Monday, November 13, 2006

Biomass and Nutrient Accumulation by Four Small Grain Species Used as a Winter Cover Crop.

Glen Harris1, R.Dewey Lee1, and Julia Gaskin2. (1) Dept of Crop & Soil Science, Univ of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793, (2) Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Athens, GA 30603

Wheat, oats, rye, and triticale were studied over three years for biomass accumulation and nutrient uptake in order to provide growers in Georgia comparative data for cover crop selection in conservation tillage systems. Planting dates ranged from late Oct. to early Dec. depending on the preceeding crop. Plots were fertilized with 30 to 40 lbs N per acre in the fall at planting. Three termination times (Feekes GS 6,9, and 11.2) were used to coincide with recommended kill dates for planting a succeeding crop. Biomass, N,P,K and Mg were determined for each trermination date for each small grain species. Average biomass accumulation across small grains for each termination time was 2,453, 3,872, and 7,426 lbs per acre, repsectively. Total N accumulation across all cover crops by termination date was 41.8, 46.5, and 68.7 lbs N per acre. Biomass and nutrient accumulation by crop termination date will also be shared. The best overall accumulation of biomass and nutrients by crop was rye>triticale>oats>wheat.