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Articles by Kurt D. Thelen
Total Records ( 3 ) for Kurt D. Thelen
  Dieudonne N. Baributsa , Eunice F. Foster , Kurt D. Thelen , Alexandra N. Kravchenko , Dale R. Mutch and Mathieu Ngouajio
  The increasing cost of nitrogen fertilizer and the need for a N source for low-input and organic farmers have led to the increased exploration of legume cover crops as an alternative to N fertilization. Reliable cropping strategies are needed to enhance legume cover crop use as a N source. Interseeding legume cover crops into corn (Zea mays L.) can affect corn yield and cover crop dry matter. This study, conducted at the Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, MI, from 2002 to 2005, evaluated (i) the impact of interseeded cover crops on corn yield at various corn densities (37,500 to 75,000 plants ha–1) and (ii) the effect of corn density on cover crop dry matter (DM) when corn was interseeded with red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) or chickling vetch (Lathyrus sativus L., var. AC Greenfix). Interseeded cover crops did not affect corn yield at any corn density. Interseeded cover crop DM decreased as corn density increased. The subsequent spring, red clover DM was similar regardless of previous corn density; AC Greenfix did not regrow. Interseeded cover crops produced less DM than monoculture cover crops. Cover crops can be interseeded into corn densities up to 75,000 plants ha–1 without corn yield reduction and still produce substantial DM the subsequent spring. Interseeding corn with red clover could be used in low-input farming systems to reduce N fertilizer costs, especially in developing countries and in organic farming systems.
  Bradley E. Fronning , Kurt D. Thelen and Doo-Hong Min
  The emerging cellulosic-based ethanol industry will likely use corn (Zea mays L.) stover as a feedstock source. Growers wishing to maintain, or increase soil C levels for agronomic and environmental benefit will need to use C amendments such as manure, compost, or cover crops, to replace C removed with the corn stover. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of cover crops, manure, and compost on short-term C sequestration rates and net global warming potential (GWP) in a corn–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotation with complete corn stover removal. Field experiments consisting of a corn–soybean–corn rotation with whole-plant corn harvest, were conducted near East Lansing, MI over a 3-yr period beginning in the fall of 2001. Carbon amendments were: compost, manure, and a winter cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop. Compost and manure amendments raised soil C levels in the 0 to 5 and 0 to 25 cm soil profile but not in the 5 to 25 cm soil profile over the relatively short-term duration of the study. Total soil organic C (SOC) (kg ha–1) in the 0 to 25 cm profile increased by 41 and 25% for the compost and manure treatments, respectively, and decreased by 3% for the untreated check. Compost and manure soil amendments resulted in a net GWP of –1811 and –1060 g CO2 m–2 yr–1, respectively, compared to 12 g CO2 m–2 yr–1 for untreated.
  Terry J. Schulz and Kurt D. Thelen
  Several new bacterial inoculant products have been introduced for use as a soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] seed treatment. A 3-yr study over 16 site-years determined whether soybean seed inoculation had an effect on grain yield, if yield or growth differences occurred between soybean treated with commercial inoculant products, and whether use of seed-applied fungicide resulted in yield benefits or interacted with commercial inoculants. Eight commercial inoculants were tested both with and without seed-applied fungicidal treatment in a split-plot randomized complete block configuration. Use of soybean inoculant raised soybean yield in 6 of 14 site-years in fields that had been in soybean rotation. The average yield increase as a result of soybean seed inoculation at these 14 site-years with a previous history of soybean cropping was 85.6 kg ha–1. Differences between inoculant products were observed only at first-time soybean sites. Fungicidal seed treatment improved yield on 3 of 16 site-years and only interacted with inoculant on the two first-time soybean sites.
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