Browsing by Subject "crop rotation"

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  • Lötjönen, Sanna Annika; Ollikainen, Markku Martti Olavi (2017)
    We investigate crop rotation with legumes from economic and environmental perspectives by asking how effective they are at providing profits and reducing nutrient runoff and greenhouse gas emissions compared with monoculture cultivation. We study this effectiveness in three alternative policy regimes: the free market optimum, the Finnish agri-environmental scheme, and socially optimal cultivation, and also design policy instruments to achieve the socially optimal outcomes in land use and fertilization. We first develop an analytical model to describe crop rotation and the role of legumes, and examine its implications for water and climate policies. Drawing on Finnish agricultural data, we then use numerical simulations and show that shifting from monoculture cultivation to crop rotation with legumes provides economically and environmentally better outcomes. Crop rotation with legumes also reduces the variability in profits caused by stochastic weather. The optimal instruments implementing the social optimum depend on nutrient and climate damage (nitrogen tax), as well as carbon sequestration and nutrient reduction benefits (buffer strip subsidy).
  • Lötjönen, Sanna (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    The aim of this study was to find out how crop rotations with legumes in comparison to monocultures affect nutrient runoff from cultivation and profitability. We looked at five period monocultures of wheat, barley and oats. In the rotations considered two periods were replaced by red clover-grass or pea-horse bean mixtures. Results from rotations were compared with the ones from monocultures. Rotations were studied in private and social optimum and the case of common agricultural policy. According to the results it is possible to reduce nitrogen runoff with the use of legumes in crop rotations. Reductions were achieved by two means: lower average nitrogen runoff of legumes and residual effect from biologically fixed nitrogen which allows reducing fertilization in the next period. The average reductions in nitrogen runoff were higher in rotations based on pea-horse bean due to its lower optimal fertilization rate compared to red clover-grass. However, average per grain runoff was reduced more with red clover-grass due to its greater residual effect. Average nitrogen runoff was reduced in all cases expect for red clovergrass based rotations in social optimum where the variation in buffer strips made the difference. Private and social profitability were the highest for red clover-grass and adding it to grain monocultures increased both private and social profits. If the demand as fodder was too low cultivation of red clover-grass was unprofitable. Pea-horse bean had the lowest profitability and adding it to grain monocultures reduced profits.
  • Peltonen-Sainio, Pirjo; Jauhiainen, Lauri; Honkavaara, Eija; Wittke, Samantha; Karjalainen, Mika; Puttonen, Eetu (Frontiers Reseach Foundation, 2019)
    Frontiers in Plant Science
    Monocultural land use challenges sustainability of agriculture. Pre-crop value indicates the benefits of a previous crop for a subsequent crop in crop sequencing and facilitates diversifi-cation of agricultural systems. Traditional field experiments are resource intensive and evaluate pre-crop values only for a limited number of previous and subsequent crops. We deve-loped a dynamic method based on Sentinel-2 derived Norma-lized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values to estimate pre-crop values on a field parcel scale. The NDVI-values were compared to the region specific 90th percentile of each crop and year and thereby, an NDVI-gap was determined. The NDVI-gaps for each subsequent crop in the case of mo-nocultural crop sequencing were compared to that for other previous crops in rotation and thereby, pre-crop values for a high number of previous and subsequent crop combinations were estimated. The pre-crop values ranged from +16% to -16%. Especially grain legumes and rapeseed were valuable as pre-crops, which is well in line with results from field expe-riments. Such data on pre-crop values can be updated and expanded every year. For the first time, a high number of previous and following crop combinations, originating from farmer’s fields, is available to support diversification of cur-rently monocultural crop sequencing patterns in agriculture.
  • Palojärvi, Ansa; Kellock, Miriam; Parikka, Päivi; Jauhiainen, Lauri; Alakukku, Laura (2020)
    The soil-borne plant pathogens cause serious yield losses and are difficult to control. In suppressive soils, disease incidence remains low regardless of the presence of the pathogen, the host plant, and favorable environmental conditions. The potential to improve natural soil disease suppressiveness through agricultural management practices would enable sustainable and resilient crop production systems. Our aim was to study the impact of autumn tillage methods and crop sequence on the soil carbon status, fungistasis and yield in boreal climate. The disease suppression was improved by the long-term reduced and no tillage management practices with and without crop rotation. Compared to the conventional plowing, the non-inversion tillage systems were shown to change the vertical distribution of soil carbon fractions and the amount of microbial biomass by concentrating them on the soil surface. Crop sequence and the choice of tillage method had a combined effect on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. The improved general disease suppression had a positive correlation with the labile carbon status and microbial biomass. From the most common Fusarium species, the predominantly saprophytic F. avenaceum was more abundant under non-inversion practice, whereas the opposite was true for the pathogenic ones. Our findings furthermore demonstrated the correlation of the soil fungistasis laboratory assay results and the prevalence of the pathogenic test fungus Fusarium culmorum on the crop cereals in the field. Our results indicate that optimized management strategies have potential to improve microbial related soil fungistasis in boreal climate.
  • Reckling, Moritz; Bergkvist, Göran; Watson, Christine A.; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Zander, Peter M.; Walker, Robin L.; Pristeri, Aurelio; Toncea, Ion; Bachinger, Johann (2016)
    Europe's agriculture is highly specialized, dependent on external inputs and responsible for negative environmental impacts. Legume crops are grown on less than 2% of the arable land and more than 70% of the demand for protein feed supplement is imported from overseas. The integration of legumes into cropping systems has the potential to contribute to the transition to a more resource-efficient agriculture and reduce the current protein deficit. Legume crops influence the production of other crops in the rotation making it difficult to evaluate the overall agronomic effects of legumes in cropping systems. A novel assessment framework was developed and applied in five case study regions across Europe with the objective of evaluating trade-offs between economic and environmental effects of integrating legumes into cropping systems. Legumes resulted in positive and negative impacts when integrated into various cropping systems across the case studies. On average, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 18 and 33% and N fertilizer use by 24 and 38% in arable and forage systems, respectively, compared to systems without legumes. Nitrate leaching was similar with and without legumes in arable systems and reduced by 22% in forage systems. However, grain legumes reduced gross margins in 3 of 5 regions. Forage legumes increased gross margins in 3 of 3 regions. Among the cropping systems with legumes, systems could be identified that had both relatively high economic returns and positive environmental impacts. Thus, increasing the cultivation of legumes could lead to economic competitive cropping systems and positive environmental impacts, but achieving this aim requires the development of novel management strategies informed by the involvement of advisors and farmers.
  • Nikkari, Saara (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    A field experiment was conducted at Potato Reseach Institute during 1997-2002 in Lammi, Finland. The first aim of the work was to find out the suitability of three- and four-year crop rotation on potato production. The second aim was to investigate the effect of three different tilling methods and four different preceding crops on yield and quality of potato. The tilling methods were autumn and spring ploughing and light cultivation. The preceding crops were barley with straw left in the plots, barley with straw harvested, oat with straw harvested and two-year-grass. There were no differences on yield or quality of tubers between the studied crop rotations. The tuber yield did not differ between the tilling methods or the preciding crops. There was an interaction between all studied rotation and tilling methods. Three-year rotation resulted in approximately 5 % higher tuber yield and 14 % higher marketable yield following spring ploughing and light cultivation in comparison to autumn ploughing. However, four-year rotation resulted in an opposite result, since the tuber yield was 7 % and marketable yield 17 % higher following autumn ploughing in comparison to both spring ploughing and light cultivation. The most effecting factor on tuber quality was the two-year-grass as a preceding crop. Starch content was a little less than one percentage point higher following grass in comparison to all other preceding crops studied. Plant stand was also slightly sparser and tubers were slightly larger following grass in comparison to other preceding crops studied. This was due to grass lumps which caused problems in planting and resulted in uneven plant stand density. There were more green tubers following grass in comparison to other preceding crops studied. The starch content was a little less than one percentage point lower following spring ploughing in comparison to other tilling methods. Common scab was observed somewhat more following spring ploughing. The light cultivation resulted in the highest number of green tubers. Three- and four-year crop rotations seem to fit for potato cultivation, and oat and barley are suitable as preceding crops for potato. Yield is not affected when spring ploughing- and light cultivation is applied with cereals as preceding crops. The two-year-grass is also suitable preceding crop for potato. It increases the tuber starch content, even tough it can decrease the quality. Thus, autumn ploughing is the best option as a tilling method to be used for grass as a preceding crop in potato cultivation.