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Tillage and Cover Crop Impacts

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Tillage and Cover Crop Impacts

  1. 1. Enhancing Environmental Stewardship of Corn Silage Systems with Cover Crops and No-tillage Hatch Multistate Research Project (NC 1178) Formerly: “Impacts of Crop Residue Removal on Soils” Laura C. Adams2, Francisco J. Arriaga1, and Michael Bertram3 1-Assistant Professor; 2-M.S. Candidate; 3-Superintendent Dept. of Soil Science, and Arlington Agricultural Research Station University of Wisconsin-Madison 2017 Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Conference Madison, WI
  2. 2. Background • Dairy is an important agricultural sector in Wisconsin ($43.4 billion 2016). • Milking cows need high quality feed, such as corn silage and alfalfa. • After corn silage, manure is commonly applied to the field. Challenge for phosphorus (P) management since these soils are prone to greater erosion and nutrient runoff risks. • Can reduced tillage and cover crops help?
  3. 3. Objective • Determine the impact of using a cereal rye as a cover crop and no-tillage on sediment and phosphorus losses from corn silage production.
  4. 4. Plot Size = 45’ x 500’ = 0.52 acre Experiment Site = 555’ x 1740’ = 22.17 acre T1 NT Cover Crop T2 NT Cover Crop – Harvest T3 NT No Cover Crop T4 CT Cover Crop T5 CT Cover Crop – Harvest T6 CT No Cover Crop
  5. 5. Rainfall Simulation • Oscillating nozzle rainfall simulator • 3-inches per hour for 60 min. (7.6 cm/hr) • Simulations conducted in June 2016, October 2016, and April 2017 • Used deionized water
  6. 6. Runoff Sample Analysis • Total runoff volume • Sediment • Phosphorus fractions Other Info: • Soil: silt loam • Annual dairy manure • Bray-P ~40 ppm
  7. 7. Cumulative Runoff
  8. 8. Total Runoff Source Probability > F Tillage (T) 0.3749 Cover (C) 0.0019 Date (D) 0.2412 T x C 0.5841 T x D 0.0702 C x D 0.0083 T x C x D 0.2595
  9. 9. Total Runoff (cont.)
  10. 10. Total Runoff at Different Times of Year Year Source June October April Tillage (T) 0.0007 0.4534 0.9460 Cover (C) 0.0013 0.7240 0.0049 T x C 0.0038 0.8169 0.4649
  11. 11. Sediment Losses Source Probability > F Tillage (T) 0.5074 Cover (C) 0.0007 Date (D) 0.8741 T x C 0.1750 T x D 0.0212 C x D 0.0415 T x C x D 0.2886
  12. 12. Sediment Losses (cont.) Treatments Sediment Load Tillage Cover June October April ___________________ tons ha-1 ___________________ CT NCC CC 4.70 3.00 1.87 2.89 5.22 1.44 NT NCC CC 3.65 0.95 6.23 3.08 4.96 1.54
  13. 13. Total Phosphorus Losses Source Probability > F Tillage (T) 0.9287 Cover (C) 0.0142 Date (D) 0.0006 T x C 0.7051 T x D 0.1885 C x D 0.0428 T x C x D 0.4747
  14. 14. Dissolved Phosphorus Loss Source Probability > F Tillage (T) 0.6212 Cover (C) 0.5381 Date (D) 0.0472 T x C 0.2862 T x D 0.8258 C x D 0.6385 T x C x D 0.2308
  15. 15. Bioavailable Phosphorus Loss Source Probability > F Tillage (T) 0.7783 Cover (C) 0.0058 Date (D) 0.0586 T x C 0.2062 T x D 0.3524 C x D 0.1016 T x C x D 0.4005
  16. 16. Total Dry Forage Yield
  17. 17. What are we learning? • For the conditions of our study; • Cover crop had a greater impact in reducing runoff, sediment and sediment bound phosphorus. • Dissolved phosphorus fractions need other approaches for reducing losses. • Work continues to link soil health parameters to water quality. Funding support: UW CALS Hatch Program, Agronomic Science Foundation, and the Monsanto Corporation.

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