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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378210

Research Project: Sustaining Agroecosystems and Water Resources in the Northeastern U.S.

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Winter annual management to increase nutrient recovery and forage production on dairies

item BINDER, JONATHAN - Pennsylvania State University
item KARSTEN, HEATHER - Pennsylvania State University
item BEEGLE, DOUGLAS - Pennsylvania State University
item Dell, Curtis

Submitted to: Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2021
Publication Date: 5/2/2021
Citation: Binder, J., Karsten, H., Beegle, D., Dell, C.J. 2021. Winter annual management to increase nutrient recovery and forage production on dairies. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 4(2):1-12. e20157.

Interpretive Summary: Several management practices have been shown to increase efficiency of nitrogen use by silage corn, but the value of using combinations of practices is not well known. Combines of winter rye cover crop management, manure application method, and manure application timing options were tested. Combined use of rye double cropping (harvest of winter cover crop before corn planting) and cover crop planting prior to manure application led to the greatest crop N uptake and forage yield.

Technical Abstract: Double cropping forage cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) before corn (Zea mays L.), injecting liquid dairy cow (Bos taurus L.) manure, and planting rye and allowing it to establish before manure application late in the fall may increase nutrient utilization and forage production. This one-year full-factorial experiment conducted in Pennsylvania quantified the effects of 3 management factors: (i) rye management (RyeM) (early-terminated cover crop [CC] vs. double crop harvested a week later [DC]), (ii) manure application method (ManM) (unincorporated broadcasted manure [BM]) vs. shallow disk injected manure [IM]), and (iii) fall field operation prioritization (priority) (manure priority [MP]: manure application in late September with rye planting in mid-October; and rye priority [RP]: rye planting in late September with manure application in early November) on rye biomass, rye apparent manure-N and -P recovery (ANR and APR, respectively), subsequent corn silage yield, and total forage production (DC + summer corn silage) and the effect of ManM and priority on DC forage nutritive value. This experiment was intended to be a two-year study, but due to MP treatment rye crop failure in the second year, the resulting one-year data set was analyzed to assess priority effects. Prioritizing rye planting in the fall with DC increased total forage production and ANR when manure was broadcasted. These results highlight the value of prioritizing fall rye planting in DC systems to increase rye spring biomass and nutrient recovery when manure is broadcast. More experiments should be conducted on fall field operation timing to develop reliable recommendations.