Archive | 12th Technical Report (2007&2008)

Summary of the 2007 & 2008, the 18th and 19th seasons of research at the Arlington site.

Recent Trends in Organic Corn and Soybean Yields on WICST (2002-2009)

Several factors have been identified for improvement including weed control, seed treatment, stand densities, fertility, and improved hybrids from concurrent UW research. Weed control was a continuous struggle, especially in wet springs (Posner et al 2008). After 2-3 years of mediocre organic corn and soybean yields, and one crop failure, many changes were imposed [...] 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 »

Forage Production and Quality of Restored Prairie Interseeded with Native Legumes

Motivations for restoring tallgrass prairie in the Upper Midwest range from natural resource conservation to developing new forage and cropping systems. Cropping systems based on the tallgrass prairie may be well-suited to providing reliable summer forage for livestock, feedstocks for home heating, electricity production, and ethanol, as well as ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. [...] More »

Effects of Plant Diversity and Management on Nitrogen Retention in Perennial Biomass Production Systems

There is increasing pressure on agroecosystems to provide fuel in addition to food. In order to sustainably meet these demands, we must improve the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crops because of the high costs of producing N-fertilizers and the loss of nitrogen to water and atmospheric sinks can be a major problem. [...] More »

Long-Term Cropping System Effects on Soil Properties and on a Soil Quality Index

Intensive row-crop production can lead to soil degradation over time if insufficient biomass return, intensive tillage, or excessive erosion lead to depletion of soil organic C. Soil quality may be improved by incorporating forage crops or grazing into the rotation, adding manure or other organic sources, and shifting to minimum tillage. We evaluated a range [...] More »

Orchardgrass (Dactylis Glomerata L.) Ley for Improved Manure Management in Wisconsin: I. Forage Yield, Environmental Impact and Production Costs

ABSTRACT Spreading dairy manure in climatic zones with a short growing season that are dominated by full season crops such as corn (Zea mays L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a challenge. However, replacing these with a grass ley does open several windows for manure spreading. The effects of such a strategy were [...] More »

Response of Herbivores and Natural Enemies to Organic and Conventional Management of Field Crops

Organic agricultural production in the United States has continued to expand; the amount of organically managed land doubled from 1990-2002 and again from 2002-2005 (USDA 2009). The rising prevalence of organic farming systems in the agricultural landscape has necessitated efforts to understand their ecological impacts. Numerous studies have found greater abundances of predatory or beneficial insects on organic compared [...] 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 »

Initiating Greenhouse Gas Measurements on Selected WICST Treatments

Carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) are greenhouse gases (GHG) that are accumulating in the atmosphere (Robertson et al., 2000; Levitus et al., 2001; Santer et al., 2003; Barnett et al., 2005). Human activities and land use practices have altered local, regional, and global C cycles (Vitousek et al., 1997). [...] More »

Dual-Cropping to Improve the Economic Feasibility of Switchgrass Establishment

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been identified as a potential biomass crop for biofuel production. Switchgrass, a native, warm-season perennial, needs approximately two years in Wisconsin in order to be sufficiently established to permit harvesting (Vogel et al. 2002), however may not reach full yield potential until the third year. As the demand grows [...] More »