Corn yield stability varies with rotations, fertility

Jul 21, 2009

Understanding temporal variability in crop yields has implications for sustainable crop production, particularly since greater fluxes in crop yields are projected with global climate change.

Many long-term cropping system studies have compared average ; this study looked at stability of yields and whether cropping systems and manure applications affected crop yields differently in poor- and high- yielding years.

K.K. Grover et al. investigated the effects of long-term cropping systems on corn grain yields, yield trends, and yield stability over the last 16 years of a long-term fertility and cropping systems experiment at the Pennsylvania State University.

This study suggests that on average in a productive Central Pennsylvania soil, the yield of corn rotated with alfalfa, red clover, and timothy is modestly higher and less variable than corn grown exclusively. Further, when dairy manure is applied to meet crop nitrogen requirements, continuous corn can perform equally well to the rotated in high-yielding years, but performs poorly in low-yielding years such as dry summers and wet springs.

When synthetic fertilizers or phosphorus-based manure are applied, however, continuous corn may yield less than rotated in low- and high-yielding years. Further research is needed to evaluate the economic returns of these cropping systems.

The research results are published in the July-August 2009 issue of .

More information: agron.scijournals.org/cgi/cont… t/abstract/101/4/940

Source: American Society of Agronomy

Explore further: NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Preventing soil erosion in continuous corn

Jan 12, 2009

With recent increase in the cost of energy and subsequent explorations into alternative energy sources, the increased harvest of corn residue for cellulosic ethanol production is likely in the future. This may be especially ...

Are organic crops as productive as conventional?

Mar 25, 2008

Can organic cropping systems be as productive as conventional systems" The answer is an unqualified, “Yes” for alfalfa or wheat and a qualified “Yes most of the time” for corn and soybeans according to research reported ...

Keeping yields, profits and water quality high

May 08, 2008

One of the key questions facing agriculturalists in the 21st century is how to produce adequate amounts of food and farm income while protecting environmental quality. Diversified, low-external-input (LEI) farming systems ...

Managing carbon loss

Dec 03, 2008

As the United States continues to develop alternative energy methods and push towards energy independence, cellulosic-based ethanol has emerged as one of the most commercially viable technologies. Corn stover remains the ...

Recommended for you

UN sends team to clean up Bangladesh oil spill

15 hours ago

The United Nations said Thursday it has sent a team of international experts to Bangladesh to help clean up the world's largest mangrove forest, more than a week after it was hit by a huge oil spill.

How will climate change transform agriculture?

15 hours ago

Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Report: Radiation leak at nuclear dump was small

16 hours ago

A final report by independent researchers shows the radiation leak from the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was small and localized.

Confucian thought and China's environmental dilemmas

20 hours ago

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world's most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China's recent moves toward an apparent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.