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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Research Project #429947

Research Project: Industrial Cool-Season Oilseeds Replace Fallow In No-Till 2-Yr Durum Rotations

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Project Number: 3032-13210-007-01-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2015
End Date: Sep 30, 2020

The objective of this study is to diversify the traditional wheat-fallow cropping system in a semi-arid environment, specifically to determine the production potential and ecosystem services of non-food bioenergy feedstocks in dryland cropping systems of the northern Great Plains. Ethiopian mustard (brassica carinata) and camelina (camelina sativa) are industrial grade cool-season oilseed feedstocks that have shown production potential in semi-arid environments. Yet little is known about their production potential and impact on soil, air, and water resources when grown in wheat-based crop rotations.

Durum wheat will be grown in no-till 2-yr rotations with B. carinata, camelina, and chemical summer fallow. Three replicates of each treatment will be arranged in a randomized complete block design with every phase of each treatment present every year for a total of 18 plots that each measure 20 ft in width by 50 ft in length. Spring and fall soil samples taken to a depth of 120 cm will be used to measure water use, N use, soil microbiology, soil compaction, and soil fertility levels for inorganic fertilizer application. Yield, yield components (e.g. seeds per tiller, tillers per plant) and above ground biomass samples will be quantified each year. 'Grenora' durum, 'Suneson' camelina, and 'A110' carinata will be planted in spring at standard seeding rates with a no-till research drill equipped with Barton-style openers on 8 in centers. Soil fertility recommendations will follow those from Montana State University. The trial will be located on the USDA-ARS research farm near Froid, MT. A weather station on the research farm will provide data in 15 min intervals for precip, temp, wind speed and direction, humidity, etc.