Progress 08/15/04 to 08/14/07
OUTPUTS: The sod/livestock/peanut based production system was in its 7th year in 2007. The overall objectives are to determine the positive impacts of bahiagrass in the production of cotton and peanut and to determine if it is economically feasible for farm implementation. During this project period we found that peanut yields were significantly increased in the rotation using 2 years of bahiagrass, 1 year of bahiagrass, and 1 year of cotton as compared to a conservation tillage/winter cover crop system using 2 years of cotton and 1 year of peanuts. We also found that cotton required less nitrogen when in the rotation. This was linked to increased root mass and length of the cotton and increased residual nitrogen after the peanuts. This increased N was also reflected in increased growth of winter oats in the rotation. The increased plant growth was linked with lower nitrates in the soil water. The highlights of this project period include: 1) establishment of the first GPS variable
rate irrigation pivot in Florida at the farm demonstration site in Marianna, Fl which has 140 acres in the rotation, with one quarter of the pivot planted to each crop in the rotation each year, 2) establishment of a cooperative effort with the USDA National Peanut Lab to further quantify the impacts of cattle grazing on root growth and soil physical properties, 3) the hosting of the Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference at the North Florida Research and Education Center where this project was the main emphasis of the meeting included field trips to the Florida's research and demonstration sites, and 4) movement of the Georgia project to a site that allows for irrigation. Finally, work in 2007 was begun with The Nature Conservancy and other environmental organizations to use the rotation as a viable and environmentally appropriate farming system for the Flint River Basin in southeastern Georgia.
PARTICIPANTS: Dallas Hartzog, Emeritus Professor, Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, Wiregrass Research Center, Headland, AL David Wright, Extension Agronomist and Professor, Agronomy, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL Jim Marois, Professor, Plant Pathology, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL John Baldwin, Extension Agronomist and Professor, Crop and Soil Science, University of Georgia Tifton, GA John Beasley, Extension Agronomist and Professor, Crop and Soil Science, University of Georgia Tifton, GA D. Wayne Reeves, Supervisory Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Southern Piedmont Conservation Research, Watkinsville, GA James F. Adams, Associate Professor, Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University James R. Weeks, Extension Entomologist and Associate Professor, Entomology, Auburn University Gary Hanson, Assistant Professor, Animal Science, University of Florida, NFREC, Marianna, FL Ann R. Blount, Associate Professor, Agronomy, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL Tim
Hewitt, Extension Economist and Professor, Food and Resource Economics,University of Florida, NFREC, Marianna, FL Cheryl Mackowiak, Assistant Professor, Soil Science, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL Robert O. Myer, Professor, Animal Science, University of Florida, NFREC, Marianna, FL Gary J. Gascho, Professor and REIC, Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia Wiley C. Johnson, III, USDA-ARS Research Agronomist-Weed Science Richard K. Sprenkel, Extension Entomologist and Professor, University of Florida, NFREC Jimmy R. Rich, Professor, Nematology, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL Joey Shaw, Assistant Professor, Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University Kris Balkcom, Program Associate, Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, Wiregrass Research Center, Headland, AL Randy Raper, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory Agricultural Engineer, USDA ARS, Auburn University Wilson Faircloth, Research Agronomist, National Peanut Research Lab, USDA ARS, Dawson, GA Diane Rowland, Plant
Physiologist, National Peanut Research Lab, USDA ARS, Dawson, GA Calvin Perry, Professor, Bio & Ag Engineering Department University of Georgia, Tifton, GA Joel Faircloth, Assistant Professor of Agronomy, Virginia Tech. Pawel Wiatrak, Assistant Professor of Agronomy, Clemson University Duli Zhao, Research Scientist, Agronomy, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL Tawainga Katsvairo, Research Scientist, Agronomy, University of Florida, NFREC, Quincy, FL
The project is now recognized as a unique approach to addressing the environmentally negative impacts of traditional farming systems while maintaining a viable social and economic framework for crop production. Research on the system has expanded to several other universities and several growers in the southeast are adapting it to their particular production situation. The project is now mature enough that while research is still ongoing, there is enough experience and information for expansion into similar cropping systems.
- Katsvairo, T.W., D.L. Wright, J.J. Marois, D.L. Hartzog and J.R. Rich. 2007. Transitioning from conventional to organic farming using perennial grasses (In Press, J. Food Sci. and Agric.).
- Katsvairo, T.W., D.L. Wright, J.J. Marois, D.L. Hartzog, P. J. Wiatrak and J.R. Rich. 2007. Performance of peanut and cotton in a bahiagrass cropping system. Agronomy Journal 99:1245-1251.
- Katsvairo, T.W., D.L. Wright, J.J. Marois, D.L. Hartzog, K.B. Balkcom, P. J. Wiatrak and J.R. Rich. 2007. Cotton roots, earthworms and infiltration characteristics in peanut/cotton cropping systems. Agronomy Journal 99:390-398.
- Katsvairo, T.W., D.L. Wright, J.J. Marois, D.L. Hartzog, J.R. Rich and P.J. Wiatrak. 2006. Sod/livestock integration in the peanut/cotton rotation: A systems farming approach. Agronomy Journal 98:1156-1171.
Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06
The sod/livestock/peanut based peanut production system was in its 6th year in 2006. The overall objectives are to determine the positive impacts of bahiagrass in the production of cotton and to determine if it is economically feasible for farm implementation. The advantages of sod-based rotations have been shown to be numerous and include improved soil and plant health, increased returns and environmentally friendly. Our results from the sod rotation showed improvement in soil moisture, soil water nitrates, cotton growth parameters, soil physical properties for cotton in the sod rotation compared to cotton in the conventional rotation. In 2006 we pursued some of the same measurements and embanked on new measurements. Previously we found an increase in earthworm population densities in cotton following bahiagrass compared to cotton in the conventional rotation. In addition to quantifying the earthworms, we also identified the earthworms in 2006. Both earthworm
abundance and presence of multiple species are essential for soil health. Different earthworm species occupy different soil layers, utilize different substrates and consequently perform different roles in soil health. Epigeic earthworms generally feed on organic matter and tend to found close to the soil surface. Aneci earthworms burrow deep into the soil and make permanent or semi-permanent burrows. They feed on plant litter and produce middens. Endogeic earthworms are soil and organic matter feeders and burrow below ground where they form horizontal network of burrows. With Florida having the highest earthworm species (54 species) and Alabama with the 8th highest earthworm species (28) in the US, the two states could potentially exploit this species diversity to achieve greater soil benefits. Previous results have consistently shown greater plant height, leaf area index N uptake and total biomass for cotton following bahiagrass compared to conventional rotation. However for the
Quincy site we did not always get good yield response from the more vigorously growing cotton. In 2006 we compared 2 N rates. The standard recommendation of 67 Kg/ha and zero N rate. The idea was to reduce excessive vegetative growth by not applying N. Result from 2005 had shown that reducing N rate by half to 33 kg/ha did not reduce cotton yield. Our 2006 results showed that reducing N to 0 did not reduce yield either. However it affected chlorophyll and plant height. It is possible that over time continuous application of 0 N rate will reduce yield as the soil reserves become exhausted. Overall 2006 was a very successful year for the sod rotation.
Several of the interactions of the cropping system are being worked out. For example, it was found the the herbicide Cadre can have negative impacts on cotton the follwing year during drought conditions./ We also found that different tillage methods can influence the transition from bahiagrass to peanut production, especially timing of the killing of the grass (fall vs spring). Specific tillage practices were identified that are most appropriate for the transition situation. It was also found that fungicides and insecticides can be effective for controlling hardlock of cotton, a disease that can become severe if cotton growth is too rank. Other studies showed that gypsum applications after the bahiagrass and before the peanut crop can increase yield and quality of the peanuts.
- Wiatrak, P. J., Katsvairo, T. W., Wright, D. L. & Marois, J. J. 2006. "Cadre influence on cotton." Agronomy abstracts. In Annual meetings abstracts [CD-ROM]. ASA, CSSA,
- Wright, D. L., Katsvairo, T. W., Marois, J. J., Hartzog, D. L. & Wiatrak, P. J. 2006. "Tillage and bahiagrass management for peanut." Agronomy abstracts. in Annual meetings abstracts [CD-ROM]. ASA, CSSA,
- Katsvairo, T. W., Wright, D. L., Marois, J. J., Hartzog, D. L., Wiatrak, P. J. & Rich, J. R. 2006. "Sod-based peanut/cottonrotation-soil health Part 1:Root depth, earthworms and soil water infiltration." Gainesville, FL: University of Florida/Agronomy. 8 pp. SS-AGR-124. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AG256.
- Leite, B., Marois, J. J., Wright, D. L., Wiatrak, P. J. & Katsvairo, T. W. 2006. "Solving cotton hard lock/boll rot problems." Agronomy abstracts. In Annual meetings abstracts [CD-ROM]. ASA, CSSA,
- Wiatrak, P., Wright, D. L., Marois, J. J. & Wilson, D. D. 2006. "Influence of gypsum application on peanut yields and quality." Crop Management. Online 10.1094/CM-2006-0223-01-RS http://www/plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/cm/research/2006/gypsum/.
Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05
Ground water samples were collected from suction lysimeters installed at 6 and 40 inch depths in the cotton. N levels were higher for the shallower compared to the deeper depth (59 vs.8 ppm) at the beginning of the season, however there were no differences between the depths by the end of the season. The soil with cotton in the bahiagrass rotation generally had less nitrates and ammonium at both depths for most of season. N levels at the shallow depth decreased from 61 and 56 ppm for the peanut/cotton and bahiagrass rotation at the beginning of the season to 6 ppm for both rotations by the end of the season. Residual soil N at the end of the season was higher in the bahiagrass rotation. The bahiagrass rotated cotton developed a more extensive root system which utilized more N. The bahiagrass rotation had more surface residues compared to the conventional rotation. The higher organic matter supported more earthworms (24 vs. 3 at site 1 and 22 vs. 0 m -2 at site 2)
while infiltration rates were also greater for the cotton in the bahiagrass rotation. The higher earthworm densities could have partially contributed to the higher infiltration rates observed in the bahiagrass rotation. Soil moisture was mostly higher in the bahiagrass rotation compared to the conventional rotation (up to 30 vs. 38 volumetric moisture in July) throughout the growing seasons. When bahiagrass roots die, they create channels and cotton roots can utilize the bahiagrass root channels to reach deeper soil profiles. The average TSWV incidence was higher for the peanut/cotton rotation (21.7%) compared to the bahiagrass rotation (10.2%).Bahiagrass similarly reduced Cercospora leaf spot severity. On a scale of 1-12, leaf spot severity at harvest was 3.8 for bahiagrass rotated peanuts compared to 5.5 in the peanut/cotton rotation. Disease increase between consecutive scoring times was higher for the peanut/cotton rotations compared to the bahiagrass rotation throughout the
season. White mold incidence was consistently higher for the peanut/cotton rotation compared to the bahiagrass rotation. There were no differences in peanut rust disease between the rotations.
This project will significantly enhance the economic value of row crop production in the southeast by increasing yields while decreasing production costs, it will reduce runoff and increase water use efficiency by allowing the row crops to establish deeper roots in the soil following bahiagrass, and it will reduce the need for many pesticides as the bahiagrass will reduce harmful plant parasitic nematodes and other insects and pathogens will be reduced due to the rotation.
- Hartzog, D. L., T. W. Katsvairo*, D. L. Wright, J. J. Marois, R. R. Rich, and P. J. Wiatrak*. 2005. Earthworm activities in bahiagrass/peanut/cotton cropping systems. Agronomy Abstracts.
- Marois, J. J., T. W. Katsvairo*, D. L. Wright, and D. L. Hartzog, P. J. Wiatrak*, and J. R. Rich. 2005. Cotton root dynamics in bahiagrass/peanut/cotton cropping systems. Agronomy Abstracts.
- Katsvairo, T.W.*, D. L. Wright, J. J. Marois, D. L. Hartzog,. and P. J. Wiatrak*. 2005. Peanut and cotton yields in bahiagrass based cropping systems. Agronomy Abstracts.
- Rich, J., T.W. Katsvairo*, D. L. Wright, J. J. Marois, D. L. Hartzog, and P. J. Wiatrak*. 2005. Sustainable management of plant-parasitic nematodes using perennial grass rotations. Agronomy Abstracts. Wright, D. L., J. J. Marois, T. W. Katsvairo*, P. J. Wiatrak*, D. L. Hartzog, and J. R. Rich. 2005. Livestock Integration into Cotton/Peanut Rotations: a Tri-State Project. Agronomy Abstracts.
- Katsvairo, T. W.*, D. L. Wright, J. J. Marois, D. L. Hartzog, P. J. Wiatrak*. 2004. Soil water nitrogen in sod based peanut/cotton cropping systems. Agronomy Society of America Abstracts Page 251.
- Katsvairo, T. W.*, D. L. Hartzog, D. L. Wright, J. J. Marois, P. J. Wiatrak*. 2004. Integration of livestock into cropping systems. Agronomy Abstracts Page 187.
- Marois, J. J., D. L. Wright, J. Baldwin and D. L. Hartzog. 2002. A multi-state project to sustain peanut and cotton yields by incorporating cattle in a sod based rotation. Agronomy Society of America A08-130657.