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Assessing Effects of Crop History and Soil Amendments on Yields of Subsequent Crops

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Three field trials were set up to measure the effect of previous crops or soil amendments on the yields of subsequent crops of cereals under a cool temperate maritime climate in arable crop land in the east of Scotland. Winter wheat and winter barley direct drilled into legume and cereal + legume stubble (pre-crop) gave substantial yield boost compared with other pre-crop cereals, but pre-crop effects of oats were similarly great. Restored rotation after continuous barley gave expected yield enhancement to subsequent winter and spring barley but not to subsequent wheat. Some diseases were reduced on restored rotation crops. Slurry effects on yield were generally small but beneficial and compost effects were greater. However, compost had effects on plant developmental speed and was difficult to compare directly with other treatments. NDRE measurements in the restored rotation and soil amendment trials indicated that yield gains were associated with improved crop health as indicated by leaf chlorophyll content. There were no clear cultivar interactions within crop type with treatments effects in any of these trials.

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