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Potential of winter cover crops and tillage for managing manure-based nutrient loading

Baxter, A.E. and Leytem, A.B. and Dungan, R.S. and Bjorneberg, D.L. (2023) Potential of winter cover crops and tillage for managing manure-based nutrient loading. International Journal of Plant and Soil Science. June 2023:1-18. 12 June 2023.

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Increased utilization of manure resulting from the expansion of the dairy industry has culminated in a soil nutrient surplus in southern Idaho. The objective of this study was to investigate the combined effect of winter cover crops and tillage practice on nutrient cycling, yield, and overall forage quality under annual manure applications. The 2 x 4 split plot study (2015 -2021) consisted of main treatments of conventional (ConTill) vs minimal (MinTill) tillage, and secondary treatment combinations of (1) manure (M) vs no manure (NM) and (2) winter triticale ( X Triticosecale) (CC) vs fallow (NCC) for each tillage type. Corn (Zea mays) and triticale whole plant tissue were collected for annual yield, tissue concentrations, nutrient removal rates, and forge quality. CC reduced corn yields (-1.65 M/ha) while M increased triticale yield (+13.6 Mg/ha). For both forages, M had greater tissue P (+0.483 and +2.21 g/kg) and K (+4.18 and +19.91 g/kg) and reduced Ca (-0.60 and -0.54 g/kg). Corn with M had smaller Mg (-0.43 g/kg) and triticale had greater Mg (+0.22 g/kg). Forages with M removed greater N (+39.93 and +109.84 kg/ha), P (+12.98 and +21.18 kg/ha), and K (+99.81 and +187.48 kg/ha). Corn with M removed less Mg (-7.85 kg/ha) and Ca (-11.24 kg/ha) and triticale removed greater Mg (+6.06 kg/ha) and Ca (+10.00 kg/ha). For both forages, M removed greater Zn and Na. M had greater corn CP (+0.89%), EE (+0.16%), and ash (+0.41%), and less ADF (-0.84%) and starch (-0.74%). CC had greater corn ADF (+0.50%) and less starch (-0.76%). M had greater triticale DM (+0.23%), CP (+4.21%), ADF (+4.27%), aNDFom (+6.46%), and lignin (+0.68), but smaller starch (-0.13%) and WSC (-9.46%). Use of triticale as a winter cover crop has strong potential for adding significantly to annual nutrient removal rates but may require nutrient additions for adequate plant growth. Producers should carefully consider the trade-offs in soils with high nutrient status. Triticale may exhibit increased risk of excess tissue concentrations that can be detrimental to animal health when grown on manured soils, but can be mitigated through well-balance feed rationing.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1764
Subjects: Manure
Soil > Amendments
Soil > Tillage
Soil > Amendments > Fertilizer
Depositing User: Users 11 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 15:17
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 15:17
Item ID: 1805