About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Utilizing Legume Cropping Systems to Reduce Nitrogen Fertilizer Requirements for Conservation-tilled Corn


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 82 No. 6, p. 1123-1127
    Received: Jan 22, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
Request Permissions

  1. L. J. Oyer  and
  2. J. T. Touchton
  1. U SDA-SCS, Midwest Nat. Technical Center, 100 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE 68508
    D ept. of Agron. and Soils, and Alabama Agric. Exp. Stn., Auburn Univ., AL 36849



The need to reduce production costs has promoted a renewed interest in using legumes as a source of N for non-leguminous summer crops. Development of legume cropping systems which will permit reseeding of winter cover-crop legumes is a promising approach to reducing legume establishment costs. Field studies were conducted in Alabama for 4 yr on Wynnville sandy loam and Dothan fine sandy loam soils (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic, Glossic Fragiudults and Plinthic Paleudults, respectively) to determine the effects of both cash crop and winter cover-crop legumes in cropping systems on N fertilizer requirements of corn (Zea mays L.) grown in a conservation-tillage system. On the Wynnville soil, soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) was more effective in providing early season N, and clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) in providing late-season N. The system with both soybean and clover resulted in an even more effective contribution of N to corn grain yield, and a higher yield level than that of continuous corn regardless of N fertilizer rate. On the Dothan soil, the benefits of cropping systems were not as pronounced, and the responses were eliminated by N fertilization, suggesting increased yields were due to N and not to a rotation effect. On both soils, in years of adequate and inadequate rainfall, the reseeding crimson clover system, in combination with a soybean-corn rotation, consistently produced the highest yields of the systems studied, and provided a 68 to 159 kg N ha−1 fertilizer equivalent for corn.

Contribution from the Alabama Agric. Exp. Stn, Auburn Univ. Part of a thesis submitted by the senior author in partial fulfillment of requirements for the Ph.D. degree. AAES Journal no. 3-902405P.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © .