Jump to Main Content
Harvesting Fertilized Rye Cover Crop: Simulated Revenue, Net Energy, and Drainage Nitrogen Loss
- R. W. Malone, J. F. Obrycki, D. L. Karlen, L. Ma, T. C. Kaspar, D. B. Jaynes, T. B. Parkin, S. H. Lence, G. W. Feyereisen, Q. X. Fang, T. L. Richard, K. Gillette
- Agricultural & environmental letters 2018 v.3 no.1 pp. -
- Root Zone Water Quality Model, biofuels, biomass, cover crops, double cropping, drainage, energy, feedstocks, fertilizer application, harvesting, income, nitrogen, nutrient offtake, rye, spring, winter
- Harvesting fertilized rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop has been suggested as a method to increase producer revenue and biofuel feedstock production, but drainage N loss impacts are currently unknown. Using the tested Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) across several N rates, spring application of 120 kg N ha⁻¹ prior to winter rye harvest reduced drainage N loss by 54% compared with no cover crop and by 18% compared with planted rye that was neither fertilized nor harvested. Estimates of producer revenue and net energy were also positive, with 8.3 Mg ha⁻¹ of harvested rye biomass. If confirmed by field studies, these results suggest that double-cropping fertilized rye is a promising strategy to increase producer revenue, increase net energy production, and reduce drainage N loss.