Field preparation crop r otations and green manures mark pavek wsu
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Field preparation, crop r otations , and green manures Mark Pavek - WSU. Pre-cropping practices Crop rotation Green manures Field selection Field preparation. Crop Rotation – What and Why?. Same field – different crop each year Common duration: 3-5 years, then repeat

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Field preparation crop r otations and green manures mark pavek wsu
Field preparation, crop rotations, and green manuresMark Pavek - WSU

Pre-cropping practices

  • Crop rotation

  • Green manures

  • Field selection

  • Field preparation


Crop rotation what and why
Crop Rotation – What and Why?

  • Same field – different crop each year

    • Common duration: 3-5 years, then repeat

  • To build/maintain healthy soils and productive, profitable crops sustainably for the long-term


Crop rotation concept
Crop Rotation Concept

  • Minimize Pests

    • Insects, nematodes, weeds, mites

  • Minimize Disease

    • Bacteria, viruses, fungi

  • Optimize Available Nutrients

    • Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, micros

  • Optimize Soil Health

    • Aeration, tilth, organic matter

  • Facilitate Tillage, Planting, Harvest and Post-harvest Activities and Quality


Minimize insect mite pests with crop rotation
Minimize Insect & Mite Pestswith Crop Rotation

  • How rotation can help:

    • Remove host crop of insect

    • Proximity to other insect hosts

    • Disrupt insect overwintering in soil via tillage from different cropping practices


Minimize insect mite pests with crop rotation1
Minimize Insect & Mite Pestswith Crop Rotation

Insects/mites influenced by rotation & location:

Colorado potato beetle (overwinters in soil)

Wireworms (flourishes in small grains, clover)

Mites (likes corn, alfalfa, mint, dusty roads)

Leafhopper (specific weeds, proximity to)

Grasshoppers (overwinters in soil)

Seedcorn maggot (corn is its favorite)

Leather jackets (spring incorporated alfalfa)

White grubs


Minimize nematodes disease with crop rotation
Minimize Nematodes & Diseasewith Crop Rotation

Disease and nematode factors:

  • Non-host alternate crops

  • Rotation duration

  • Soil micro-organism dynamics


Nematodes influenced by crop rotation
Nematodesinfluenced by crop rotation

Crop rotation can be useful in reducing nematode populations

  • Root-knot

    • Alfalfa is not a host

  • Lesion

  • Stubby-root

    Research in the Pacific Northwest has shown that cover crops of rapeseed, mustard, oilseed radish, or sudangrass reduce populations of root knot nematodes when incorporated as green manure.


Diseases influenced by crop rotation
Diseasesinfluenced by crop rotation

  • Verticillium wilt

  • Rhizoctonia

  • Common scab

  • Silver scurf

  • Pink rot

  • White mold


Minimize weeds with crop rotation
Minimize Weedswith Crop Rotation

  • Follow “easy to weed” crops with “hard to weed” and visa versa

  • Alternating herbicides each year

    • To prevent herbicide-resistant weeds

    • Certain weeds not controlled by all herbicides

  • Consider volunteer-crop-weeds

  • Consider herbicide carryover



Optimize available nutrients with crop rotation
Optimize Available Nutrientswith Crop Rotation

  • Follow legume forage crops, such as alfalfa, with high nitrogen-demanding crop, like potatoes or corn

  • Grow less nitrogen-demanding crops following crops like potatoes or corn


Optimize soil health with crop rotation
Optimize Soil Healthwith Crop Rotation

Healthy Soils

  • Good Soil tilth/condition

  • Accumulate Organic Matter

  • Beneficial organisms

  • Lack of erosion

  • Nutrient availability

  • Aeration, lack of compaction

  • pH balanced, not influenced by additives


Soil health management with crop rotation
Soil Health Managementwith Crop Rotation

Soil Tilth, Aeration, Water Availability, Minimal Erosion, Nutrients

Important factors:

  • Accumulation of O.M.

  • Management of residues

  • Choice of crops

  • Tillage traffic


Facilitate tillage planting harvest and post harvest activities quality with crop rotation
Facilitate Tillage, Planting, Harvest and Post-harvest Activities & Qualitywith Crop Rotation

  • Consider current crop will influence the next crop

    Examples

    • Corn ears in harvested potatoes

    • Alfalfa roots complicating planting or early season tillage

    • Residue complicating bed or row formation




Crop rotation
Crop Rotation prior to tillage

Typical Rotations: Eastern Idaho

Grain  Potatoes

Grain  Grain  Potatoes

Grain  Sugar beets  Grain Potatoes

Grain  Alfalfa (2+ yrs)  Grain Potatoes


Crop rotation1
Crop Rotation prior to tillage

Typical Rotations: Central and Western Idaho, Central Washington

Combinations of grain, beans, peas, sugar beets, onions, and corn in a 5-6 year cycle with potatoes

Beans avoided just prior to potatoes

(white mold/sclerotinia)


Green manures
Green Manures prior to tillage

Purposes

  • Same as rotation: tilth, nutrition, water availability, aeration, pest control

  • Plus:

    • Improved erosion control


Radish green manure prior to tillage

Grain rotation


Green manures1
Green Manures prior to tillage

Types

  • Rotation crop green manures (full-season)

  • Interval green manures (between crops)


Green manures2
Green Manures prior to tillage

Potential Disadvantages

  • Reduced income

  • Additional management costs

  • Hosting of pests

  • Additional weed (volunteer) problems


Green manures3
Green Manures prior to tillage

Potential Advantages

  • Improved yield and quality

  • Reduced fertilizer costs

  • Reduced soil-borne pest control costs


Green manures4
Green Manures prior to tillage

Crops for Green Manures:

  • Radish and mustard (interval, fall)

  • Rapeseed (interval, fall)

  • Legumes (full-season or interval)

  • Cereals (full-season or interval, regrowth)

  • Corn (full-season)

  • Sudangrass (full-season)


Oilseed Radish prior to tillage


Alfalfa prior to tillage


Sudangrass prior to tillage


From Davis et al., 1991 prior to tillage


From Davis et al., 1991 prior to tillage


Field selection
Field Selection prior to tillage

Important Factors:

  • Physical properties

  • Irrigation/water availability

  • Chemical properties

  • Topography

  • Cropping history

  • Pest history


Field selection1
Field Selection prior to tillage

Physical properties

  • Course to moderate texture

  • High water infiltration rate

  • Lack of compaction layers

  • Adequate organic matter


Field selection2
Field Selection prior to tillage

Chemical properties

  • pH 6.5-7.5

  • Adequate CEC

  • Low salinity (<1.7 ds/m)

  • Low sodium (sodicity, SAR < 6)

  • Lack of nutrient toxicity


Field selection3
Field Selection prior to tillage

Topography

  • Slope <5%

  • Lack of drainage problems


Field selection4
Field Selection prior to tillage

Cropping History

  • Adequate rotation

  • Avoidance of long grass rotations

  • Avoidance of heavy-traffic crops


Field selection5
Field Selection prior to tillage

Pest History

  • Avoid fields with known problems:

    • Nematodes

    • Wireworms

    • Verticillium wilt

    • Volunteer potatoes

    • Nutsedge


Field preparation
Field Preparation prior to tillage

Practices dependent on:

  • Soil type

  • Erosion potential

  • Residue management

  • Energy costs


Field preparation1
Field Preparation prior to tillage

Purposes

  • Incorporate residues

  • Reduce compaction

  • Improve permeability

  • Incorporate fertilizers and pesticides

  • Prepare bed for planting


Field preparation2
Field Preparation prior to tillage

  • Prior to freezing temps (fall)

    • Plant green manure, incorp

    • Cross Rip ~ 18 in deep

    • Fumigate if necessary

  • Spring

    • Soil sample, fertilize, incorp

    • Plant


Field preparation3
Field Preparation prior to tillage

Tools

  • Moldboard plow

  • Chisel plow

  • Disk harrow

  • Roller packer

  • Bedding tools


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