Archive | Protecting the environment

Monitoring the environmental impact is a major thrust of WICST. Data collection includes nitrate levels in groundwater and that left in the soil profile after harvest; soil fertility; energy ratios and erosion estimations.

Managed grazing’s effect on soil quality and structure

A long-term southern Wisconsin cropping systems study shows that soils under managed grazing have a number of positive characteristics compared to soils under other cropping systems….more Author: R. McNair, J. Hedtkce More »

Comparing variability of on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and energy use with the WICST project

Thus far, few studies have estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and energy use, modeled by life cycle inventory development (LCID) tools to the individual farm level. The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping System Trial (WICST), an on-station experiment, has provided a unique opportunity to perform LCID’s on cropping systems over a 16 year period and that effort [...] More »

Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions using the life cycle inventory development 1993-2008

Greenhouse gases (GHG) of particular interest due to their relatively large contribution to climate change are CO2 (Carbon dioxide), N2O (Nitrous oxide), and CH4 (Methane). Globally, it is estimated that agriculture contributes 10% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions (IPCC 2007), and is the largest emitter of N2O and the second greatest contributor of CH4 [...] More »

Nitrous Oxide Emissions from the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial: 2010

In this study we compare N2O fluxes from the 6 cropping systems at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST). The WICST study was established in 1989, so the cropping system treatments have had over 20 years to progress toward new equilibriums. The study is composed of 3 grain and 3 forage cropping [...] More »

A Comparison of Low Input Systems on WICST

Marginal profits, increasing pest pressure, and concern for pollution hazard have resulted in increased interest in including small grains in corn-soybean rotations and using less inputs.  Data from the WICST trials show environmental advantages of using a chemical free three-phase system but yields were often lower than in the high input systems.  Researchers have [...] 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 »

Comparing The Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Different Midwestern Crop Production Systems using Life Cycle Assessmet, Crop Modeling, and in-Field Emission Measurements

Globally, it is estimated that agriculture contributes 10% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (IPCC 2007), and is the largest emitter of N2O and the second greatest contributor of CH4 (EIA 2007). Greenhouse gases of particular interest due to their impact on the environment are CO2 (Carbon dioxide), N2O (Nitrous oxide), and CH4 [...] More »

Summer Seeded Cover Crops 1996-1999

Leguminous cover crops are potentially important phases in rotations due to their beneficial effects on soil nutrients, organic matter accumulation and the prevention of erosion. These cover crops can be planted with or subsequently to a small grain which is harvested midway through the growing season. Although cover crops are cheaper [...] More »

Winter Rye Following Corn Silage for Reduced N-leaching and Increased Forage Production

Objective was to measure the effect of rye cover crop following corn silage on subsequent forage yields and soil nitrates. Author: Jim Stute, Joshua Posner More »

Using Pre-Plant Nitrate Test to Reduce N Inputs on Corn: 11-Year History on the WICST Plots

Accurately predicting the nitrogen needs of corn can improve farmers’ profits and reduce nitrogen losses to the environment. In Wisconsin, it is a common practice to apply nitrogen for corn just prior to planting. The Preplant Nitrate Test (PPNT) was developed by Bundy et al (1995) to assess residual or “carryover” nitrate-N from the [...] More »