Crop production and environmental health are major global concerns. In Minnesota maintaining crop yield while reducing nitrate leaching on coarse-textured soils is an example where these concerns converge. Cover crops and living mulches have been identified as potential methods to reduce nitrate leaching. This study monitored the impact of winter rye and kura clover on corn and soybean yield, corn N requirement, and nitrate leaching. We found that in a corn-soybean rotation, Rye-Cover did not impact yield, decreased nitrate leaching by 50%, but had inconsistent effects on corn N requirements. Additionally, nitrate leaching was substantially reduced under kura clover from the establishment year compared to the initial year of crop production with kura clover, but corn and soybean yield was negatively impacted. The results of this research will help to make strategic management decisions for the implantation of a rye cover crop or kura clover living mulch on coarse-textured soils.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis.January 2019. Major: Land and Atmospheric Science. Advisor: Fabian Fernandez. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 103 pages.
Corn and soybean production on irrigated coarse-textured soils: Integrating winter rye and kura clover to reduce nitrate leaching.
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