Legumes in Soil Conservation Practices
Source of Digital Item
Summer legumes may and do also serve the same purpose. Cowpeas and soybeans harvested for hay do not add materially to the organic matter in soils. At best they serve as a mechanical summer cover. If turned under entirely they serve the same as crotalaria to add to the soil organic matter. Practical experience has shown that the annual lespedezas even when cut for hay will increase the following crop of cotton or corn. Data on the quantities of organic matter left in the soil by such a crop are wanting, but even when annual lespedezas are cut for hay a considerable quantity of organic material is left, and the resulting increase in crop yields is commonly impressive.