Environmental trade-offs of relay-cropping winter cover crops with soybean in a maize-soybean cropping system

dc.contributor.author Cecchin, Andrea
dc.contributor.author Pourhashem, Ghasideh
dc.contributor.author Gesch, Russ
dc.contributor.author Lenssen, Andrew
dc.contributor.author Mohammed, Yesuf
dc.contributor.author Patel, Swetabh
dc.contributor.author Berti, Marisol
dc.contributor.department Agronomy
dc.date 2021-01-26T19:11:21.000
dc.date.accessioned 2021-02-24T19:25:41Z
dc.date.available 2021-02-24T19:25:41Z
dc.date.issued 2021-01-01
dc.description.abstract <p>Winter camelina [<em>Camelina sativa</em> (L.) Crantz] and field pennycress [<em>Thlaspi arvense</em> L.] are oilseed feedstocks that can be employed as winter-hardy cover crops in the current cropping systems in the U.S. upper Midwest. In addition to provide multiple ecosystem services, they can be a further source of income for the farmer. However, using these cover crops is a new agricultural practice that has only been studied recently. The objective of this study was to assess and compare the environmental performance of a maize [<em>Zea mays</em> L.]-soybean [<em>Glycine</em> max (L.) Merr.] cropping system with different winter cover crops - camelina, pennycress, and rye (<em>Secale cereale</em> L.) - in the U.S. upper Midwest. Field experiments were carried out from 2016 to 2017 (2-year maize-soybean sequence) at three locations: Morris (Minnesota), Ames (Iowa), and Prosper (North Dakota). The environmental impact assessment was carried out using a “cradle-to-gate” life cycle assessment methodology. Four impact categories were assessed: global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication, soil erosion, and soil organic carbon (SOC) variation. Two functional units (FU) were selected: (1) 1 ha year−1, and (2) $1 net margin. When expressed with the FU ha yr−1, across the three locations cover crops had (a) lower eutrophication potential and water soil erosion, and (b) lower GWP if the cover crop was not fertilized with nitrogen. Camelina and pennycress were more effective than rye in reducing soil losses, while the three cover crops provided similar results for eutrophication potential. The results for the SOC variation were mixed, but the sequence with rye had the best performance at all locations. When expressed with the FU $ net margin, sequences including camelina and pennycress were overall the worst sequences in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient and soil losses. This negative performance was mainly due to the seed yield reduction in the second year of the sequence for both the main cash crop (soybean) and the relayed-cover crop compared with the conventional sequence maize-soybean. Such result led to a lower net margin per hectare in the sequences including camelina and pennycress when compared with the control. The results of this study suggest that the introduction of camelina and pennycress as winter-hardy cover crops has a strong potential for reducing the environmental impacts of the maize-soybean rotation. However, a field management optimization of these cover crops in a relay-cropping system is needed to make them a sustainable agricultural practice.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is published as Cecchin, Andrea, Ghasideh Pourhashem, Russ W. Gesch, Andrew W. Lenssen, Yesuf A. Mohammed, Swetabh Patel, and Marisol T. Berti. "Environmental trade-offs of relay-cropping winter cover crops with soybean in a maize-soybean cropping system." <em>Agricultural Systems</em> 189 (2021): 103062. doi: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103062" target="_blank" title="Persistent link using digital object identifier">10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103062</a>.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_pubs/694/
dc.identifier.articleid 1743
dc.identifier.contextkey 21267359
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath agron_pubs/694
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/93093
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_pubs/694/2021_Lenssen_EnvironmentalTrade.pdf|||Sat Jan 15 01:31:10 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103062
dc.subject.disciplines Agriculture
dc.subject.disciplines Agronomy and Crop Sciences
dc.subject.disciplines Environmental Sciences
dc.title Environmental trade-offs of relay-cropping winter cover crops with soybean in a maize-soybean cropping system
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 7f67ca95-722b-4dfd-8f49-56ff95980240
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication fdd5c06c-bdbe-469c-a38e-51e664fece7a
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