Navigation Links
Experiment demonstrates 110 years of sustainable agriculture

MADISON, WI, September 29, 2008 A plot of land on the campus of Auburn University shows that 110 years of sustainable farming practices can produce similar cotton crops to those using other methods.

In 1896, Professor J.F. Duggar at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University) started an experiment to test his theories that sustainable cotton production was possible on Alabama soils if growers would use crop rotation and include winter legumes (clovers and/or vetch) to protect the soil from winter erosion.

Today, his experiment on the campus of Auburn University is the oldest, continuous cotton experiment in the world and the third oldest field crop experiment in the United States on the same site. The experiment, known as "the Old Rotation," has continued with only slight modifications in treatments and was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1988.

Researchers at Auburn University and at USDA-Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, AL, have prepared the first ever comprehensive research publication covering the entire 110-yr history of this experiment. It was published in the September-October issue of Agronomy Journal, and provides insight into issues both past and present that effect sustainable crop production in the South.

The thirteen plots in the Old Rotation include (i) continuous cotton, (ii) a 2-yr rotation of cotton with corn, and (iii) a 3-year rotation of cotton-corn-wheat-soybean. These crop rotations include treatments with and without winter legumes (usually crimson clover and/or vetch) and with and without fertilizer nitrogen.

After more than 110 years, the Old Rotation continues to document the long-term effects of crop rotation and winter legumes on cotton production in the Deep South. It provides growers, students, and faculty with a living demonstration of fundamental agronomic practices that result in sustainable crop production. Long-term yields indicate that winter legumes are as effective as nitrogen fertilizer in producing non-irrigated, 10-yr average cotton yields of 1,100 pounds lint per acre. Winter legumes and crop rotations contribute to increased soil organic matter. Higher soil organic matter results in higher crop yields.

In 1997, the Old Rotation entered a new era of agricultural production where boll weevil eradication, genetically modified crops, and conservation tillage almost eliminated the need for the plow and pesticides. In 2003, irrigation was added to half of each plot. Yields of cotton, corn, wheat and soybean continue to increase far beyond the yields of Professor Duggar's generation. Since initiating conservation tillage practices in 1997, all-time, non-irrigated record yields have been made on all the crops grown on the Old Rotation: 1,710 pounds cotton lint per acre in 2006, 95 bushels wheat per acre in 2001, 236 bushels corn per acre in 1999, and 67 bushels of double-cropped soybean per acre in 1997 after wheat.


Contact: Sara Uttech
American Society of Agronomy

Related biology news :

1. Lack of large-scale experiments slows progress of environmental restoration
2. Experimental chemotherapy regimen shows promise in treating advanced lung cancer
3. 8-day undersea mission begins experiment to improve coral reef restoration
4. FEBS Letters Structured Digital Abstracts experiment
5. Experimental Biology and Medicine announces expansion into Asia, opens new office
6. Translational research patented first experimental treatment against idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
7. Experimental Biology 2008 meets in San Diego April 5-9
8. A unique experiment with chlorine -- and a new way of teaching
9. JDRF-funded clinical trial demonstrates continuous glucose monitoring improves blood sugar control
10. Pourquie Lab demonstrates role of growth factor in vertebrae formation
11. Stowers Institutes Xie Lab demonstrates dual intrinsic and extrinsic control of stem cell aging
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , October 29, 2015 ... biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to ... featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial for ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 --> ... in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received a ... the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research and ... trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company ... that CEO Jim McGorry will present at ... December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation ... below) for 30 days. Management will also be available ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 The Global Genomics ... professional and in-depth study on the current state ... ) , The report ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The ... markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. ... Healthcare Conference in New York on Wednesday, ... Helen Torley , president and CEO, will provide a corporate ... New York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT ... and investor relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology: