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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Notes & Unique Phenomena

Apparent Red Clover Nitrogen Credit to Corn: Evaluating Cover Crop Introduction


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 105 No. 6, p. 1658-1664
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Feb 22, 2013
    Published: September 6, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): lgentry@illinois.edu
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  1. Lowell E. Gentry *a,
  2. Sieglinde S. Snappb,
  3. Richard F. Pricec and
  4. Laura F. Gentryd
  1. a Dep. of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Illinois, C-507 Turner Hall, MC-047, 1102 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, formerly Dep. of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State Univ
    b Kellogg Biological Station, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, and Dep. of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State Univ
    c Dep. of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State Univ., A566, 1066 Bogue St., East Lansing, MI 48824
    d Dep. of Crop Sciences, Univ. of Illinois, N-211 Turner Hall, MC-046, 1102 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801


Corn (Zea mays L.) production systems can benefit from introducing a leguminous winter cover crop into the rotation, especially with regard to increased N availability (i.e., legume N credit); however, it is not known if the full agronomic benefit is realized in the first year of cover crop introduction or if the benefit is cumulative with time. The objective of this study was to determine the apparent red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) N credit to corn in a conventional system where red clover was introduced for the first time compared with three agricultural systems that had a 14-yr history of using cover crops. The apparent red clover N credit was calculated by the difference in unfertilized corn N accumulation between cover and no-cover split-split plots. These data suggest that corn growers can realize the full benefits of a red clover cover crop in the first year of introduction.

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Copyright © 2013. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.