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Sunday, July 22, 2018

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1015. Bowren, K.E. (ed.).. 1986. Soil improvement with legumes.. Saskatchewan Agriculture, Soils and Crops Branch.
This excellent publication summarizes research over the past 40 years pertaining to the use of legumes for soil improvement in Saskatchewan. The role of legumes in maintaining soil nitrogen was crucial prior to available fertilizer. But their value extends beyond their nitrogen contribution to the improvement of soil physical properties. One study found the tillage draft requirement to be up to one-third lower where legumes had been a regular part of the rotation. The positive effects of alfalfa were measured for over ten years in a series of wheat crops compared to plots with no alfalfa. Over 17 years, the average grain yield from a wheat-wheat/clover-clover green manure rotation with no fertilizer were 30% higher that a wheat-wheat-fallow rotation with fertilizer. Moisture depletion by legumes is the biggest hurdle to their use in very dry areas. Adequate fertility for the legumes is necessary to maximize their benefit. Use of selected Rhizobium strains can improve nitrogen fixation, especially on acid soils. Several varieties of sweetclover are mentioned with adaptation to forage or green manure use. The booklet has numerous color photos and many data tables and figures.

2221. Goldstein, Walter A.. 1986. Alternative crops, rotations, and management systems for dryland farming.. Ph.D. dissertation, Agronomy and Soils, WSU.
This work covers a number of research areas, including the use of edible white lupine as an alternative crop, the use of black medic in rotation with spring peas and winter wheat (the PALS concept), performance of winter wheat as influenced by rotations, fertilization, and fumigation; rotational effects of medics; wheat interference with weeds; costs and returns of alternative systems; comparison of agronomic effects of conventional, organic, and biodynamic management. The PALS (perpetuating alternative legume system) concept was field-tested using a pea + medic - medic GM - winter wheat rotation with limited inputs of agrichemicals and tillage. This system was more economic using market prices of commodities at both a low and high yield level. With government support prices, the PALS system was competitive in the low yield situation, but not the high. Rotational effects appeared to suppress weeds in wheat with the medic compared to a continuous cereal system.

4377. McKay, H.C. and W.A. Moss. 1949. High protein wheat with conservation farming.. U. of Idaho Extension Bull. #181.
Emphasize need for legume - grass rotation to maintain soil productivity. Suggest a 7 yr sweet clover rotation or a 9 yr alfalfa rotation. Yellow sweet clover plus mountain bromegrass or slender wheatgrass; Ladak alfalfa plus smooth brome and big bluegrass (high rainfall) or crested wheatgrass (low rainfall); early spring seeding recommended without nurse crop; methods of establishment, plow sweetclover at 12-22" height; use sweetclover as a surface mulch to prevent erosion. T: soil moisture and sweetclover growth; wheat after sweetclover; yield and protein.

7850. Koala, S.. 1982. Adaptation of Australian ley farming to Montana dryland cereal production.. M.S. Thesis, Dept. of Plant and Soil Sci., Montana St. Univ., Bozeman, MT 59717.
This study examined the potential to adapt the ley farming system used in Australia to dryland cereal production in Montana. The ley system alternates a grain crop with a self-seeding forage legume. The legumes tested in this study included 5 Australian medics, 7 subclovers, 2 lupins, fababean, and a native Montana black medic. One full cycle of the system was completed. All grain yields (spring wheat) were higher after the legumes than after fallow. Soil water to 120 cm was similar in all plots at wheat planting. The black medic treatment had the highest water use efficiency (100 kg grain/cm) and fallow the lowest (55 kg grain/cm). There were higher levels of soil nitrate after the legumes than after fallow. Re-establishment of the legumes after wheat ranged from 3 to 93% ground cover, with black medic being the highest. Overall, black medic from Montana performed best in this study.

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