Archive | Core Systems Trial

Initiated in 1990, the Core Systems Trial compares six Wisconsin cropping systems for productivity, profitability and environmental impact.

Soil erosion, soil conditioning index, soil tillage intensity rating and fall soil nitrates summary from WICST dataset

Maintaining and increasing crop production requires maintaining soil quality. Jokela et al (2011) summarized the 18-year impact of the WICST cropping systems on a suite of soil quality factors (e.g., aggregate size, bulk density, microbial biomass, total organic carbon, potentially mineralizable N) that were subsequently integrated into a Soil Quality Index (SQI). The [...] More »

Soil organic carbon changes in six Midwestern cropping systems in southern Wisconsin

The purpose of this study is to compare the six cropping systems of WICST over their initial 12 years at the wetter LAC and better-drained ARL sites for their impact on soil carbon concentrations. We hypothesize the following: 1) initial SOC levels will be higher at the wetter site (LAC>ARL); 2) since all the systems [...] More »

Managed grazing in WICST prairies: Tradeoffs between plant functional diversity, forage availability, and resistance to weed invasion

To explore the relationships between plant functional diversity, forage production, and forage quality in native grasslands managed for sequential grazing, managed grazing was employed across a diversity gradient in reconstructed tallgrass prairie communities. A well-established switchgrass monoculture was compared to reconstructed (planted) prairies that had been seeded with varying levels of native plant functional diversity [...] More »

Effect of N-fertilizer and harvest timing on biomass yields and quality in Panicum virgatum l. and restored prairie in the upper Midwest

Native warm-season grasses of the tallgrass prairie are anticipated to be a significant source of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks for renewable energy, as well as deliver additional ecossytem services, such as mitigate nitrogen (N) losses to the environment. Whether additional services are realized, however will depend largely on how these perrenial bioenergy crops are managed. [...] More »

Managed grazing with dairy heifers: Integrating cool- and warm-season grasses for improved seasonal productivity

Managed grazing in Wisconsin has been a growing fraction of the dairy industry for nearly 20 years. A recent survey by Wis-DATCP (Paine and Gildersleeve, 2011) revealed that 22% of all dairy farms now practice some managed grazing, highest in the Southwest (28%) and in each of North central and West central regions (23%), [...] More »

Nutrient and Alkalinity Removal by Corn Grain, Stover and Cob Harvest in Upper Midwest USA

The objective of this study was to examine differences between corn grain; leaves, stalks and husks; and cobs in terms of NPK nutrient content and fluxes, alkalinity and calcium carbonate equivalent values, S content, and energy density, with an eye toward harvest as biofuel for cellulosic ethanol production, direct combustion or gasification. Authors: M. Avila-Segura, P. [...] More »

Refining the Sampling Plan for Routine Soil Tests

Sound management of agricultural production systems requires routine testing for soil organic matter, acidity, P, and K. Unfortunately, representative soil samples are difficult to obtain due to the inherent variability of most soils and the additional variability introduced by farming activities. Early soil tests confirmed that there was a wide range of soil [...] More »

Cropping System Impacts on Changes in Subsoil P and K Fertility Status

In the 1950’s it was recognized that the subsoil could contribute nutrients to crops and that “available phosphorus and potassium are relatively constant in the subsoils of most soil types.” (Beatty & Corey, 1962). Thus, M.T. Beatty and R.B. Corey from the Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin in conjunction with the Wisconsin Geologic [...] More »

WICST Soil Test P and K at depth - Arlington Site

Since the initiation of the WICST plots in 1990, soil samples have been collected, analyzed, and archived to follow soil test P and K over time at depth from 0-6″, 6-12″, 12-24″ and 24-36″.  The trial at the Arlington site has been sampled for 18 years and data for the various systems are shown here. More »

Midwest Cropping Systems Effects on Soil Properties and on a Soil Quality Index

ABSTRACT Cropping systems may improve or decrease soil quality depending on the specific crop rotation, nutrient amendments, and tillage practices employed. We conducted this study to determine the effect of six cropping systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial on soil properties after 18 years of continuous treatments. We sampled soils (0-5-cm and 5-20-cm depths) following the corn (Zea [...] More »