Roller-Crimper Termination for Legume Cover Crops in North Carolina: Impacts on Nutrient Availability to a Succeeding Corn Crop

Mary Parr, Julie M. Grossman, S. Chris Reberg-Horton, Carrie Brinton, Carl Crozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) release from roll-killed legume cover crops was determined for hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), and a hairy vetch + rye (Secale cereale L.) biculture in an organic corn production system in North Carolina, USA. Cover crops were planted at two locations in fall 2008 and 2009, roll-killed in May, and no-till planted with corn (Zea mays L.). Inorganic soil N and mineral N flux were determined using potassium chloride (KCl) extractions and ion-exchange resin (Plant Root Simulator, PRS) probes at 2-week intervals for 12 weeks and compared to fertilized controls of 0 and 168 kg N ha -1 . In 2009, greater plant available N under hairy vetch than under either 0 N control or crimson clover was found, with peak soil N occurring between 4 and 6 weeks after roll kill. Available soil N under crimson clover mulches was less than or equal to 0 N, suggesting net immobilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1119
Number of pages14
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Legume cover crops
  • N mineralization
  • N synchrony
  • Trifolium incarnatum
  • Vicia villosa
  • nutrient cycling
  • organic cropping systems

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