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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #373150

Research Project: Optimizing Oilseed and Alternative Grain Crops: Innovative Production Systems and Agroecosystem Services

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Interseeded pennycress and camelina yield and influence on row crops

item PATEL, SWETABH - Iowa State University
item LENSSEN, ANDREW - Iowa State University
item MOORE, KENNETH - Iowa State University
item Mohammed, Yesuf
item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item WELLS, M - University Of Minnesota
item JOHNSON, BURTON - North Dakota State University
item BERTI, MARISOL - North Dakota State University
item MATTHEES, HEATHER - Land O'Lakes, Inc

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2021
Publication Date: 5/7/2021
Citation: Patel, S., Lenssen, A.W., Moore, K.J., Mohammed, Y.A., Gesch, R.W., Wells, M.S., Johnson, B.L., Berti, M.T., Matthees, H.L. 2021. Interseeded pennycress and camelina yield and influence on row crops. Agronomy Journal. 113(3):2629-2647.

Interpretive Summary: Pennycress and winter camelina are winter annual oilseeds. These oilseeds may be interseeded in standing corn and soybean as cash generating cover crops during late reproductive stage of corn and soybean. The winter oilseeds continue to grow the following spring and are harvested for seed while allowing soybean to be relay-cropped. However, little is known about the optimum time to interseed winter oilseeds or how interseeding effects their seed yields and quality as well as relayed soybean yield and quality. The objectives of the study were to evaluate effects of different interseeding dates during corn and soybean maturity on pennycress and winter camelina seed yield, oil content, relayed soybean yield and yield and quality of corn following relayed soybean. Three interseeding dates for corn and similar growth stages for soybean were evaluated at Ames, IA; Morris and Rosemount, MN; and Prosper, ND. Results indicated that late interseeding of winter oilseeds increased their seed yields. However, seed yields of pennycress and winter camelina interseeded into corn and soybean, regardless of date and location, were generally low. Soybean yield was decreased by 13-32% when relayed into pennycress and by 12 to 22% when relayed into winter camelina. Corn yield and quality were unaffected when following relayed soybean in rotation the next summer. The ecosystem services provided by these oilseeds (such as, reduced soil erosion and crop diversification) could help compensate for grain yield losses of relayed soybean, thus making them viable cover crops for corn-soybean production systems. However, more research is needed to improve agronomic management practices and develop improved varieties of pennycress and winter camelina to bolster overall productivity of these systems. Results will benefit producers interested in growing cover crops, extension specialists and consultants advising cover crop production, and other researchers working on developing winter camelina and pennycress.

Technical Abstract: Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) (PC) and winter camelina [Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz] (WC) have the potential to provide ecosystem services and economic incentives when adopted as an oilseed cover crops in corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotations. However, PC and WC establishment and yield in the northern Corn Belt and their subsequent impact on row crops are not well known. This study was conducted to determine the effects of interseeding dates (R4, R5, and R6; and R6, R7, and R8 development stages for corn and soybean, respectively) and cover crop species (PC, WC, and winter rye [Secale cereale L.]) on seed yield and oil content of interseeded oilseeds (PC and WC) and relay soybean, and 3rd-year corn grain yield and quality. Study sites were initiated near Ames, IA; Morris and Rosemount, MN; and Prosper, ND. Late interseeding of PC and WC resulted in greater oilseed yield. Overall yields of PC (218–880 kg ha–1) and WC (15–770 kg ha–1), averaged across interseeding dates, were low when interseeded in corn and soybean. The PC and WC reduced relay-soybean grain yield by 13–32% and 13–42%, respectively. Corn grain yield and quality following relay soybean were not affected by the residual effects of oilseed cover crops. Based on the results of our study, we do not recommend relay cropping soybean with PC and WC in the upper Midwest.