Recent research has identified how crop rotation in Wisconsin can influence labile pools of C and N. In-short, on Mollisols of southern Wisconsin, big changes in management are required to increase these labile pools. Kalyn Diederich’s (MS Soil Science & Agroecology) poster titled “Increasing labile C and N pools in agricultural soils requires a change in system, rather than practice” was awarded honorable mention in the student poster competition at the Ecology of Soil Health Summit in Fort Collins, CO. This research shows that it is the big shifts – i.e. shifting from grain-based rotations to forage-based rotations to pasture – that cause increases in these biological indicators of soil health, rather than management shifts (e.g. tillage) within a cropping system. A pdf of her poster can be found here.
Interested in hearing more about efficient cropping system management? Then head over to the Wisconsin Dells for the 4th Annual UW Discovery Farms Winter Conference. To register, go to http://www.uwdiscoveryfarms.org/Education/2015WinterConference.aspx.
Dr. Sarah Collier, a postdoctoral researcher in the Ruark Lab made the cover of the Wisconsin State Journal, which covered the greenhouse gas tour at the 2014 Agronomy/Soils Field Day at the Arlington Research Station. The complete article can be read here.
UW Soil Science research will be highlighted as part of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute’s Cover Crop Field Day on Sept. 3rd in East Troy, WI. Graduate Student Megan Chawner will present her research results on the effects of radish as a cover crop on corn yield, nitrogen uptake and nitrogen release, soil compaction, and soil nematode populations.
Full flyer can be seen here: Cover Crops Field Day Sept 2014
A recent article in Agri-View highlights key research findings on nitrogen crediting from cover crops, use of polymer-coated and nitrification inhibitors, and managing nitrogen on tile drained land. Research was presented at the 2013 Soil, Water, and Nutrient Management Meetings and presentations will be made available shortly.
Full article can be found here.
Nitrogen efficiency: Products, cover crops can improve system
Efficient use of nitrogen in corn production makes sense.
That was evident from the big audience UW-Madison soil scientist Matt Ruark had at Corn-Soy Expo in Wisconsin Dells when he addressed the topic, including use of controlled release fertilizers and nitrogen stabilizers and cover crops that supply nitrogen to the next crop.
Noting that nitrogen use efficiency has been on a steady climb upward since the mid-1970s, Ruark still thinks growers should be tracking their nitrogen use efficiency by simply dividing grain produced by nitrogen applied, field-to-field and year-to-year.
The number goes up if yield increases with the same nitrogen rate, yield is maintained with less nitrogen, or best yet, yield goes up with less nitrogen.
Full article can be found here.
Article in Grow Magazine highlighting the efforts of the Hunger Task Force. Our vegetable extension team has worked with them quite a bit over the past few years. They are really an impressive organization and have made great strides in their soil fertility program.
Check out the link above to access some great information on cover crops. The University research reports start on page 16. This contains research updates from the 2011 growing season, but provides insight into the wide range of cover crop research projects going on in the Midwest.