2011 Annual Report
1)conduct field research to measure parameters describing nitrogen uptake of rye cover crops that are appropriate for modeling nitrogen dynamics in models such as the Electronic Plant Information Center (EPIC), and.
2)conduct field research to evaluate high-residue tillage implements for reducing ammonia loss from poultry litter.
This is the third year of this project, which began in April 2009. Progress to date includes implementation of treatment and experimental designs through continuation of field research to study the nitrogen dynamics of rye cover crops and the evaluation of high-residue tillage equipment. These studies are being carried out at the Wye Research and Education Center and are summarizing the ability of using the heat unit concept to guide the growth and development of a rye cover crop. The turbo-till high-residue tillage implement is also under study in replicated continuous corn plots to evaluate its ability to conserve surface residues and reduce ammonia volatilization as compared to a surface application of litter or a traditional tandom disk incorporation. Progress for this project is being monitored by weekly phone conversations with a researcher at Wye which have provided timely information to optimize sampling and field operations at Wye which is about 60 miles away from Beltsville.