Project Number: 8070-13000-014-30-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Apr 1, 2018
End Date: Mar 31, 2019
A portion of the long-term treatments in the Cooperator's Sustain Dairy Cropping System experiment are being incorporated into the ARS unit's Long Term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR) Cropland Common Experiment. Ongoing research with a diversified crop rotation (including various cover crops), manure injection, cover crop interseeding, and other innovative practices comprise the "Aspirational" treatment. Other existing treatments are being modified to a simple silage corn/alfalfa rotation to serve as the "Business as Usual" treatment. Crop productivity and other agronomic and environmental factors will be compared to determine relative benefits of the Aspirational practices.
Field plots are maintained with each possible entry point in the two rotations represented each year. Multiple measurements of plant and soil parameters and emission of greenhouse gases will be made at key times throughout the year. Measured crop productivity and quality and soil parameters will be modeled to determine additional feed inputs needs for the simulated dairy herd, potential excess feed available for off-farms sale, manure production and nutrient content, energy and nutrient balances, and economic return. Crop planting, harvest, and weed and pest control will be consistent with practices used at the farm scale.