Location: Crop Protection and Management Research
Project Number: 6602-22000-041-03
Start Date: Jul 15, 2010
End Date: Jun 30, 2014
We will evaluate corn, soybean, and wheat production in 2, 3, and 4 year rotations that will rely on legumes and animal manure (poultry litter, dairy manure etc.) as supplemental N sources. In addition cover crops will be evaluated and chosen for biomass production (weed control aspects) and potential for enhancing beneficial insects. We will consider small grains, clovers, summer cover crops (millet, sunn hemp, buckwheat, velvetbean) and alternative crops (sunflower, edamame, pigeon pea,). Productivity of systems will be evaluated based on crop yield and grain quality. Systems will be evaluated for weed, insect, and disease pressures. Nutrient availability will be determined through analysis of soils, harvest components, and crop biomass. Enterprise budgets will be developed to establish profitability of crop rotations. Crop rotations will include comparisons of alternative organic weed management systems: one with major emphasis on intensive tillage and another with major emphasis on conservation tillage. Soil quality will be evaluated annually in the rotation and tillage treatments by measuring a number of soil parameters including soil carbon, particulate organic matter, microbial biomass, and potentially mineralizable N. Knowledge of systems for organic grain production emphasizing rotation, tillage, weed, pest, soil, and economics will be transferred to students, farmers and technical support personnel through workshops, class room instruction, hands on participation in the research project, brochures, bulletins and research publications.