M.A., Roemmich, J.N., Archer, D.W. 2020. Perennial forages influence mineral quality in annual cropping systems. Meeting Abstract. 1.
Technical Abstract: Background/Questions/Methods There have been suggestions that agricultural land management could influence food quality but there are limited studies that could elucidate potential connections between crop and soil quality with different land management strategies. A study in Mandan, ND focusing on introducing a perennial forage phase into annual cropping systems showed comparable yields between continuous spring wheat that was fertilized (Triticum aestivum L.), and unfertilized spring wheat seeded following 2 years of perennial forages such as alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Spring wheat yield increased by 19 and 41% following 3 and 4 years of alfalfa, respectively, and yield benefits persisted for 3-4 years. Including perennials resulted in reduced soil acidification and bulk density and increased particulate organic matter and water stable aggregates in near-surface soil compared to continuous annual spring wheat. To test whether mineral concentration in wheat grain would be greater when wheat followed perennial systems than from continuous annual cropping systems, we analyzed archived wheat grain samples from this study for mineral and protein concentrations. Results/Conclusions Preliminary results indicate strong relationships between wheat yield and grain mineral concentration, showing negative correlations (p < 0.01) between spring wheat yield and grain minerals Cu, K, Na, P, and Zn, while positive correlations (p < 0.04) were observed between wheat yield and grain Mn, S, and Se. Wheat grain following 5 years of alfalfa monoculture, intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkw. & D.R. Dewey sbsp. Intermedium) monoculture, and alfalfa / intermediate wheatgrass mixture showed greater concentrations of Zn and P than wheat grain following 1 year of all perennial treatments, with a visible gradient between 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years. Although additional analyses are underway, integrating perennial forages into annual cropping systems appears to increase the concentration of some grain minerals, in addition to increased crop yield and improved near-surface soil characteristics.