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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Research Project #442666

Research Project: Precision Interseeding of Cover Crops Using Autonomous Robotic Technology

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Project Number: 5090-21500-002-021-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2022
End Date: Sep 14, 2024

To evaluate autonomous robotic interseeding technology for providing greater flexibility in selection of cover crop species and planting time.

An existing autonomous robotic seeder prototype will be used to seed a variety of cover crops of different seed sizes in monoculture and mixtures at a minimum of two seeding dates at ARS' Prairie du Sac farm. Small plots will be established, and each treatment (cover crop species/mixture × planting date) will be replicated at least four times. A subset of treatments will also be planted at field scale at ARS' Prairie du Sac farm. Cover crop emergence, density, fall biomass production, and spring biomass production (when pertinent) will be measured along a pre-determined number of transects within each plot. The number of days to emergence, corn canopy density, and soil moisture will also be collected. This information will allow us to evaluate the impact of planting time, species selection, and environmental conditions on cover crop establishment and productivity.