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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Research Project #436941

Research Project: Development of Wheat Based Alternative Crop Production Systems for the Central Great Plains

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-13660-010-005-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2019
End Date: Dec 31, 2022

This research project builds upon the cooperative research studies and collaborations of 50+ years between Colorado State University (CSU) and the USDA-ARS Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, CO. This cooperative research will continue mutual collaborations on the development of wheat based cropping systems for the Central Great Plains region (CGPR). The ultimate goal is to provide production systems and value-added products that enhance economic benefits to U.S. farmers. ARS-Akron and CSU scientists will collaborate on the agronomic development of alternative cropping systems in the CGPR. These include variety testing and selection of the alternative oilseeds, grain sorghum, wheat and corn. ARS-Akron presently has several ongoing projects with winter wheat to: (a) advance understanding and quantitative knowledge base for crop responses and develop tools to guide optimal management; and (b) quantify the N use efficiency of select wheat varieties to improve the productivity and quality of winter wheat in dryland cropping systems. The specific research objectives include: (1) Defining crop-sequencing effects on winter wheat yield and the yields of other dryland crops in alternative no-till dryland cropping systems; (2) N requirement and N response of hard red and hard white winter wheat in no-till and reduce dryland cropping systems; (3) Evaluating wheat cultivar susceptibility to a new insect pest the wheat stem sawfly; and (4) Long term wheat-yield and soil quality response to different residue, tillage and weed management strategies. This proposal will continue work in quantifying the N use efficiency (NUE) differences of winter wheat varieties to a variable N fertility regime. Hypothesis: Winter wheat will have a different yield response to available N and a different NUE on fields that are variable with respect to soil depth and elevation.

Both CSU and ARS personnel will be involved in experimental design and both collaborate on plot establishment, plot maintenance, plot sample collection, grain and biomass harvest, data reduction, analysis and interpretation. Wheat varieties: Annual replicated field plot experiments will be established over the next 2 years at ARS-Akron where select varieties of winter wheat will be planted in a incomplete block plot arrangement by CSU wheat breeding project in a wheat Millet fallow rotation on three fields (one field for each phase of the three year rotation) maintained by ARS. Wheat grain yield and yield components (kernel number and weight), crop phenology (heading and anthesis dates, physiological maturity), and grain N on all experimental units, biomass yield, and N uptake, at anthesis to calculate apparent N recovery (APN). Grain quality measurements would be on a subset of select treatments from the larger study. ARS will maintain the land area and the rotations. CSU will plant harvest and report the results of the one farm cooperative wheat variety trials.