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Agronomy Journal : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest research in crops, soils, and agronomy. Articles are compiled into bimonthly issues at dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/aj, which includes the complete archive. Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Zhu, Q., M.J. Schlossberg, R.B. Bryant, and J.P. Schmidt. 2012. Creeping bentgrass putting green response to foliar nitrogen fertilization. Agron. J. doi:10.2134/agronj2012.0157

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Current issue: Agron. J. 107(5)


    • X.-M. Fan, Y. Q. Bi, Y. D. Zhang, D. P. Jeffers, W. H. Yao, H. M. Chen, L. Q. Zhao and M. S. Kang
      Use of the Suwan1 Heterotic Group in Maize Breeding Programs in Southwestern China

      Broadening the maize (Zea mays L.) genetic base is essential for improving grain yield. Suwan1, developed from a broad base of tropical germplasm in Thailand, has recently been identified as a heterotic group different from Reid and non-Reid heterotic groups. The objectives of this study were (i) to evaluate the grain yield (GY) of crosses to see if there is value to utilizing Suwan1 as a heterotic group in maize breeding, and (ii) to investigate the general combining ability and specific combining ability to determine if Suwan1 shows good combining ability with Reid and non-Reid heterotic groups for GY. Three testers, one from each of the three heterotic groups, were crossed with 20 elite lines collected from across China. (continued)

      Published: September 18, 2015


    • Amanda J. Ashworth, Charles P. West, Fred L. Allen, Pat D. Keyser, Stuart A. Weiss, Donald D. Tyler, Adam M. Taylor, Kara L. Warwick and Kenneth P. Beamer
      Biologically Fixed Nitrogen in Legume Intercropped Systems: Comparison of Nitrogen-Difference and Nitrogen-15 Enrichment Techniques

      Biological N2 fixation (BNF) via legume intercrops can provide an alternative to inorganic N fertilizer and thereby minimize the economic and environmental costs of bioenergy feedstock and forage production. The objectives of this study were to (i) verify switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a non-N2–fixing reference plant for distinguishing between soil- and atmosphere-derived N; (ii) determine BNF levels via the 15N enrichment method for one cool-season legume (red clover [Trifolium pratense L.]) and three warm-season legumes ([partridge pea [Chamaecrista fasciculate Michx.], sunn hemp [Crotalaria juncea L.], and pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.]) when intercropped into switchgrass and a near relative, guineagrass (Panicum maximum L.); and (iii) evaluate the validity of the N-difference method by comparing it against the 15N enrichment technique in humid temperate and semiarid tropical climates. The results revealed little difference in the N assimilation rates of legume and non-N2–fixing reference plants, suggesting that switchgrass is an appropriate reference species. Annual fixation for red clover was greatest, followed by partridge pea, and lastly sunn hemp in temperate systems (87, 84, and 35 kg ha–1, respectively), all of which tended to supply greater amounts of N in subsequent seasons. (continued)

      Published: October 5, 2015

    • Hadi Yeilaghi, Ahmad Arzani and Mostafa Ghaderian
      Evaluating the Contribution of Ionic and Agronomic Components toward Salinity Tolerance in Safflower

      Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a versatile crop species that is well adapted to arid and semiarid conditions. Limited information is available on the response of safflower genotypes to salinity stress under field conditions. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of field salinity on seed yield, yield components, and leaf ionic concentrations in different safflower genotypes. A 2-yr field experiment was conducted in normal (E1) and saline (E2) field conditions using 64 safflower genotypes. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Yingfei Cao, Hong Zhang, Ke Liu, Yunchao Dai and Jialong Lv
      Organic Acids Variation in Plant Residues and Soils among Agricultural Treatments

      Organic acids have important effects on several processes of many plants and soils. In this study, variation of some organic acids in plant residues and soils among three land uses was evaluated by adding two crop residues with different water conditions and C/N ratios. The results demonstrated that the average concentration of organic acids was 0.04 g kg–1 in soils and 1.83 g kg–1 in plant residues, and higher at early and intermediate stages of the decomposition. The organic acids concentrations were higher in bean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] than in corn (Zea mays L.), and higher in fresh plant samples than in dry samples (P < 0.05). (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Hanna J. Poffenbarger, Steven B. Mirsky, Raymond R. Weil, Jude E. Maul, Matthew Kramer, John T. Spargo and Michel A. Cavigelli
      Biomass and Nitrogen Content of Hairy Vetch–Cereal Rye Cover Crop Mixtures as Influenced by Species Proportions

      The performance of legume–grass cover crop mixtures may be influenced by the species proportions in mixture. The objectives of this study were to: (i) evaluate total aboveground biomass and species biomass proportions resulting from different hairy vetch (legume; Vicia villosa Roth)/cereal rye (grass; Secale cereale L.) sown proportions, (ii) characterize aboveground N content and C/N ratios in response to species biomass proportions, and (iii) quantify biologically fixed nitrogen (BFN) in hairy vetch and the potential transfer of BFN to associated cereal rye. A gradient of six sown proportions ranging from 100% cereal rye to 100% hairy vetch was drilled in fall 2011 and 2012 at two sites in Beltsville, MD, and sampled for biomass, C and N content, and BFN the following spring. Hairy vetch monocultures produced less biomass than cereal rye monocultures, but biomass levels were similar between cereal rye monocultures and mixtures. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • Hanna J. Poffenbarger, Steven B. Mirsky, Raymond R. Weil, Matthew Kramer, John T. Spargo and Michel A. Cavigelli
      Legume Proportion, Poultry Litter, and Tillage Effects on Cover Crop Decomposition

      Cover crop residues and animal waste products can be important sources of N in cropping systems. The objectives of this research were to determine, under field conditions, the effects of hairy vetch (legume; Vicia villosa Roth)/cereal rye (grass; Secale cereale L.) proportion and pelletized poultry litter (PPL) management (no PPL, subsurface banded, broadcast, or incorporated with tillage) on the extent and rate of cover crop residue mass loss and N release during a subsequent growing season. Measuring cover crop residues placed in mesh litter bags, or residues+PPL in litter bags for the broadcast treatment, we found that increasing hairy vetch proportion led to greater proportional mass loss and N release (cumulative mass loss ranged from 40 to 80% and N release ranged from 0–90% of initial), as well as greater rates of mass loss in all PPL treatments. Nitrogen release rates were generally unaffected by species proportions; however, N release rates for pure cereal rye residue in all PPL treatments except broadcast could not be estimated due to minimal N release. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • M. A. Liebig, J. R. Hendrickson, D. W. Archer, M. A. Schmer, K. A. Nichols and D. L. Tanaka
      Short-Term Soil Responses to Late-Seeded Cover Crops in a Semi-Arid Environment

      Cover crops can expand ecosystem services, though sound management recommendations for their use within semiarid cropping systems is currently constrained by a lack of information. This study was conducted to determine agroecosystem responses to late-summer seeded cover crops under no-till management, with particular emphasis on soil attributes. Short-term effects of late-summer seeded cover crops on soil water, available N, near-surface soil quality, and residue cover were investigated during three consecutive years on the Area IV Soil Conservation Districts Research Farm near Mandan, ND. Mean aboveground cover crop biomass was highly variable across years (1430, 96, and 937 kg ha–1 in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively), and was strongly affected by precipitation received within 14 d following cover crop seeding. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Jason P. de Koff and Abimbola Allison
      Changes in Nutrient Characteristics of Switchgrass for Bioenergy

      Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) was identified as a “model” bioenergy crop by the USDOE in 1991. Since then, there has been little research to understand changes in switchgrass quality during the growing season or the effect that drought may have on these quality characteristics. This study determined changes in total N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, moisture concentration, and dry weight yield through intensive sampling during the growing season. Subsamples from a one-cut system were harvested on 13 different dates in 2011 and eight different dates in 2012 between late May and early November. (continued)

      Published: September 18, 2015

    • Steve Wilkens, Paul J. Weimer and Joseph G. Lauer
      The Effects of Hybrid Relative Maturity on Corn Stover for Ethanol Production and Biomass Composition

      Full-season corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids take advantage of more of the growing season than shorter-season hybrids often leading to greater grain and biomass yield. Many agronomic experiments aimed at corn stover production have been performed at forage harvest rather than later when stover is normally harvested for biofuel measurements. The objective of this research was to evaluate the influence of hybrid relative maturity (days RM) on stover ethanol production, ruminant digestibility, and biomass composition. Hybrids selected were high-yielding commercial grain hybrids grown throughout Wisconsin and ranged from 85 to 115 d RM in 10 d RM increments during 2009, and in 5 d RM increments during 2010. (continued)

      Published: September 4, 2015


    • Andres Patrignani and Tyson E. Ochsner
      Canopeo: A Powerful New Tool for Measuring Fractional Green Canopy Cover

      Fractional green canopy cover (FGCC) is a key diagnostic variable that can be used to estimate canopy development, light interception, and evapotranspiration partitioning. Available image analysis tools for quantifying FGCC are time-consuming or expensive and cannot analyze video. Our objective was to develop a simple, accurate, and rapid tool to analyze FGCC from images and videos. This tool, called Canopeo, was developed using Matlab and is based on color ratios of red to green (R/G) and blue to green (B/G) and an excess green index (2G–R–B). (continued)

      Published: September 25, 2015

    • Stephen Narh, Kenneth J. Boote, Jesse B. Naab, J.W. Jones, Barry L. Tillman, Mumuni Abudulai, Philippe Sankara, Zagre M’Bi Bertin, Mark D. Burow, Rick L. Brandenburg and David L. Jordan
      Genetic Improvement of Peanut Cultivars for West Africa Evaluated with the CSM-CROPGRO-Peanut Model

      Crop models are valuable tools for evaluating past genetic improvement as well as guiding future breeding strategies for target regions. The objective of this study was to use the CSM-CROPGRO-Peanut model to evaluate traits responsible for genetic improvement of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) genotypes grown in West Africa. Data on19 cultivars were obtained from performance trials in 2010 and 2011 at two sites in Ghana and two sites in Burkina Faso. For all sites and years, pod yield, seed yield, shelling percentage, and seed size were determined at harvest, and leaf spot disease was recorded. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Carlos D. Messina, Thomas R. Sinclair, Graeme L. Hammer, Dian Curan, Jason Thompson, Zac Oler, Carla Gho and Mark Cooper
      Limited-Transpiration Trait May Increase Maize Drought Tolerance in the US Corn Belt

      Yield loss due to water deficit is ubiquitous in maize (Zea mays L.) production environments in the United States. The impact of water deficits on yield depends on the cropping system management and physiological characteristics of the hybrid. Genotypic diversity among maize hybrids in the transpiration response to vapor pressure deficit (VPD) indicates that a limited-transpiration trait may contribute to improved drought tolerance and yield in maize. By limiting transpiration at VPD above a VPD threshold, this trait can increase both daily transpiration efficiency and water availability for late-season use. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • J. W. White, G. Alagarswamy, M. J. Ottman, C. H. Porter, U. Singh and G. Hoogenboom
      An Overview of CERES–Sorghum as Implemented in the Cropping System Model Version 4.5

      Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is the fifth most important grain crop globally. It stands out for its diversity of plant types, end-uses, and roles in cropping systems. This diversity presents opportunities but also complicates evaluation of production options, especially under climate uncertainty. Ecophysiological models can dissect interacting effects of plant genotypes, crop management, and environment. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015

    • Michel Edmond Ghanem, Hélène Marrou, Afshin Soltani, Shiv Kumar and Thomas R. Sinclair
      Lentil Variation in Phenology and Yield Evaluated with a Model

      Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is a major crop highly valued in the food and nutritional security of millions of people, as well as a rotation crop. Lentil is grown in areas facing many environmental constraints from low moisture availability and high temperatures to winter cold at high elevations. The use of an appropriate and robust crop model can offer mechanistic bases for exploring and extrapolating the impact of a given plant trait or crop management across a range of environments. First, we used the generic SSM-Legumes model to develop a simple and transparent lentil model. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • K.D. Reitsma, B.H. Dunn, U. Mishra, S.A. Clay, T. DeSutter and D.E. Clay
      Land-Use Change Impact on Soil Sustainability in a Climate and Vegetation Transition Zone

      A growing world population and climate change are expected to influence future agricultural productivity and land use. This study determined the impact of land-use change on soil sustainability and discussed the factors contributing to these changes. South Dakota was selected as a model system because corn (Zea mays L.) grain prices tripled between 2006 and 2012 and it is located in a climate and grassland/cropland transition zone. High resolution imagery was used to visually determine land uses (cropland, grassland, nonagricultural, habitat, and water) at 14,400 points in 2006 and 2012. (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015

    • David W. McIntosh, Gary E. Bates, Patrick D. Keyser, Fred L. Allen, Craig A. Harper, John C. Waller, Jessie L. Birckhead and William M. Backus
      The Impact of Harvest Timing on Biomass Yield from Native Warm-Season Grass Mixtures

      Interest in using native warm-season grasses (NWSG), especially switchgrass (SG) (Panicum virgatum L.), as a biomass crop has increased due to the focus on renewable energy sources. There is the potential to utilize the early growth of these plants as a forage crop (i.e., hay), allowing the regrowth to be harvested as a fibrous biomass crop. The three species treatments were SG, a two-way blend of big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii V.) and indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans L.) (BB+IG), and a three-way mixture of SG, BB, and IG (SG+BB+IG). Harvest treatments were a harvest (BH) in late fall (for biomass), early-boot harvest (for forage) followed by BH (EB+BH), or early-seedhead harvest (for forage) followed by BH (ESH+BH). (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015

    • Prem Woli, Brenda V. Ortiz, Jerry Johnson and Gerrit Hoogenboom
      El Niño–Southern Oscillation Effects on Winter Wheat in the Southeastern United States

      The winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) growing season in the southeastern United States occurs during the period when the climate of this region is strongly influenced by El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The ENSO-based interannual climate variability might influence growth, maturity, and yield of winter wheat. Because different maturity groups of wheat cultivars head at different times of the year, the groups are expected to have different impacts of climate variability. This study examined whether the yield difference between early and late maturity groups of winter wheat cultivars grown in this region were associated with ENSO-based climate. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Yanlong Chen, Ting Liu, Xiaohong Tian, Xiaofeng Wang, Huilin Chen, Meng Li, Shaoxia Wang and Zhaohui Wang
      Improving Winter Wheat Grain Yield and Water Use Efficiency through Fertilization and Mulch in the Loess Plateau

      Revealing the response of cereal yield and water use efficiency (WUE) to water management practices is crucial for achieving high and stable grain yields in drylands. A 3-yr field study was conducted to develop a high-yield, water-saving cultivation strategy for winter wheat in the Loess Plateau of China. The study’s treatments included (i) a control (CK), that is, no mulch or fertilizer, (ii) nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers (NP), (iii) plastic film mulch plus fertilizers (NP+PF), (iv) straw mulch plus fertilizers (NP+S), and (v) plastic film combined with straw mulch plus fertilizers (NP+PF+S). The results indicated that, compared with CK, the NP treatment improved the grain yield (112%) and WUE (96%) of winter wheat but resulted in a 12% reduction in soil water storage after the jointing stage. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015


    • Sheri Strydhorst, Mark A. Olson, Thava Vasanthan, Kevin E. McPhee, Ross H. McKenzie, Boris Henriquez, Jackie Tieulie, Allan Middleton, Rob Dunn, Pat Pfiffner, Ken Coles, Manjula Bandara, Art Kruger, Robyne Bowness, Deng-Jin Bing and Don Beauchesne
      Adaptability and Quality of Winter Pea and Lentil in Alberta

      It is unknown if winter pea (Pisum sativum L.) and winter lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) are feasible cropping options in Alberta. Field experiments were conducted at six locations in southern and central Alberta, Canada, between 2008 and 2012, to determine the adaptability of winter pea and lentil. Two winter pea cultivars, Specter and Windham, and one winter lentil cultivar, Morton, were seeded at three fall planting dates and three seeding rates. Spring cultivars were grown for comparison. (continued)

      Published: October 5, 2015

    • Xiaoping Wang, Peng Jiang, Ying Ma, Shujuan Geng, Shucai Wang and Decheng Shi
      Physiological Strategies of Sunflower Exposed to Salt or Alkali Stresses: Restriction of Ion Transport in the Cotyledon Node Zone and Solute Accumulation

      Agricultural productivity is severely affected by soil salinity. In this study, seedlings of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) cultivar Baikuiza 6 were treated with Na-based salts to induce salt stress or alkali stress. Salt had no effect on sunflower growth, while high concentrations of alkali significantly inhibited sunflower growth. The main characteristic for sunflower in response of salt or alkali stress was that it kept higher K+ concentration and lower Na+/K+ ratio, which is closely related to regulation of Na+ and K+ transport on cotyledon node zone (CNZ). (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Montserrat Salmerón, Edward E. Gbur, Fred M. Bourland, Larry Earnest, Bobby R. Golden and Larry C. Purcell
      Soybean Maturity Group Choices for Maximizing Radiation Interception across Planting Dates in the Midsouth United States

      Cumulative interception of photosynthetically active radiation (CIPAR) is a key factor affecting soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield. Under well-watered conditions, differences in CIPAR across planting dates, maturity groups (MGs) and row spacing in the US Midsouth could partially explain yield differences. Irrigated experiments were conducted for 2 yr at three locations in Arkansas with four planting dates and 16 cultivars (MG 3–6) using a narrow (0.46–0.48 m) and a twin-row spacing (0.19–0.20 m twin rows on 0.96 m beds) with a seeding density of 35 plants m–2. The fraction of radiation intercepted (FRI) from emergence to beginning seedfill (or complete canopy closure) was well defined for each row spacing as a sigmoidal relationship with cumulative thermal time. (continued)

      Published: August 21, 2015

    • Ruixian Liu, Changqin Yang, Guowei Zhang, Lei Zhang, Fuqiang Yang and Wenqi Guo
      Root Recovery Development and Activity of Cotton Plants after Waterlogging

      Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield is severely limited by waterlogging in some global production areas. The objective was to study physiological and biochemical mechanisms of cotton root recovery after waterlogging during different reproductive stages. Cotton plants (cultivar Simian 3) were subjected to waterlogging for 10 d and then permitted to recover for 20 d. Waterlogging significantly reduced root dry matter, root vigor, and net photosynthetic rate (Pn). (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015


    • William J. Cox and Jerome H. Cherney
      Field-Scale Studies Show Site-Specific Corn Population and Yield Responses to Seeding Depths

      Corn (Zea mays L.) seeding depth recommendations typically range from 3.8 to 5.1 cm, but few studies have been conducted in recent years. We conducted field-scale studies on four farms at four equally spaced seeding depths (2.5–6.4 cm) in New York in 2013 and 2014 to validate seeding depth recommendations across different soil conditions. Seeding depth affected corn populations and yield in 6 of 8 site-years but optimum seeding depth differed across sites and years within sites. Yield responses to seeding depth were small on well-drained silt loams with reduced tillage (∼3% advantage at 3.8 vs. (continued)

      Published: October 5, 2015

    • Christopher N. Boyer, Melissa Stefanini, James A. Larson, S. Aaron Smith, Alemu Mengistu and Nacer Bellaloui
      Profitability and Risk Analysis of Soybean Planting Date by Maturity Group

      Limited knowledge exists regarding the yield response of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from different maturity groups (MGs) to planting date in the southern United States. This information is needed to determine optimal planting dates for each MG. Our objective was to determine the optimum planting date for soybean in MG II, III, IV, and V in western Tennessee while considering producers’ risk preference. Net returns for each MG with four revenue protection (RP) insurance coverage levels were simulated using planting date–yield response functions for each MG. (continued)

      Published: September 4, 2015

    • Aaron J. Sindelar, Marty R. Schmer, Virginia L. Jin, Brian J. Wienhold and Gary E. Varvel
      Long-Term Corn and Soybean Response to Crop Rotation and Tillage

      Long-term experiments are essential to understand how crop rotation and tillage practices affect corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production and its resiliency to variable weather conditions. A 28-yr rainfed experiment was conducted in Nebraska to evaluate continuous corn (CC), the corn phase of corn–soybean rotation (CS), continuous soybean (SS), and the soybean phase of corn–soybean rotation (SC), and tillage system (chisel [CH], tandem disk [DK], moldboard plow [MP], no-till [NT], ridge-tillage [RT], and subsoil tillage [ST]) on grain yield and yield stability. In 19 of 28 yr, CS yields were greater than CC, although the corn grain yield advantage in CS decreased as CC yield increased. Rotated soybean (SC) grain yield was greater than SS in 67% of cropping years, and similar in the remaining 33%. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • D. C. Camargo, F. Montoya, J. F. Ortega and J. I. Córcoles
      Potato Yield and Water Use Efficiency Responses to Irrigation in Semiarid Conditions

      Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) yield is sensitive to water stress in the semiarid regions of Spain. This study was conducted to determine the effect of four irrigation treatments on potato tuber yield under one-quarter (4.9 ha) of the total irrigation area (18.4 ha) of a center pivot system in Albacete, Spain, during 2011 and 2012. Four irrigation treatments were applied, representing 60, 80, 100, and 120% of potato crop water requirement (CWR). In 2011, crop yield differed between the 60% irrigation treatment and the other treatments, whereas in 2012, yield differed between irrigation treatments with high (100 and 120%) and low (60 and 80%) water supply. (continued)

      Published: August 21, 2015

    • William B. Stevens, Upendra M. Sainju, Thecan Caesar-TonThat and William M. Iversen
      Malt Barley Yield and Quality Affected by Irrigation, Tillage, Crop Rotation, and Nitrogen Fertilization

      Little is known about the comparison of management practices on malt barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) yield and quality in irrigated and non-irrigated cropping systems. We evaluated the effects of irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and N fertilization on malt barley yield and quality in a sandy loam soil from 2005 to 2011 in croplands converted from Conservation Reserve Program in western North Dakota. Treatments were two irrigation practices (irrigated vs. non-irrigated) and five cropping systems (conventional till malt barley with nitrogen fertilizer [CTBN], conventional till malt barley without nitrogen fertilizer [CTBO], no-till malt barley–pea [Pisum sativum L.] with nitrogen fertilizer [NTB–P], no-till malt barley with nitrogen fertilizer [NTBN], and no-till malt barley without nitrogen fertilizer [NTBO]). (continued)

      Published: August 21, 2015

    • David C. Nielsen, Drew J. Lyon, Gary W. Hergert, Robert K. Higgins and Johnathan D. Holman
      Cover Crop Biomass Production and Water Use in the Central Great Plains

      The water-limited environment of the semiarid Central Great Plains may not produce enough cover crop biomass to generate benefits associated with cover crop use in more humid regions. There have been reports that cover crops grown in mixtures produce more biomass with greater water use efficiency than single-species plantings. This study was conducted to determine differences in cover crop biomass production, water use efficiency, and residue cover between a mixture and single-species plantings. The study was conducted at Akron, CO, and Sidney, NE, during the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons under both rainfed and irrigated conditions. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • Joseph Young, Mike Richardson and Doug Karcher
      Creeping Bentgrass Putting Green Response to Combined Mowing, Rolling, and Foot Traffic Under Environmental Stress

      Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) putting greens in the transition zone experience high levels of environmental stress during summer months. The interaction of common management practices combined with foot traffic can exacerbate environmental stress. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of management practices combined with foot traffic during high environmental stress in the transition zone. Creeping bentgrass cultivars, SR 1020 and Penn G2, were managed with various mowing heights (2.5, 3.2, or 4.0 mm), rolling frequencies (0, 3, or 6 d per week), and foot traffic. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Carlos A.C. Crusciol, Adriano S. Nascente, Emerson Borghi, Rogério P. Soratto and Priscila O. Martins
      Improving Soil Fertility and Crop Yield in a Tropical Region with Palisadegrass Cover Crops

      In tropical regions with dry winters, low plant biomass accumulation during the period between spring–summer crop cultivations can negatively impact soil resources and make the no-till (NT) system unsustainable. Incorporating palisadegrass [Urochloa brizantha (Hochst. Ex A. Rich.) R.D. (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015


    • Hans-Peter Piepho, Emlyn R. Williams and Volker Michel
      Beyond Latin Squares: A Brief Tour of Row-Column Designs

      Field experiments often show heterogeneity and trend in both rows and columns. It is therefore useful to consider blocking in both rows and columns of the field layout of plots. We provide a brief review of row-column designs and demonstrate the particular advantage of resolvable designs, which allow the treatments to be spread out over the experimental field by latinization of rows and/or columns of plots and by evenly distributing treatments between complete replicates, thus largely avoiding a clumped placement of replications of a treatment in a limited area of the experiment. (continued)

      Published: September 4, 2015


    • Tiina M. H. Lynch, Susanne Barth, Philip J. Dix, Dermot Grogan, Jim Grant and Olga M. Grant
      Ground Cover Assessment of Perennial Ryegrass Using Digital Imaging

      Ground-cover assessments of grassland swards provide information on durability and persistence, which in turn relate to disease resistance and competitive ability. These assessments are traditionally performed visually, but digital imaging can provide a more accurate method of ground-cover scoring. Differences in ground cover between late-heading perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars in four trials (2 yr of sowing and two sites) were determined using both digital imaging and visual scoring. Ground-cover percentages were calculated from digital images with public-domain software on the basis of color separation of grass leaves from bare soil. (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015


    • Dianjun Lu, Feifei Lu, Junxiao Pan, Zhenling Cui, Chunqin Zou, Xinping Chen, Mingrong He and Zhenlin Wang
      Manure Limits Wheat Yield Losses Due to Delayed Seeding

      Grain yields can be limited from delayed seeding worldwide. Perhaps yield suppressions can be overcome by applying farm manure. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of manure application and sowing date on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield and population development. A field experiment was conducted over two seasons, with three sowing dates (early [ES]- 5 October; mid [M]- 10 October; late [LS]- 15 October) with or without manure application (each plot receiving same chemical N, P, and K fertilizer) in the North China Plain (NCP). (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015


    • Steven B. Mirsky, John M. Wallace, William S. Curran and Benjamin C. Crockett
      Hairy Vetch Seedbank Persistence and Implications for Cover Crop Management

      Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) is a fast-growing, winter-hardy annual legume that is well suited for summer annual grain rotations because it fixes N2, reduces erosion, and suppresses weeds. Utilization of hairy vetch as a cover crop has been limited due to producer concerns regarding its potential to become a weed in subsequent crops. Hairy vetch weediness is attributed to its hard seed, a physical dormancy trait common to Vicia species. A 2-yr field experiment was conducted in Pennsylvania and Maryland to characterize the effects of mechanical scarification and burial depth on seedbank dynamics using two cultivars. (continued)

      Published: September 18, 2015

    • G. L. Hartman, C. R. Bowen, J. S. Haudenshield, C. M. Fox, T. R. Cary and B. W. Diers
      Evaluation of Disease and Pest Damage on Soybean Cultivars Released from 1923 through 2008 under Field Conditions in Central Illinois

      Diseases and pests of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] often reduce soybean yields. Targeted breeding that incorporates known genes for resistance and non-targeted breeding that eliminates susceptible plants in breeding populations reduces the impact of soybean pathogens and pests. Maturity group (MG) III soybean cultivars released from 1923 through 2008 were grown in three field environments to determine if disease and insect ratings were associated with year of cultivar release. Disease and pest ratings were evaluated on 40 soybean cultivars at one location (Urbana, IL) planted in two rotation treatments in 2010 and on 59 cultivars in two locations (Urbana and Arthur) in 2011. (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015

    • Claudio Gratton, Michael Casler, Russell Groves and Tania N. Kim
      Insecticide Applications have Minor Effects on Switchgrass Biomass Yield

      Large-scale production of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a bioenergy crop will depend on producing abundant yields without significant loss to insects. Despite the fact that crop losses to insect pests are observed in virtually every crop grown, we know little of how insects affect switchgrass biomass yield. We performed two multi-year experiments in South-Central Wisconsin where we measured Hiawatha switchgrass biomass responses to insecticides targeting aboveground and belowground insects. Experiment 1 was repeated for 3 yr in one location and Exp. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Humberto Blanco-Canqui, Tim M. Shaver, John L. Lindquist, Charles A. Shapiro, Roger W. Elmore, Charles A. Francis and Gary W. Hergert
      Cover Crops and Ecosystem Services: Insights from Studies in Temperate Soils

      Cover crops (CCs) can provide multiple soil, agricultural production, and environmental benefits. However, a better understanding of such potential ecosystem services is needed. We summarized the current state of knowledge of CC effects on soil C stocks, soil erosion, physical properties, soil water, nutrients, microbial properties, weed control, crop yields, expanded uses, and economics and highlighted research needs. Our review indicates that CCs are multifunctional. (continued)

      Published: October 5, 2015


    • Peter M. Bierman, James E. Crants and Carl J. Rosen
      Evaluation of a Quick Test to Assess Polymer-Coated Urea Prill Damage

      Polymer-coated ureas (PCUs) can reduce N leaching in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production while maintaining yields. However, damage to the polymer coating during handling increases N release and potentially affects leaching and crop response. A 2-yr study was conducted to develop a quick test of PCU damage, compare its results with N release under field conditions, and determine damage effects on N uptake and yield in field experiments. A 24-h water immersion procedure was developed to measure N release differences from two sources of the PCU fertilizer Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN) handled in different ways: ESN(C), dealer grade undamaged control, and ESN(A), damaged by air boom spreader application. (continued)

      Published: September 18, 2015

    • Muhammad Tanveer Ahmad, Hafiz Naeem Asghar, Muhammad Saleem, Muhammad Yahya Khan and Zahir Ahmad Zahir
      Synergistic Effect of Rhizobia and Biochar on Growth and Physiology of Maize

      This experiment aimed to evaluate plant growth promoting rhizobia in combination with biochar for improving the growth and physiology of maize (Zea mays L.). Three rhizobia isolated from different legumes (RH1, RH2, and RH3) were used to inoculate maize growing in soil amended with different levels of biochar (0.0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5%) under controlled conditions. The magnitude of improvement in the growth and physiology of maize varied due to rhizobial inoculation and application of biochar, either alone or in combination. Combined application of different rhizobia and biochar caused significant improvement in the growth and physiological attributes of maize over their sole use. (continued)

      Published: September 18, 2015

    • Xiaoye Gao, Aimin Lv, Peng Zhou, Yaling Qian and Yuan An
      Effect of Green Manures on Rice Growth and Plant Nutrients under Conventional and No-Till Systems

      Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a good green manure resource with high N and P concentrations, but its effect on rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth and plant nutrients has not been fully elucidated. Two green manure species, alfalfa and broad bean (Vicia faba L.), and two N fertilizer levels (0 and 200 kg ha–1), alone or in combination, were applied to rice paddy soil under conventional tillage (CT) and no-till (NT) systems in 2010 and 2011. The results showed that, under CT , alfalfa had a more pronounced effect on increasing grain yield and nutrient content in the grain, plant (leaf N and leaf P), and soil (total N and Olsen P) than broad bean (p < 0.05). Compared with the N fertilizer treatment, the alfalfa treatment alone achieved statistically equivalent levels of grain yield but significantly increased P contents in grain and leaf and Olsen P in soil. (continued)

      Published: September 11, 2015

    • Nothando Dunjana, Philip Nyamugafata, Justice Nyamangara, Nelson Mango and Willis Gwenzi
      Maize Water Productivity and Its Relationship to Soil Properties under Integrated Cattle Manure and Mineral-Nitrogen Fertilizer in a Smallholder Cropping System

      Crop water productivity is often regarded as indicating the water use efficiency of crops, an important aspect, particularly under erratic rainfall conditions. This study investigated the effects of cattle manure and mineral-N fertilizer application on maize (Zea mays L.) water productivity (MWP) on clay and sandy soils in a smallholder farming area of Zimbabwe. Four fields previously exhibiting heterogeneous fertility were managed under the following treatments: control (no amendment) and cattle manure (5, 15, and 25 Mg ha–1) + 100 kg ha–1 mineral-N fertilizer for 7 yr. Thereafter, the effects of fertility treatment on MWP were expressed as actual maize grain yield produced per unit of seasonal transpiration modeled using AquaCrop. (continued)

      Published: October 5, 2015

    • Adônis Moreira, Larissa A. C. Moraes, Götz Schroth and José M. G. Mandarino
      Effect of Nitrogen, Row Spacing, and Plant Density on Yield, Yield Components, and Plant Physiology in Soybean–Wheat Intercropping

      The introduction of cultivars with earlier development and greater productivity has raised questions about the effect of management practices on soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr] yield in a no-till (NT) system. The objective of the study was to evaluate the interaction between N fertilization, row spacing, and plant density on photosynthetic index, yield components, yield, and nutritional status of soybean–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) intercropping. For soybean cultivation, three N rates, three row spacing, and three planting densities were assessed during two growing seasons, while for wheat, 17.5-cm row spacing and no N fertilization were used. No significant effects of row spacing and plant density were detected. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Joshua T. Enderson, Antonio P. Mallarino and Mazhar U. Haq
      Soybean Yield Response to Foliar-Applied Micronutrients and Relationships among Soil and Tissue Tests

      Research is needed to assess the value of soil and tissue testing for micronutrients. This research evaluated the soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] grain yield response to foliar application of B, Cu, Mn, and Zn and relationships between soil and plant-tissue tests at 42 sites in Iowa. Treatments sprayed at the V5–V6 and R2–R3 growth stages were a control, each nutrient applied separately, and their mixture. Soil-test results for moist or dried (40°C) samples (15-cm depth) for B were 0.23 to 1.66 mg kg–1 (hot-water test) whereas for Cu, Mn, and Zn were 1.6 to 4.2, 31.5 to 128, and 1.2 to 11 mg kg–1 by the Mehlich-3 (M3) test and 0.28 to 1.83, 3.8 to 42.3, and 0.48 to 15.1 mg kg–1 by the diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) test. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

    • Stanisław M. Samborski, Dariusz Gozdowski, Olga S. Walsh, David. W. Lamb, Michał Stępień, Edward S. Gacek and Tadeusz Drzazga
      Winter Wheat Genotype Effect on Canopy Reflectance: Implications for Using NDVI for In-Season Nitrogen Topdressing Recommendations

      Active optical sensors (AOSs) measure crop reflectance at specific wavelengths and calculate vegetation indices (VIs) that are used to prescribe variable N fertilization. Visual observations of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plant greenness and density suggest that VI values may be genotype specific. Some sensor systems use correction coefficients to eliminate the effect of genotype on VI values. This study was conducted to assess the effects of winter wheat cultivars and growing conditions on canopy reflectance, as measured by red or amber normalized difference vegetative indices (NDVIs) derived from AOSs. (continued)

      Published: August 14, 2015

    • L. J. Thompson, R. B. Ferguson, N. Kitchen, D. W. Frazen, M. Mamo, H. Yang and J. S. Schepers
      Model and Sensor-Based Recommendation Approaches for In-Season Nitrogen Management in Corn

      Nitrogen management for corn (Zea mays L.) may be improved by applying a portion of N in-season. This investigation was conducted to evaluate crop modeling (Maize-N) and active crop canopy sensing approaches for recommending in-season N fertilizer rates. These approaches were evaluated during 2012–2013 on 11 field sites, in Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Nitrogen management also included a no-N treatment (check) and a non-limiting N reference (all at planting). (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015

    • Ai Zhan, Xinping Chen, Shiqing Li and Zhenling Cui
      Changes in Phosphorus Requirement with Increasing Grain Yield for Winter Wheat

      Overestimation of the P requirement has been a driving force in the overuse of P fertilization in intensively managed agricultural systems and the resulting extensive environmental pollution. A database comprising 2157 measurements was developed from 2000 to 2013 using 45 on-farm and station trials to evaluate the relationship between aboveground P uptake and grain yield with different P fertilizer (Pf) treatments and to quantify P requirements per megagram of grain at different grain yield levels. Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield ranged from 0.9 to 11.7 Mg ha–1. The P requirement per megagram of grain yield (Preq) increased with Pf supply from 4.1 kg under the treatment without Pf to 4.8 kg under the Pf surplus treatment. (continued)

      Published: August 6, 2015


    • Francis J. Larney, Drusilla C. Pearson, Lingling Li, Robert E. Blackshaw and Newton Z. Lupwayi
      Conservation Management Practices and Rotations for Irrigated Dry Bean Production in Southern Alberta

      Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production on the Canadian prairies has traditionally used wide rows, inter-row cultivation, and undercutting at harvest. Recent breeding efforts have produced cultivars with more upright growth which are better suited to solid-seeded narrow-row production systems. A 12 yr (2000–2011) study compared conservation (CONS) and conventional (CONV) management for dry bean in 3- to 6-yr rotations. The CONS rotations included reduced tillage, cover crops, feedlot manure compost, and solid-seeded narrow-row dry bean. (continued)

      Published: September 4, 2015

    • Rajan Ghimire, Stephen Machado and Karl Rhinhart
      Long-Term Crop Residue and Nitrogen Management Effects on Soil Profile Carbon and Nitrogen in Wheat–Fallow Systems

      Intensive cultivation of native grassland for dryland agriculture continuously depleted soil organic carbon (SOC) and nutrients. In 2010, we evaluated the influence of 80 yr of crop residue and nutrient management practices on SOC and N in 0- to 60-cm soil depth profiles in conventionally tilled winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)–summer fallow (WW–SF) system. Residue and N treatments, no N addition with fall burning (FB0), spring burning (SB0), and no burning (NB0), 45 kg N ha–1 with SB (SB45) and NB (NB45), 90 kg N ha–1 with SB (SB90) and NB (NB90), manure (MN, 5.32 Mg dry mass ha–1 yr–1), and pea vines (PV, 0.99 Mg dry mass ha–1yr–1), were in ordered arrangement, and an undisturbed grassland (GP) was used as a reference. All WW–SF treatments had less SOC and N stocks than GP. (continued)

      Published: August 28, 2015

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