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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dynamic Cropping Systems and the Distribution of Research Information: Crop Sequence Calculator

Authors
item Krupinsky, Joseph
item Tanaka, Donald
item Hanson, Jonathan
item Merrill, Stephen
item Liebig, Mark
item Hendrickson, John

Submitted to: Dynamic Cropping Systems: Principles, Processes and Challenges
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2003
Publication Date: August 4, 2003
Citation: KRUPINSKY, J.M., TANAKA, D.L., HANSON, J.D., MERRILL, S.D., LIEBIG, M.A., HENDRICKSON, J.R. DYNAMIC CROPPING SYSTEMS AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF RESEARCH INFORMATION: CROP SEQUENCE CALCULATOR. pp. 174-178. In: Proc. of DYNAMIC CROPPING SYSTEMS: PRINCIPLES, PROCESSES AND CHALLENGES, J.D. Hanson and J.M. Krupinsky, eds., Bismarck, ND. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Research on cropping systems was conducted to help producers evaluate the risks of growing different crops. One of the key factors necessary for good decisions is information, particularly the influence of a previous crop and crop residues on crop production factors. A crop sequence research project used a design that allowed the simultaneous evaluation of numerous combinations of regionally adaptable crops under similar weather and soil conditions. A user-friendly computer program entitled 'Crop Sequence Calculator' (CSC) was designed by research scientists to help producers assess crop sequence information and calculate the expected crop production factors of ten crops (barley, canola, crambe, dry bean, dry pea, flax, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and hard red spring wheat) grown in any two-year combination. The CSC also contains information on economics, plant diseases, insects, weeds, crop water use, and surface soil properties to aid producers in their evaluation of management risks associated with different crop sequences. Even though the CSC information is only applicable to the Northern Great Plains, where annual precipitation averages less than 17 inches (43 cm), the concept of distributing timely research information to producers on a CD-ROM has been successful. The future challenge to research scientists is to provide such user-friendly information in an even more timely manner.

Technical Abstract: A dynamic cropping systems approach has been proposed to help producers make critical management decisions in order to remain sustainable in an ever-changing agricultural environment. One of the key factors associated with dynamic cropping systems is information awareness, particularly the influence of a previous crop and crop residues on crop production factors. Because only a limited number of crop sequences can be evaluated in a fixed-cropping system study, an experimental crop matrix design was used that allowed the simultaneous evaluation of numerous combinations of regionally adaptable crops under similar weather and soil conditions. A user-friendly computer program entitled 'Crop Sequence Calculator' (CSC) was designed by research scientists to help producers assess crop sequence information and calculate the expected crop production factors of ten crops (barley [Hordeum vulgare], canola [Brassica napus], crambe [Crambe abyssinica], dry bean [Phaseolus vulgaris], dry pea [Pisum sativum], flax [Linum usitatissimum], safflower [Carthamus tinctorius], soybean [Glycine max], sunflower [Helianthus annuus], and hard red spring wheat [Triticum aestivum]) grown in any two-year combination. The CSC also contains information on economics, plant diseases, insects, weeds, crop water use, and surface soil properties to aid producers in their evaluation of management risks associated with different crop sequences. Even though the CSC information is only applicable to the Northern Great Plains, where annual precipitation averages less than 17 inches (43 cm), the concept of distributing timely research information to producers on a CD-ROM has been successful. The future challenge to research scientists is to provide such user-friendly information in an even more timely manner.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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