Black medic (Medicago lupulina L.) is a self-regenerating cover crop which was tested for its ability to improve soil physical properties. Soil aggregate stability was assessed in plots that included a black medic cover crop in a no-till grain rotation, which was fertilized with two levels of nitrogen (N), for 15 yr. In the wheat phase of the rotation, the medic cover crop increased mean weight diameter by 21% in the reduced N fertilizer treatment but not in the recommended N treatment. Generally, the addition of medic reduced the proportion of small aggregates and increased the proportion of large aggregates. This pattern was stronger in reduced N compared with recommended N fertilizer levels. This study provided evidence for medic to increase aggregate stability under low external N input grain production.
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