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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: 5060-21220-007-004-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

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.

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.