/AnMtgsAbsts2009.52319 Straw Removal: Long-Term Implications On Soil Quality and Wheat Production.

Monday, November 2, 2009: 12:00 PM
Convention Center, Room 412, Fourth Floor

Guy Lafond1, Mark Stumborg2, William May1 and Christopher Holzapfel3, (1)Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Indian Head, SK, Canada
(2)Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Swift Current, SK, Canada
(3)Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation, Indian Head, SK, Canada
Crop residues are considered the feedstock of choice for the production of ethanol. However the removal of straw could have a negative impact on long-term soil quality and crop production. The objectives of the study were to quantify the proportion of total aboveground crop residues removed through baling and to evaluate the effects after 50 years of straw removal with baling on soil quality and spring wheat production. Results show that removing straw using a commercial baler removes, on average, 26 to 40% of total above ground residues other than grain. When soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (SON) was measured after 50 years of straw removal with baling, no differences were observed and spring wheat grain yields and grain protein were also not affected. It is therefore possible to remove some crop residues without affecting the long-term productivity of the soil at a frequency of two yr out of three.