Location: Water Quality and Ecology ResearchTitle: Sugarbeet response to interactions between fall-seeded cover crop and fertilizer nitrogen application time
Submitted to: Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2021
Publication Date: 5/1/2022
Citation: Chatterjee, A. 2022. Sugarbeet response to interactions between fall-seeded cover crop and fertilizer nitrogen application time. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 5(3). Article e20278. https://doi.org/10.1002/agg2.20278.
Interpretive Summary: Fall-seeded cover crops have potential to protect soil from erosion. A field experiment was conducted to determine effects of cover crops and fertilizer-nitrogen application time on sugarbeet yield and sugar concentration. Inclusion of cover crop did not affect the root yield or sugar concentration. Cereal rye produced 15% more biomass than winter wheat. Adoption of cover crop had no negative effect on sugarbeet yield and quality.
Technical Abstract: Cover crops have potential to protect soil and nutrient loss from erosion. However, the inclusion of cover crops in a rotation can compete with the main crop for fertilizer nitrogen (N). Response of sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) yield and quality were studied for two fall-seeded cover crops, winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) and cereal rye (Secale cereale L.), and three fertilizer-N treatments (fall and spring applications of 100% of recommended N, 50% split in between fall and spring), in the Red River Valley of Minnesota. Cover crop species and fertilizer-N application time significantly influenced sugarbeet canopy reflectance, soil inorganic N, and cover crop biomass production; however, they did not affect root yield and sugar concentration. Sugarbeet grown without a cover crop had higher normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference Red-Edge (NDRE) than sugarbeet grown after fall-seeded rye. Fall-N application had higher NDVI and NDRE than spring N application for most of the growing season. Cereal rye produced 15% higher biomass than winter wheat. Adoption of rye as a cover crop in sugarbeet might be possible without any adverse effect on sugarbeet production.