Forage Production and Weed Control in a Double-Cropping Program1
- Paul S. O. Okoli,
- P. N. Drolsom and
- J. M. Scholl2
To make more intensive use of increasingly-scarce and expensive farmland, farmers in the North-Central region of the United States are developing considerable interest in double-cropping systems involving feed production. Therefore, forage production and quality were evaluated in double-cropping systems involving corn (Zea mays L.), soybeans [Glycine mar (L.) Merr.], and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] no-till planted following conventionally-planted spring oats (Avena sativa L.) for forage. The 2-year field studies were undertaken on two soil types, Plano silt loam [fine-silty, mixed, mesic Typic Argiudoll (Exp. I)] and Fayette silt loam [fine-silty, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludalf (Exp. II)] at two separate locations in Wisconsin. The effects of irrigation and weed control practices (chemical and cultural) on the second crops were investigated. The 2-year average forage yields of corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum were 5820, 2660, and 3890 kg ha−1, respectively.
Cultivation generally resulted in better weed control than herbicides. Irrigation increased forage yields of corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum by 31, 38, and 32%, respectively. Soybeans produced the highest crude protein (CP) ha−1 but the lowest quantity of digestible dry matter (DM), estimated by the in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) technique. Corn produced the highest amount of digestible DM ha−1 but had the lowest CP percentage. Grain sorghum had thelowest IVDMD and produced the lowest CP ha−1. Based on 2-year averages, the oats-com double-cropping system produced the most forage, CP and digestible DM. Double-cropping yields show considerable promise, when compared with present yields under a one crop system.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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