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Extremes of Moisture: Soil water dynamics in long-term integrated crop rotation studies

Crop Types
  • Whole Farm
Collaborating Locations


This study looks at a long term study that began in 1992 that includes grain-based crop rotations in "annual only" and "perennial-annual" systems to establish soil water minitoring to assess the impacts long term rotations have on soild water dynamics. The goal is to better understand how different crop sequences and soil/crop management practices affect soil water availability, and water use efficiency in a range of crops including canola, wheat, soybean, flax, dry beans oats, corn and short-term alfalfa stands.

This project is a sub-project of a multi-collaborator project on the Extremes of Moisture.

View all Extremes of Moisture projects

Key Takeaways

Alfalfa reduces spring water content in dry years but not wet years. Wheat extracted the most soil water in the 30-90 cm soil depth in both alfalfa-grain and grain only rotations in dry years. Historical manure application showed higher levels of soil water at spring seeding and more soil water use in the following canola crop compared to fertilized treatment. Ruminant manure increased soil water content and increased canola yield/ mm. In no-till studies corn used more soil water from 0-120 cm depth vs wheat.

Project Details

Principal Investigator
Dr. Martin Entz
Project Status
Start Date
Completion Date
Funding Partners
MCGA, MPSG, MB Agriculture
Total Project Cost
MCA Funding

Field Issues

  • Abiotic Stress,
  • Crop Rotation