Grain Legume Effects on Soil Nitrogen, Grain Yield, and Nitrogen Nutrition of Wheat
- M. Badaruddin and
- D. W. Meyer
Cereal crop yields frequently are greater when grown after soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] than after continuous cereal cropping. Information on other grain legumes is limited in eastern areas of the northern Great Plains. The objectives of this field study were to determine (i) soil nitrate-N status in the spring following grain legumes, and (ii) grain legume effects on grain yield, grain yield components, and N nutrition of the subsequent hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. emend. Thell.) crop fertilized with 0, 75, and 150 kg ha−1. Two-year crop sequences were evaluated on a Fargo silty clay (fine, montmorillonitic, frigid Vertic Haplaquoll) soil at Fargo, ND, and on a Perella-Bearden silty clay loam (fine-silty, mixed, frigid Typic Haplaquoll, fine-silty, frigid Vertic Calciaquoll) soil at Prosper. Six grain legume species were harvested for grain, and aboveground residues were removed in 1984 and were uniformly spread and incorporated into the soil in 1985. Spring soil nitrate-N level following legumes was 28% greater than that following N-fertilized wheat across three environments but 43% lower than that following fallow. Unfertilized wheat grain yields following grain legumes were equivalent to or greater than that following a wheat crop fertilized with 75 kg N ha−1 and similar to fallow at the same fertility level. Total N accumulation by wheat following grain legumes was 9% greater than that following wheat but 13% lower than that following fallow. Nitrogen-use efficiency for wheat following legumes, however, was up to 32% greater than that for wheat following fallow and up to 21% greater than that for continuous wheat. These studies indicate that grain legumes should be considered in cropping systems in higher moisture areas of the northern Great Plains to help maintain subsequent crop productivity.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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