Crop rotation effects on yield of oilseed rape, wheat and barley and residual effects on the subsequent wheatArchives of Agronomy and Soil Science

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Authors
Klaus Sieling, Olaf Christen
Year
2015
DOI
10.1080/03650340.2015.1017569
Subject
Agronomy and Crop Science / Soil Science

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Crop rotation effects on yield of oilseed rape, wheat and barley and residual effects on the subsequent wheat

Klaus Sielinga & Olaf Christenb a Institute of Crop Science and Plant Breeding, ChristianAlbrechts-University, Kiel, Germany b Faculty of Natural Sciences III, Institute of Agricultural and

Nutritional Science, Agronomy and Organic Farming, MartinLuther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

Accepted author version posted online: 10 Feb 2015.Published online: 27 Feb 2015.

To cite this article: Klaus Sieling & Olaf Christen (2015) Crop rotation effects on yield of oilseed rape, wheat and barley and residual effects on the subsequent wheat, Archives of Agronomy and

Soil Science, 61:11, 1531-1549, DOI: 10.1080/03650340.2015.1017569

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2015.1017569

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Crop rotation effects on yield of oilseed rape, wheat and barley and residual effects on the subsequent wheat

Klaus Sielinga* and Olaf Christenb aInstitute of Crop Science and Plant Breeding, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany; bFaculty of Natural Sciences III, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Science, Agronomy and

Organic Farming, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany (Received 2 December 2014; accepted 26 January 2015)

Economic conditions are forcing farmers to grow crops with high revenue leading to cereal-dominated crop rotations with increasing risk due to unfavourable preceding crops or preceding crop combinations. Based on a long-term field trial (1988–2001) with 15 different rotations including winter oilseed rape (OSR), winter wheat, winter barley, spring peas and spring oats, the effects of different preceding crops, prepreceding crops and crop rotations on the grain yield of mainly OSR, winter wheat and winter barley were quantified. In the subsequent 2 years (2001/2002 and 2002/ 2003), winter wheat was grown on all plots in order to test the residual effects of the former crops (as preceding crops in 2002 and as pre-preceding crops in 2003) and crop rotations on growth, grain yield and yield components.

Unfavourable preceding crops significantly decreased yield of OSR, wheat and barley by 10% on average, however, with a large year-to-year variation. In addition, break-crop benefits in both crops, wheat and OSR, persisted to the second year. Wheat as preceding crop mainly decreased the thousand grain weight, and to a lesser extent, the ear density of the subsequent wheat crop. The amount of wheat yield decrease negatively correlated with the simple water balance (rainfall minus evapotranspiration) in May–July. In 2001/2002 and 2002/2003, the preceding crop superimposed the crop rotation effects, thus resulting in similar effects as observed in 1988–2001.

Our results clearly reveal the importance of a favourable preceding crop for the yield performance of a crop, especially wheat and OSR.

Keywords: crop rotation; residual effects; yield; yield components; soil mineral N

Introduction

Economic conditions are forcing farmers to grow crops with high revenue leading to cereal-dominated crop rotations. In some regions, winter wheat in monoculture is occasionally recommended as financially the most competitive ‘rotation’ (Hochman et al. 2014). However, short rotations consisting of only a few crops increased the risk of unfavourable preceding crops or preceding crop combinations.

In wheat, such conditions inevitably cause yield losses between 8% and 57% depending on the site, weather conditions and crop management (e.g. Zimmermann 1984;

Widdowson et al. 1985; Christen 1998; Sieling et al. 2005; Kirkegaard et al. 2008).

Yield effects decreased in the range preceding crop > pre-preceding crop > crop rotation.

Yield losses mainly depended on a reduction of the thousand grain weight and, to a lesser *Corresponding author. Email: sieling@pflanzenbau.uni-kiel.de

Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, 2015

Vol. 61, No. 11, 1531–1549, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2015.1017569 © 2015 Taylor & Francis

D ow nl oa de d by [U niv ers ity of

Su sse x L ibr ary ] a t 1 1:5 8 1 5 A ug us t 2 01 5 extent, the ear density. In general, the number of grains per ear remained unaffected or, in some cases, even compensated for a lower number of ears m−2 (Christen 1998). Wheat plants grown after a favourable preceding crop as oilseed rape (OSR) showed a better development, e.g. higher single tiller and plant dry matter in autumn compared to wheat plants following cereals, emphasizing that differences in plant development due to the preceding crop can occur very early in autumn within some weeks after emergence (Thorne et al. 1988; Sieling et al. 2005). In a series of field experiments in a semi-arid cropping zone of Southern Australia, Kirkegaard and Ryan (2014) observed break-crop benefits persisting to a second or third wheat crop in a continuous cropping sequence.