Diversified crop rotation and management system influence durum yield and quality

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Lenssen, Andrew
Sainju, Upendra
Allen, Brett
Stevens, William
Jabro, Jalal
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Diversified crop rotation, sequence of crops within a rotation, and management system may affect durum (Triticum turgidum L.) yield and quality. This study investigated the impact of stacked vs. alternate‐year rotation and conventional vs. ecological management system on dryland durum growth, yield, quality, and N relations from 2008 to 2011 in the northern Great Plains. Stacked rotations were durum–durum–canola (Brassica napus L.)–pea (Pisum sativum L.) (DDCP) and durum–durum–flax (Linum usitatissimum L.)–pea (DDFP). Alternate‐year rotations were durum–canola–durum–pea (DCDP) and durum–flax–durum–pea (DFDP). Continuous durum (CD) was also included for comparison. Conventional management included the combination of tillage, recommended seed rate, broadcast N fertilization, and reduced stubble height; ecological management included no‐tillage, increased seed rate, banded N fertilization, and greater stubble height. Durum height was 4–7 cm taller in the ecological than the conventional management with DCDP, DDCP, and DFDP. Plant height, spike number, grain yield, aboveground biomass, N accumulation, N removal index, and N‐use efficiency were 8–46% greater in the ecological than the conventional management in wet years, but were 15–26% greater in the conventional management in dry years. Plant height, spike number, aboveground biomass, and seed weight varied with crop rotations and years. The ecological management improved durum growth, yield, and N relations in wet years, but the conventional management was superior in dry year. Producers can enhance dryland durum yield and quality by using the ecological management, especially in wet years, rather than relying on crop rotations.


This article is published as Lenssen, Andrew W., Upendra M. Sainju, Brett L. Allen, William B. Stevens, and Jalal D. Jabro. "Diversified crop rotation and management system influence durum yield and quality." Agronomy Journal 112 (2020): 4407-4419. doi: 10.1002/agj2.20311.