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Tillage and crop rotation effects on dryland soil and residue carbon and nitrogen
- Sustainable management practices are needed to enhance soil productivity in degraded dryland soils in the northern Great Plains. We examined the effects of two tillage practices [conventional till (CT) and no-till (NT)], five crop rotations [continuous spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (CW), spring wheat-fallow (W-F), spring wheat-lentil (Lens culinaris Medic.) (W-L), spring wheat-spring wheat-fallow (W-W-F), and spring wheat-pea (Pisum sativum L.)-fallow (W-P-F)], and a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on plant biomass returned to the soil, residue C and N, and soil organic C (SOC), soil total N (STN), and particulate organic C and N (POC and PON) at the 0- to 20-cm depth. A field experiment was conducted in a mixture of Scobey clay loam (fine, smectitic, frigid Aridic Argiustolls) and Kevin clay loam (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid Aridic Argiustolls) from 1998 to 2003 near Havre, MT. Mean annualized plant biomass returned to the soil from 1998 to 2003 was greater in W-F (2.02 Mg ha(-1)) than in W-L and W-W-F, regardless of tillage. In 2004, residue cover was greater in CW (60%) than in other rotations, except in W-W-F. Residue amount and C and N contents were greater in NT with CW (2.47 Mg ha(-1) and 963 and 22 kg ha(-1), respectively) than in NT with W-L and CT with other crop rotations. The POC at 0 to 5 cm was greater in W-W-F and W-P-F (2.1-2.2 Mg ha(-1)) than in W-L. Similarly, STN at 5 to 20 cm was greater in CT with W-L (2.21 Mg ha(-1)) than in other treatments, except in NT with W-W-F. Reduced tillage and increased cropping intensity, such as NT with CW and W-L, conserved C and N in dryland soils and crop residue better than the traditional practice, CT with W-F, and their contents were similar to or better than in CRP planting.
Sainju, U.M. , Lenssen, A. , Caesar-Tonthat, T. , Waddell, J.
crops , crop rotation , cropping systems , dryland farming , conventional tillage , soil fertility , no-tillage , Conservation Reserve Program , plant litter , crop residues , carbon , nitrogen , soil organic carbon , soil organic matter , soil depth , field experimentation , intensive cropping , Montana
- Includes references
- Soil Science Society of America journal 2006 Mar-Apr, v. 70, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
- Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.