See more from this Session: Cover Crops: Impacts on Agronomic Crops, Soil Productivity, and Environmental Quality: II
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Opportunities for cover crops to be seeded within an annual cropping system exist across the state of Kansas. As a result of these opportunities, cover crop research is being conducted by Kansas State University in western, central, and eastern Kansas. Reasons for doing this work are many including the study of changes in weed suppression, soil moisture usage, and soil physical properties are just a few. Because of the varying climate across Kansas, different cover crop species along with different seeding and termination dates are being evaluated. Preliminary results indicate the addition of cover crops improved soil physical and hydraulic properties and increased soil organic carbon concentration near the soil surface. Cover crops also reduced risks of excessive near-surface soil compaction. Cover crops, particularly sunn hemp, increase water infiltration. Cover crops appear to have more beneficial impacts on soil physical properties at low nitrogen rates than at higher nitrogen rates. Results suggest cover crops can be successfully used as a companion to no-till systems to improve soil physical properties and increase soil organic carbon concentration.