Long-Term Wheat, Soybean, and Grain Sorghum Double-Cropping under Rainfed Conditions
- R. J. Crabtree ,
- J. D. Prater and
- P. Mbolda
Inadequate amounts and distribution of rainfall are most often the major limiting factors to crop production in the southern Great Plains. This is especially true for summer crops, whether grown in mono- or double-cropping situations. This study was conducted at the Oklahoma Vegetable Research Station, Bixby, OK from 1976 to 1987 on a Wynona silt loam soil (Cumulic Haplaquolls) with 0 to 1% slope. The objective was to determine the effects of long-term double-cropping on the potential for sustaining grain yields of wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.) em. Thell], soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) produced on the same land under rainfed conditions. Over a 12-yr period monocropped wheat averaged 3050 compared with 2510 and 2450 kg ha−1 when double-cropped with soybean and grain sorghum, respectively. Conventionally tilled monocropped soybean and grain sorghum and no-till double-cropping of both soybean and grain sorghum after wheat produced grain 11 out of 12 yr. Monocropped soybean averaged 2470 compared with 1930 kg ha−1 for no-till double-cropped soybean. Monocropped grain sorghum averaged 5130 compared with 4200 kg ha−1 for double-cropped grain sorghum. During the years of near 30-yr average rainfall amounts and distribution (5 out of 11), yields of double-cropped soybean and grain sorghum were competitive with those of monocropped soybean and grain sorghum. These results indicate that yields of double-cropped wheat, soybean, and grain sorghum can be sustained over long periods of time. In eastern Oklahoma double-cropping on a deep medium textured soil produced more total grain that resulted in more efficient use of climatic, land, labor, and equipment resources when compared with monocropping.
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