Archive | Productivity & Profitability

For our economic analysis we scaled up from acre plots to an appropriately sized whole farm ranging from 150 acres for the forage-based systems to 1000 acres for the cash grain systems. Labor constraints were evident in the organic grain system reducing the scale-up size to 600 acres.

Pastured heifers grow well and have productive first lactations: CIAS Research Brief

Dairy heifers that were raised on pasture in the ongoing Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) performed as well as or better than, similar heifers that were raised in confinement. In this study, not only did heifers on managed pastures match the weights and age at first calving of their confined counterparts, but they [...] More »

WICST yield summary 1995-2012 at Arlington (most recent)

This table provides annual yield data for each crop in WICST at the Arlington Research Station. More »

Organic and conventional production systems: Corn and soybean yield trends 1990-2010.

Over the past two decades agronomists have used steady to positive yield trends as evidence of a sustainable cropping system (Jenkinson, 1991; Singh and Jones, 2002; and Bundy et al., 2011). However, some writers have suggested modern agriculture is predisposed to, unsustainable negative yield trends because it relies on large machinery, manufactured pesticides, and [...] More »

Long term effects of common Midwestern agroecosystems on soil organic carbon

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is highly sensitive to agricultural land management. As a result there is a great deal of interest in using cultivated soils to sequester atmospheric CO2. In this study we evaluate the impact of six cropping systems on SOC levels at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping System Trial (WICST) over a 20 year [...] More »

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 »

Profitability of Organic Farming Systems in Wisconsin

The USDA-ERS held a conference in Washington D.C. from March 16-18 on organic farming systems research that included several long-term systems research trials across the USA. These slides summarize long-term economics on organic and conventional crops in WICST. Authors: Janet Hedtcke, Joshua Posner, John Hall and Jon Baldock More »

Organic System Yields and Yield Trends in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials

The USDA-ERS held a conference in Washington D.C. from March 16-18 on organic farming systems research that included several long-term systems research trials across the USA.  These slides summarize long-term yield trends on organic and conventional crops in WICST. Authors: Jon Baldock, Joshua Posner, John Hall, and Janet Hedtcke More »

Powerpoint Comparing Production, Profitability and Environmental Aspects on WICST

Data was presented at the Wisconsin Grazing Conference, February 20, 2010 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. More »

Production Summary from WICST and the Biofuels Trial

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 set a target of 36 billion gallons of biofuel to be produced annually within the USA by 2022. Of the total 36 billion gallons, 16 billion is to come from cellulosic ethanol and 5 billion gallons from biomass-based diesel and other “advanced biofuels” (from feedstocks other than [...] More »