272-9 Long-Term Productivity in Traditional, Organic and Low-Input Management Systems of the Upper Midwest.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017: 4:05 PM
Tampa Convention Center, Room 7
Traditional cropping practices in the Upper Midwest are marked by low-diversity and high tillage disturbance. Eight years of production were evaluated to determine potential benefits of adopting low-input and organic management practices on system productivity. Increased crop rotation diversity, reduced tillage, and use of animal manure or no fertilizer, employed in organic and low-input systems, were compared to traditional management. A four-year, corn/soybean/wheat-alfalfa/alfalfa rotation replaced the traditional two-year corn-soybean rotation. Strip-tillage replaced conventional moldboard plow. Animal manure or no fertilizer, respectively in organic and low-input systems, replaced inorganic fertilizers. Eight years of findings indicated overall system productivity was better under traditional management, largely due to tillage impacts on corn yields. Within organic and low-input systems, tillage also had an impact on productivity due to a positive influence on corn yields. These systems were marked by strict adherence to a tillage management scheme. Future research should investigate rotational tillage schemes and alternative mechanisms to improve nutrient availability in organic and low-input production systems.
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