Archive | Organic / Low Input Systems

This section includes a collection of research activities to reduce the use of chemicals in Wisconsin cropping systems. Also, organic systems are evaluated in terms of production, weed control and profitability with feed-grade premiums.

Flame Weeding Corn on the WICST Plots

Good weed control is crucial in organic systems. However, erosion is a concern with the high tillage intensity inherent to organic row crop production. It’s also known that tillage and cultivation can bring up buried weed seed and stimulate weed seed germination. A lower disturbance option for controlling weeds is to combine [...] More »

Evaluation of Seed Treatments for Organic Corn - 2006

In 2003, to comply with the National Organic Program (NOP) standards, we started using certified organic seed (untreated, non-GMO) for our organically managed systems on the WICST plots. In both organic systems (CS3 & CS5), the corn phase followed a plowdown legume, typically tilled the previous fall. Even with delayed planting we consistently [...] More »

Using Rye as a Cover Crop in Organic Soybeans

This report was the result of an independent project that includes a literature review on using rye as a mulch and an allelopathic crop.  It was the prelude to a Master Degree project using on-farm and on-station plots. Author: Emily Bernstein More »

A Constant Goal, Changing Strategies: The Krusenbaum Dairy Farm (1996-2005)

This case study documents the trajectory of a successful alternative dairy farm in southeastern Wisconsin. The 1990’s were a difficult period for dairying and the Krusenbaum family entered this shifting field in 1990 with a 37 cow Holstein herd in a stanchion barn, 88 tillable hectares and a vision to gradually develop a biodynamic [...] More »

Effect of Dairy Slurry Application on Soil Compaction and Corn Yield in Southern Wisconsin

A B S T R A C T As stocking rates on Wisconsin dairy farms continue to increase, one possible nutrient management solution is to haul slurry to nearby grain farmer’s fields. Although the nutrient and soil building benefits of manure are well known, many grain farmers are hesitant to apply manure on their fields due to potential soil [...] More »

Increasing Crop Rotation Diversity: A Comparison of Conventional Grain Systems on WICST (1998-2006).

Since the mid-20th century, with the advent of cheap fertilizer and herbicides, many farmers have adopted high chemical input, low cropping diversity systems. However, the recent trend of increasingly high input costs has more and more farmers rethinking this strategy. As crude oil costs have skyrocketed (>$130/barrel in July 2008), many inputs derived [...] More »

Certified Organic Grain Strips - 2006

This report shows the 2006 field operations and other agronomic information by phase on the certified organic acreage at the Arlington Research Station. More »

Certified Organic Grain Strips 2005

This report shows the field operations for organic grain systems for each phase of the rotation in 2005 at both Arlington Research Station (ARS) and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI). More »

Benefits of Diversifying the Corn-Soybean Rotation: Data from WICST 1995-2003

Since the mid-20th century, farmers have become more specialized, resulting in less diverse and higher input cropping systems. However, marginal profits, increasing pest pressure, and growing concern for pollution hazard have renewed interest in diversifying cash-grain rotations. As part of the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST), we compared 3 cash-grain systems with different levels [...] More »

Certified Organic Grain Strips 2004

Since the early 90’s, organic production has been gaining momentum in the upper Midwest. By 2000, Wisconsin ranked first in the nation for organic dairy cows and other livestock and third in the nation for number of certified organic farms, corn, soybean and small grain acres (USDA ERS, 2001). With the implementation of the USDA’s [...] More »