Changes in soil carbon under long-term maize in monoculture and legume-based rotation

  • Published source details Gregorich E.G., Drury C.F. & Baldock J.a. (2001) Changes in soil carbon under long-term maize in monoculture and legume-based rotation. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 81, 21-31.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use crop rotation

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Use crop rotation

    A long-term replicated, controlled experiment between 1959 and 1994 on clay loam soil in Ontario, Canada (Gregorich et al. 2001) found that cultivating maize Zea mays in crop rotations increased soil carbon (20 Mg/ha more carbon than in maize monoculture) and increased maize yield by 30% in fertilized plots, and 360% in unfertilized plots, compared to maize monoculture.  In 1959, 12 plots (76.2 x 12.2 m) were established comprising three cropping treatments were maize in monoculture, bluegrass Poa pratensis in monoculture, and a maize-oat Avena sativa-alfalfa Medicago sativa-alfalfa rotation. The 12 plots comprised six replicate plots with fertilizer (16.8 kg N, 29.3 kg P and 27.4 kg K/ha) and six without. Three soil cores were taken from each plot to measure soil density and carbon.


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