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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Research Project #437301

Research Project: Oilseed Pennycress – A New Cash Cover-Crop for the Midwest

Location: Soil Management Research

Project Number: 5060-21220-007-04-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2021

Objective:
Overall Goal: This integrated program for off-season oilseed production will focus on agronomic management, ecosystem services characterization, improvements to pennycress germplasm, life cycle supply chains establishment with an emphasis on post-harvest management of seeds from fields to crusher/processor facilities, and development of education and extension networks that enhance adoption and highlight career opportunities in Midwestern states.

Approach:
An integrated team of federal government, academic, and industry researchers with diverse expertise will deliver advances in pennycress crop management and improve harvest efficiency. Agronomic studies will be conducted on environmentally-diverse test plots located in at least three Midwestern states (IL, MN, OH, perhaps IN). A suite of agronomic management projects will be deployed across the region to position pennycress in the predominate corn and soybean rotation and in a range of high- valued rotational crops to: 1) Develop regionally-adjusted agronomic management to support the full integration of pennycress in Midwestern cropping systems; 2) optimize pennycress seeding technologies for relay establishment methods (e.g., high-clearance seeders equipped with soil incorporation units); 3) evaluate the role of desiccants and mechanical harvest aids (i.e., swathing) to reduce field pennycress seed moisture at harvest.