Cullars Rotation

This experiment has been added by the GLTEN Curators using existing published sources.
Objective
To study the long-term effect of phosphorus, potassium, lime and other nutrients on a 3-year rotation which included cotton, corn, small grain and summer legumes.
Description
Alabama’s “Cullars Rotation” experiment (circa 1911) was placed on the National Register of Historical Places as the oldest, continuous, soil fertility experiment in the South in 2003. Along with its nearby predecessor on the National Register, “The Old Rotation” (circa 1896), these experiments contain the oldest, cotton research plots in the world. Both are located on the campus of Auburn University in east-central Alabama. Treatments on the Cullars Rotation demonstrate dramatically the long-term effects of fertilization and the lack of specific nutrients on nonirrigated crop yields over a 100-year period. The Cullars Rotation is one of the few sites where controlled nutrient deficiencies can be observed on 5 different crops during the course of a year (cotton, crimson clover, corn, wheat, and soybean). The experiment preserves a site for monitoring nutrient accumulation and loss and soil quality changes and their effects on long-term sustainability of an intensive crop rotation system.
Data Access Statement
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Data license
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Data policy
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Organization
Auburn University
research organisation
People

Site: Cullars Rotation

Type
research station field
Location
Auburn University
Alabama
United states of America
Geographic location
32.586167, -85.476167
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
201 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
Soil description
The soil is a Marvyn loamy sand (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic typic Kanhapludults)

Design period: (1911—)

Design description
Original design was 11 soil treatments replicated 3 times, one replicate for each of the 3 crops in the 3-yr rotation, in an ordered block design. In 1914, an additional 3 treatments (designated A, B, and C) were added to include the effect of winter legumes in the rotation.
Number of plots
42
Number of replicates
3
Crops
CropYears grown
cotton
winter wheat
winter legumes
maize
crimson clover
soybeans
maize
Crop Rotation
3-year rotation
  • 1
    cotton
    crimson clover
  • 2
    maize
    winter wheat
  • 3
    soybeans
    Double cropped
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
nitrogen fertilizer exposure
With N  (90 lb/acre)
Applied to crop: cotton
120 lb/acre to corn, 60 lb/acre on small grain.
No N
potassium fertilizer exposure
Total applied per 3 year rotation.
Standard K  (240 lb.K2O/acre)
4/3 K  (300 lb.K2O/acre)
2/3 K  (180 lb.K2O/acre)
1/3 K  (60 lb.K2O/acre)
No K  (0 )
micronutrient exposure
With Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, B and Mo
With micronutrients
Without micronutrients
liming exposure
With lime
Limed to maintain pH at 5.8 to 6.5
No lime
Legumes in rotation
With legumes
Without legumes
phosphate fertilizer exposure
Total applied per 3 year rotation.
With P  (90 lb.P2O5/acre)
No P  (0 )
rock phosphate
P applied as rock phosphate
sulfate fertiliser exposure
With S  (40 lb.sulfate-S/acre)
Applied to crop: cotton
Chemical form: gypsum
And small grain
No S  (0 )
Factor combinations
No N/+legume  1914—
Plots A
Legumes in rotation: Without legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: No N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
No N/No Legumes  1914—
Plot B
Legumes in rotation: Without legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: No N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
No soil amendments  1914—
Plot C
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: No N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: No P
potassium fertilizer exposure: No K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: No S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
No winter legumes +N  1911—
Plot 1
Legumes in rotation: Without legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
No P  1911—
Plot 2
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: No P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
Standard fertilization  1911—
Plot 3
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
4/3K  1911—
Plot 4
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: 4/3 K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
Rock Phosphate  1911—
Plot 5
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: rock phosphate
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
liming exposure: With lime
No K  1911—
Plot 6
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: No K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
2/3K  1911—
Plot 7
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: 2/3 K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
liming exposure: With lime
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
No lime  1911—
Plot 8
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: No lime
No S  1911—
Plot 9
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: No S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
Standard fertilization plus micronutrients  1911—
Plot 10
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: Standard K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: With micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime
1/3K  1911—
Plot 11
Legumes in rotation: With legumes
nitrogen fertilizer exposure: With N
phosphate fertilizer exposure: With P
potassium fertilizer exposure: 1/3 K
sulfate fertiliser exposure: With S
micronutrient exposure: Without micronutrients
liming exposure: With lime

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