KBS004:Main Cropping System Experiment Field Logs and treatment descriptions

This dataset includes information about the LTER main site treatments, agronomic practices carried out on the treatments and approved site use requests.

Most long-term hypotheses associated with the KBS LTER site are being tested within the context of the main cropping systems study. This study was established on a 48 ha area on which a series of 7 different cropping systems were established in spring 1988, each replicated in one of 6 ha blocks. An eighth never-tilled successional treatment, is located 200 m off-site, replicated as four 0.06 ha plots.

Cropping systems include the following treatments:

  • T1. Conventional: standard chemical input corn/soybean/wheat rotation conventionally tilled (corn/soybean prior to 1992)
  • T2. No-till: standard chemical input corn/soybean/wheat rotation no-tilled (corn/soybean prior to 1992)
  • T3. Reduced input: low chemical input corn/soybean/wheat rotation conventionally tilled (ridge till prior to 1994)
  • T4. Biologically based: zero chemical input corn/soybean wheat rotation conventionally tilled (ridge till prior to 1994)
  • T5. Poplar: Populus clones on short-rotation (6-7 year) harvest cycle
  • T6. Switchgrass (converted in 2018 from continuous alfalfa, replanted every 6-7 years)
  • T7. Early successional community: historically tilled soil
  • T8. Mown grassland community: never-tilled soil.

For specific crops in a given year see the Annual Crops Summary Table.

In 1993 a series of forest sites were added to the main cropping system study to provide long-term reference points and to allow hypotheses related to substrate diversity to be tested. These include:

  • TCF. Coniferous forest: three conifer plantations, 40-60 years old
  • TDF. Decidious forest: three deciduous forest stands, two old-growth and one 40-60 years post-cutting
  • TSF. Mid-successional forest: three old-field (mid-successional) sites 40+ years post-abandonment.

All share a soil series with the main cropping system treatments, and are within 5 km of all other sites.

For each system (and for a number of microplot treatments nested within the main treatment plots) the following baseline variates are being measured (described in greater detail in other data set descriptors):

  • plant characteristics, including species distributions and abundances, net aboveground productivity by functional group (crop vs. non dominant biomass, selected non dominant biomass), economic yields, tissue C and N contents, seed bank composition;
  • soil chemical and physical characteristics, including soil moisture, pH, inorganic N and P pools, total C, N, and P pools, bulk density;
  • soil biological characteristics, including microbial biomass C and N, N mineralization rates (buried bags), microbial populations, invertebrate populations; and
  • insect and pathogen dynamics, including distributions and abundances of major insect pests and predators and of Fusarium pathogens.


KBS004-001 Narrative Agronomic Field Log
This log details agronomic activity on the LTER site. The related tables include views of the agronomic log that might be useful to answer more specific question. A browsable interface of the aglog is available at "https://aglog.kbs.msu.edu":https://aglog.kbs.msu.edu Annual Ag Reports are available for the years 2011 2012
KBS004-002 Main Site Planting Details by Year and Treatment
Crops are rotated each year for the main agronomic treatments of the LTER main site experiment(s). This is a record of planting details.
KBS004-005 Treatment Descriptions
Main site treatments for the KBS LTER experiment are briefly described.
KBS004-008 Expanded Agronomic Log
The whole agronomic log for the LTER site as one big table.
KBS004-009 Fertilizer Application Report for the MCSE
This table lists the fertilizer that was applied to the LTER main site.
KBS004-010 Herbicide applied
This table lists the herbicide applications on the LTER Main site. Herbicide application on the other replicates might differ in timing or amounts. Application rates are generally in amount of commercial solution of herbicide per hectare
KBS004-011 Insecticide applications
This table lists the insecticide applications in the main site for all replicates. Each plot is listed separately. The insecticide applications in this table does not include various seed treatments. In general, the corn and wheat have been treated seed. The soybeans have never been treated seed.
KBS004-012 Activity report
This table lists the activities and the equipment used on replicate 1. Other replicates might be different.
KBS004-013 Planting report for the MCSE
Planting details for Replicate 1. The other replicates are usually planted the same day but where excluded from this dataset to reduce the number of repeated rows.
View_SiteUseRequests Approved Site Use Requests (SURFs)
Site Use Request Forms are filled out by investigators wishing to conduct sampling on LTER properties. When approved, the request is listed on the web.


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