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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #400047

Research Project: Conservation Systems to Improve Production Efficiency, Reduce Risk, and Promote Sustainability

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Planting date critical for rye in a conservation tillage peanut cotton rotation

item Balkcom, Kipling
item Read, Quentin
item GAMBLE, AUDREY - Auburn University

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2022
Publication Date: 6/25/2023
Citation: Balkcom, K.S., Read, Q.D., Gamble, A. 2023. Planting date critical for rye in a conservation tillage peanut cotton rotation [abstract]. In Proceedings: 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA. January 10-12, 2023. pp 560.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cover crop management is critical to ensure soil health benefits are maximized, while minimizing costs. However, growers have adopted different strategies in the absence of management recommendations resulting in varying cover crop performance. Therefore, we investigated how four planting dates (late October, early November, late November, and early December), two seeding rates (67 and 101 kg ha-1), and four N rates (0, 34, 67, and 101 kg N ha-1) affected rye (cv. 'Wrens Abruzzi') biomass production, rye N uptake, rye C:N ratio, cost per 100 kg biomass, cash crop yields, and soil organic C (SOC) in a peanut/cotton rotation over six growing seasons (2015-2020) at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland, AL. Biomass production averaged 1.7 times greater for October planted rye compared to December planted rye across all N rates. Nitrogen improved biomass production but the effect was reduced with later planting dates. Nitrogen uptake increased as N rate increased for each planting date. The C:N ratio was more sensitive to planting dates than N rates and decreased as planting was delayed. Costs per 100 kg of biomass were similar across all N rates for early planting dates. No effect was observed for peanut or cotton yields, but SOC increased in the 0-5 cm depth with the earliest planting date and greatest N rate. Results illustrated the importance of planting date to maximize biomass production and return on investment for growers in the southeastern United States that incorporate cover crops into their farming operations.