Latest Research on Cropping System: Feb – 2020

The DSSAT cropping system model

The decision network for agrotechnology transfer (DSSAT) has been in use for the last 15 years by researchers worldwide. This package incorporates models of 16 different crops with software that facilitates the evaluation and application of the crop models for various purposes. Over the previous couple of years, it’s become increasingly difficult to take care of the DSSAT crop models, partly thanks to incontrovertible fact that there have been different sets of code for various crops with little attention to software design at the extent of crop models themselves. Thus, the DSSAT crop models are re-designed and programmed to facilitate more efficient incorporation of latest scientific advances, applications, documentation and maintenance. the idea for the new DSSAT cropping system model (CSM) design may be a modular structure during which components separate along science lines and are structured to permit easy replacement or addition of modules. [1]

Tillage, Nitrogen, and Cropping System Effects on Soil Carbon Sequestration

Soil C sequestration can improve soil quality and reduce agriculture’s contribution to CO2 emissions. The long-term (12 yr) effects of tillage system and N fertilization on crop residue production and soil organic C (SOC) sequestration in two dryland cropping systems in North Dakota on a loam soil were evaluated. An annual cropping (AC) rotation [spring wheat (SW) (Triticum aestivum L.)–winter wheat (WW)–sunflower (SF) (Helianthus annuus L.)] and a spring wheat-fallow (SW-F) rotation were studied. Tillage systems included conventional-till (CT), minimum-till (MT), and no-till (NT). Nitrogen rates were 34, 67, and 101 kg N ha−1 for the AC system and 0, 22, and 45 kg N ha−1 for the SW-F system. Total crop residue returned to the soil was greater with AC than with SW-F. As tillage intensity decreased, SOC sequestration increased (NT > MT > CT) within the AC system but not within the SW-F system. Fertilizer N increased crop residue quantity returned to the soil, but generally didn’t increase SOC sequestration in either cropping system. Soil bulk density decreased with increasing tillage intensity in both systems. [2]

Evaluating Cover Crops for Benefits, Costs and Performance within Cropping System Niches

The integration of canopy crops into cropping systems brings costs and benefits, both internal and external to the farm. Benefits include promoting pest-suppression, soil and water quality, nutrient cycling efficiency, and crop productivity. Costs of adopting cover crops include increased direct costs, potentially reduced income if cover crops interfere with other attractive crops, slow soil warming, difficulties in predicting N mineralization, and production expenses. crop benefits tend to be higher in irrigated systems. The literature is reviewed here along side Michigan farmer experience to guage promising crop species for four niches: Northern winter (USDA Hardiness Zones 5–6), Northern summer (Zones 5–6), Southern winter (Zones 7–8), and Southern summer (Zones 7–8). Warm season C4 grasses are outstanding performers for summer niches (6–9 Mg ha−1), and rye (Secale cereale L.) is that the most promising for winter niches (0.8–6 Mg ha−1) across all hardiness zones reviewed. Legume–cereal mixtures like sudangrass (Sorghum sudanese L.)–cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)–red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) are the foremost effective means to supply substantial amounts (28 Mg ha−1) of mixed quality residues. [3]

Ecological and economic benefits of planting winter rapeseed (Brassica rapa L.) in the wind erosion area of northern China

Winter and early spring wind erosion have considerable impacts on ecosystems, human well-being and agricultural production within the low precipitation zones of northern China. Little is understood about the impact of growing winter rapeseed on ecological cropping systems and therefore the associated economic benefits within the wind erosion area. To explore the winter rapeseed cover effect, we conducted a field experiment during which we covered the soil with winter rapeseed, winter wheat and wheat stubble at different plant density levels and used the spring bare ground because the control (CK). the consequences of wind erosion, the “winter rapeseed + ” multiple cropping system, and therefore the economic benefits were compared. There was an outsized difference within the dry matter, the utmost water absorption, the utmost water storage, the soil evaporation and total wind erosion, the quantity of sediment transported within the stratum and therefore the wind erosion modulus. [4]

Soil Organic Carbon Concentrations and Stocks under Maize/Legume Cropping System in Alfisols of a Savanna Zone, Nigeria

Carbon sequestration in soil aggregates and Carbon stock (SOC) under Maize-Legume Cropping system during a Northern Guinea Savanna Alfisol, Nigeria trial was conducted in 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons. The experiment was a randomized complete block design (RCBD), replicated 3 times and coverings used were: Sole Maize (M), Desmodium (D) and Soybeans (S); Maize-soybeans intercrop (MS), Maize-Desmodiumintercrop (MD), Maize Strip cropped with Soybean (MS 2:4) and Maize Strip cropped with Desmodium (MD 2:4). Data obtained were evaluated for Organic carbon, carbon stock, Bulk density and mean weight diameter of aggregates within the soil. Results obtained show that Mono-crop (Sole) Maize treatment gave significantly higher BD than other treatments at 8WAP and 16WAP, suggesting that soils under sole maize were degraded for sustainable crop production. [5]


[1] Jones, J.W., Hoogenboom, G., Porter, C.H., Boote, K.J., Batchelor, W.D., Hunt, L.A., Wilkens, P.W., Singh, U., Gijsman, A.J. and Ritchie, J.T., 2003. The DSSAT cropping system model. European journal of agronomy, (Web Link)

[2] Halvorson, A.D., Wienhold, B.J. and Black, A.L., 2002. Tillage, nitrogen, and cropping system effects on soil carbon sequestration. Soil science society of America journal, 66(3), (Web Link)

[3] Snapp, S.S., Swinton, S.M., Labarta, R., Mutch, D., Black, J.R., Leep, R., Nyiraneza, J. and O’neil, K., 2005. Evaluating cover crops for benefits, costs and performance within cropping system niches. Agronomy journal, 97(1), (Web Link)

[4] Ecological and economic benefits of planting winter rapeseed (Brassica rapa L.) in the wind erosion area of northern China
Li Ma, Xuefang Wang, Yuanyuan Pu, Junyan Wu, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Xuecai Li, Lijun Wang, Lijun Liu, Yan Fang, Zaoxia Niu, Jinli Yue, Jing Bai, Yuhong Zhao, Jiaojiao Jin, Yu Chang & Wancang Sun
Scientific Reports volume 9, (Web Link)

[5] Chidowe, O. A., Destiny, M. Y. and Aisha, A. (2017) “Soil Organic Carbon Concentrations and Stocks under Maize/Legume Cropping System in Alfisols of a Savanna Zone, Nigeria”, Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 21(1), (Web Link)

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