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6525. Brown, P.L.. 1965. Legumes and grasses in dryland cropping systems in the Northern and Central Great Plains.. USDA-ARS Misc. Publ. No. 952.

483. Army, T.J. and J.C. Hide. 1959. Effects of green manure crops on dryland wheat production in the Great Plains area of Montana.. Agron. J. 51:196-198.
This paper summarizes the results from the green manure treatments which were a part of a 38-year study (1914-1951) of numerous small grain rotations involving wheat, barley, oats, corn, and fallow in various combinations. The rotation experiments were carried out at several Great Plains experiment stations including Havre, Huntley, and Moccasin, Montana, and Sheridan, Wyoming. The results indicated that winter rye, field pea, and sweetclover green manures had no effect at all or a depressing effect on small grain yields the following year as compared to ordinary fallow. The results of this unreplicated study are the most likely reason that research on dryland legume-cereal rotations essentially ceased in Montana until 1978. Although legume green manures, ideally, may impart several beneficial effects on ensuing cereal crops, the primary benefit is the release of symbiotically fixed nitrogen. The legume green manures in the long-term study at Moccasin and Huntley had little chance of improving wheat yields compared to ordinary fallow for several reasons. First, the soils involved, and most Montana soils indeed, had not yet become deficient in N as they are today. Organic matter had begun to decline by the 1950's but it still provided ample N to meet the needs of wheat yield potentials of that era. Also, the management of the legumes in these early studies is questionable as one passage from the report suggested that when the green manure crops were not successfully established, thee was invariably a good crop of Russian thistle (Salsola kali L.) to plow under. Possible other factors lending to their failure include inefficient storage of winter precipitation, late seeding, poor timing of plow down, and a lack of nodulation which continues to be a problem of dryland legume culture today, especially with small-seeded legumes. The above substantiate their conclusion that the main effect of the green manures was to reduce the water available to the ensuing grain crops. A re-examination of the Moccasin and Huntley, Montana data indicates that grain yields after green manures were slightly higher than grain yields after fallow for eight of the last ten years of the study.

826. Bezdicek, D. and R. Lockerman. no date. Crop rotation and the response of cereal crops to nitrogen in the PNW. unpublished.
Experiments conducted at Pullman, WA and Bozeman, MT. Year 1 - legumes (rainfall -Pullman 500 mm, Bozeman 480 mm). Year 2 -Pullman winter wheat + N (rainfall 350 mm); Bozeman barley + N (rainfall 200 mm). Compared fababean, pea, lentil, chickpea, fallow at both locations. Pullman legumes were used as green manure, Bozeman legumes were harvested for seed. N fertilizer equivalents ranged from 30-86 kg/ha N at Pullman (fallow = 125) and from 27-81 kg/ha N at Bozeman (fallow = 53). All cereals responded to added N, although less so at Pullman. More N was removed in seed than was fixed. Seed legumes appeared to fix 50-100 kg/ha N. The rotation effect was more significant at Pullman. T: cereal yields; fertilizer N equivalent; moisture depletion.

7979. Sims, J.R.. 1971. The resource inventory method of determining cropping practices for dryland farming.. Proc. of Saline Seep Workshop, Highwood Alkali Control Assoc., Great Falls, MT, Feb. 22-23.

7816. Ford, G.L. and J.L. Krall. 1979. The history of summer fallow in Montana.. Montana Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. 704.
This excellent publication describes the historical development of summer fallow use in dry farming in Montana and some of its consequences. Data from 1974 indicate that aboaut one-third of the cropland in the state was in summer fallow (5 million acres). In Montana, the fallow period is 14 and 21 months for winter and spring grain respectively. Results from the early 1900's indicated more profitable returns from alternate crop-fallow compared to continuous cropping. This was due to both more moisture and available nitrogen built up under fallow. Summer fallow was not widely adopted until the 1920's, when a series of very unfavorable weather years occurred and showed the risk reduction value of fallow. Serious wind erosion became a problem at that time and led to the introduction and widespread adoption of narrow alternate crop-fallow strips perpendicular to the wind direction. Fallow led to a greater decrease in soil organic matter and total nitrogen (40 and 35 % decrease) than with continuous cropping (35 and 27 % decrease). Further research found that continuous cropping made more efficient use of moisture than fallow. As nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides became available, fallow was no longer as important for these aspects. Summer fallow has also caused the development of saline seep conditions on hundreds of thousands of acres. This condition occurs where summer fallow stores more moisture than a crop uses, and the water then moves deeper in the soil profile until it hits a confining layer, causing it to move laterally with dissolved salts, and to break out as a seep further downslope. In one watershed, the percentage of total land area affected by saline seep increase from 0.1% to 19% over 30 years. Continuous cropping and use of deep-rooted plants such as alfalfa can help solve this problem. The authors propose a new approach to cropping intensity, one called "flex-cropping" in which the decision to plant a crop is based on the presence of at least 3 inches of stored soil water at seeding time. This system would reduce some of the negative effects of summer fallow while also reducing exposure to drought risk. Federal acreage restrictions under the commodity programs pose a major barrier to this approach.

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.

7857. Krall, J.L., T.J. Army, P.H. Post, and A.E. Seamans. 1965. A summary of dryland rotations and tillage experiments at Havre, Huntley, and Moccasin.. Montana Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. 559.

7907. Sims, J.R.. 1988. Dryland legume-cereal rotations for the Northern Great Plains-Intermountain region. p. 17-19. IN: S.K. Hilander (ed.). Proc. AERO/MSU Soil Building Cropping Systems Conference, Dec. 1988.

7930. Sims, J.R.. 1988. Research on dryland legume-cereal rotations in Montana.. Symposium on Crop Diversification in Sustainable Agriculture. Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.
This paper opens with a review of the long-term findings of historic rotation studies for dry farming in Montana and concludes that improved varieties and management abilities call for a re-examination of alternatives to the crop-fallow system. A short description of ley farming in Australia follows, and then research on adapting it to Montana conditions is presented. Results to date indicate the potential for both grain and forage legumes to successfully precede a cereal crop without significant cereal yield losses, and with a reduced need for nitrogen fertilizer. T: medic soil water use and N contribution; wheat yields after medics; pulse and cereal grain yields; annual legume forage yields; fertilizer response curves for barley with various forecrops.

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