IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Crop and Soil Responses to Using Corn Stover as a Bioenergy Feedstock: Observations from the Northern US Corn Belt

  • Jane M. F. Johnson


    (USDA-Agricultural Research Service, North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory, 803 Iowa Ave., Morris, MN 56267, USA)

  • Veronica Acosta-Martinez


    (USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Unit, 3810 4th Street, Lubbock, TX 79415, USA)

  • Cynthia A. Cambardella


    (USDA-Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory of Agriculture and the Environment Agroecosystems Management Research Unit 2110 University BLVD, Ames, IA 50011, USA)

  • Nancy W. Barbour


    (USDA-Agricultural Research Service, North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory, 803 Iowa Ave., Morris, MN 56267, USA)

Registered author(s):

    Corn ( Zea mays L.) stover is a potential bioenergy feedstock, but little is known about the impacts of reducing stover return on yield and soil quality in the Northern US Corn Belt. Our study objectives were to measure the impact of three stover return rates (Full (~7.8 Mg ha −1 yr −1 ), Moderate (~3.8 Mg ha −1 yr −1 ) or Low (~1.5 Mg ha yr −1 ) Return) on corn and soybean ( Glycine max . L [Merr.]) yields and on soil dynamic properties on a chisel-tilled (Chisel) field, and well- (NT1995) or newly- (NT2005) established no-till managed fields. Stover return rate did not affect corn and soybean yields except under NT1995 where Low Return (2.88 Mg ha −1 ) reduced yields compared with Full and Moderate Return (3.13 Mg ha −1 ). In NT1995 at 0–5 cm depth, particulate organic matter in Full Return and Moderate Return (14.3 g kg −1 ) exceeded Low Return (11.3 g kg −1 ). In NT2005, acid phosphatase activity was reduced about 20% in Low Return compared to Full Return. Also the Low Return had an increase in erodible-sized dry aggregates at the soil surface compared to Full Return. Three or fewer cycles of stover treatments revealed little evidence for short-term impacts on crop yield, but detected subtle soil changes that indicate repeated harvests may have negative consequences if stover removed.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Agriculture.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 72-89

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:1:p:72-89:d:23428
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:1:p:72-89:d:23428. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.