Date of this Version
In 1999, an interdisciplinary research team at the University of Nebraska established a field experiment to (1) quantify and understand the yield potential of corn and soybean under irrigated conditions, (2) identify efficient crop management practices to achieve yields that approach potential levels, and (3) determine the energy use efficiency, global warming and soil C-sequestration potential of intensively managed corn systems. The experiment compares systems that represent different levels of management intensity expressed as combinations of crop rotation (continuous corn, corn-soybean), plant density (low, medium, high) and nutrient management (recommended best management vs. intensive management). Detailed measurements include soil nutrient dynamics and C balance, crop growth and development, nutrient uptake and components of yield of corn and soybean, radiation use efficiency, soil surface fluxes of greenhouse gases, root biomass, C inputs through crop residues, translocation of non-structural carbohydrates, and amount, composition and activity of the microbial biomass. Selected results for corn are presented.