A 2020 study analyzed yield-water use relationships and profitability of corn, wheat, and grain sorghum in various rotations under limited irrigation near Tribune, KS. Overall, corn yield after wheat (corn-wheat rotation) was about 20 bushels per acre greater than a corn-corn rotation; corn-corn yields and grain sorghum-grain sorghum yields tended to be less than when grown in a corn-grain sorghum rotation. Available soil water was less during the entire corn growing season in the corn-grain sorghum rotation compared with corn-corn and corn-wheat rotations. Corn yield increased as water use increased in corn-wheat rotation compared with other corn-based rotations. Grain sorghum yield increased with water use in both rotations but at a greater rate in grain sorghum-grain sorghum rotation than in rotation with corn. Despite greater corn grain yield in a corn-wheat rotation, economic analysis showed that wheat was the least profitable of the three crops causing the corn-wheat rotation to be least profitable. In this study, the most profitable limited irrigation crop rotation was corn-grain sorghum.
Publication: Schlegel, A.J., Assefa, Y., & O’Brien, D. (2019). Productivity and profitability of four crop rotations under limited irrigation. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 36(1): 1-9 (doi: 10.13031/aea.13416).