Rotation 120 – Lethbridge Alberta.
Rotation 120 was initiated in 1951 at the Lethbridge Research Centre to evaluate the sustainability of common and potential crop rotations for the area. The rotations range from fallow-wheat to continuous wheat, with and without inorganic fertilizer, livestock manure, legume green manure, or alfalfa hay. The crop rotation and replenishment of nitrogen (N) impacted soil quality as measured by soil organic carbon (SOC), light fraction carbon (LFC), light fraction nitrogen (LFN), and mineralizable carbon (C) and N. Rotations that replenished N with alfalfa, N fertilizer, and green or livestock manure had higher SOC and grain yield. Rotations with frequent summerfallow and those without replenishing N to the system had lower SOC and grain yield. This study has shown that over the long-term, cropping systems altered the quality and productivity of soil. Two practices that will contribute to current and future soil productivity were the replenishment of N removed by the harvested crop and limited use of summerfallow.
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