Corn cropping systems
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View details on managing the rotation from alfalfa to corn, including:
- Benefits of alfalfa in the cropping system
- Alfalfa termination
- First-year corn following alfalfa
- Second-year corn following alfalfa
View research results that show adding alfalfa to corn-soybean rotation has the potential to increase soybean and corn yields. Such rotations provide more options for reducing agronomic inputs without sacrificing corn yield.
Nitrogen’s impact: Corn following alfalfa
Alfalfa typically contributes large amounts of nitrogen (N) to subsequent corn crops, which can dramatically reduce fertilizer needs. The size of this N contribution generally depends on the age of the alfalfa stands at termination.
Field trials conducted across the Upper Midwest show terminated alfalfa stands typically eliminate corn nitrogen requirements from fertilizer or manure to first-year corn.
To help growers reduce the economic risks of under-fertilization, we’ve examined the accuracy of plant and soil tests in estimating nitrogen needs. Nitrogen management tools examined include:
Book value nitrogen credits (BVNC)
Pre-sidedress soil nitrate test (PSNT)
Illinois soil nitrogen test (ISNT)