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Nitrogen Fertilizer Cover Crop Responses Seeded After Wheat and Effect on Grain Corn Yield in the Short-Term

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Title: Nitrogen Fertilizer Cover Crop Responses Seeded After Wheat and Effect on Grain Corn Yield in the Short-Term
Author: Stewart, Matthew
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: Hooker, David
Abstract: Cover crops seeded after wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) provide agronomic, environmental and soil health services. Long-term cover crop trials were established at Ridgetown and Elora, ON, in 2017. But in the short-tern, cover crop populations, C:N ratios, N uptake and biomass in November, and subsequent corn (Zea mays L.) grain yields, were examined among combinations of five cover crop treatments, two nitrogen treatments before cover crop seeding, and two tillage systems in 2017 and 2018. In general, mixtures of cover crop species did not produce more biomass than monocultures at 3 of 4 site-years. N fertilizer applied after wheat harvest increased biomass of non-legumes and tended to reduce C:N ratios in November. Cover crops did not increase grain corn yields when adequately fertilized with N, but where N was limited, yields were improved after red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and decreased after oat (Avena sativa L.). Cover crop performance can be maximized in the short-term, but longer-term studies are needed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/17439
Date: 2019-09
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