Rotation benefits of alfalfa in a cropping system
Forster, David A.
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Including alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in cropping systems produce nitrogen and non-nitrogen benefits which affect subsequent cereal yield, grain protein concentration and grain nitrogen uptake and is known to improve the soil surface hydrology and increase root activity and soil water extraction by subsequent crops. The objective of this study was to determine the rotation benefit of alfalfa to subsequent wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crops. The effect of including one to six year alfalfa stand lengths in rotation was measured using subsequent wheat yield, grain protein concentration, grain nitrogen uptake as well as rooting depth and soil water extraction by wheat at the Winnipeg Crop Rotation from 1990 to 1997. Results from this study indicate that short term alfalfa stands of two to four years are feasible to increase subsequent cereal yield, grain protein concentration, rooting depth and soil water extraction in the sub-humid regions of Manitoba. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)