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legume soil quality nitrogen
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1015. Bowren, K.E. (ed.).. 1986. Soil improvement with legumes.. Saskatchewan Agriculture, Soils and Crops Branch.
This excellent publication summarizes research over the past 40 years pertaining to the use of legumes for soil improvement in Saskatchewan. The role of legumes in maintaining soil nitrogen was crucial prior to available fertilizer. But their value extends beyond their nitrogen contribution to the improvement of soil physical properties. One study found the tillage draft requirement to be up to one-third lower where legumes had been a regular part of the rotation. The positive effects of alfalfa were measured for over ten years in a series of wheat crops compared to plots with no alfalfa. Over 17 years, the average grain yield from a wheat-wheat/clover-clover green manure rotation with no fertilizer were 30% higher that a wheat-wheat-fallow rotation with fertilizer. Moisture depletion by legumes is the biggest hurdle to their use in very dry areas. Adequate fertility for the legumes is necessary to maximize their benefit. Use of selected Rhizobium strains can improve nitrogen fixation, especially on acid soils. Several varieties of sweetclover are mentioned with adaptation to forage or green manure use. The booklet has numerous color photos and many data tables and figures.
2607. Hilander, S. (ed.). 1989. Proceedings of AERO's soil building cropping systems conference. December 7-9, Lewistown, MT. AERO, 44 N. Last Chance Gulch #9, Helena, MT 59601.
Summarizes the talks given at the conference. Much information is from Canadian researchers in Saskatchewan who are working on low water use legumes as fallow replacements.
6248. Sievers, F.J. and H.F. Holtz. 1922. The silt loam soils of eastern Washington and their management.. WA Agr. Expt. Sta. Bull. #166.
A broad treatment of agronomy and soil management during 39 years of cropping 22% N and 35% OM has been lost. T: Comparison of nitrogen content of virgin soil and soil cropped 30 years. Organic carbon in virgin soil and soil cropped 30 years. Straw vs. nitrate development in Palouse silt-loam. High N residue as supplement to straw in nitrate development. Effects of manure on N and C in Palouse silt loam, 18 years of results. Effect of legumes on N and C.
10576. Janzen, H.H. and G.D. Radder. 1989. Nitrogen mineralization in a green manure amended soil as influenced by cropping history and subsequent crop.. Plant Soil 120:125-131.
In a greenhouse study, surface soil from long-term experimental spring wheat rotations was amended with 15N labelled legume green manure and subsequently cropped (canola and spring wheat) or incubated. N mineralization from both the indigenous soil N and from green manure was suppressed in cropped soil. Net N mineralization in the uncropped and cropped treatments averaged 73 and 43 mg/kg, respectively. This difference was attributed in part to enhanced biological immobilization in the rhizosphere. These data suggest that short-term N mineralization is favored by fallowing soil after green manure application whereas N retention in organic matter is favored by immediate cropping.
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March 31, 2004