Archive | 8th Technical Report (1999&2000)

Summary of the 10th and 11th seasons on WICST including further biodiversity projects such as earthworms and arthropods as well as expanding rotations with cover crops and small grains.

Oats Date-of-Planting Study 1997-1998

In the 1990’s, oat yields averaged between 60 and 75 bu/a in the upper Midwest and were grown mainly for supplemental feed and straw for livestock. However, on farm research has shown that when oats are well managed, 100 bu/acre yields of high quality oats are common (see “A Farmer’s Guide to Quality [...] 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 »

Effects on Ground-dwelling Arthropods on WICST 1995-1997

Arthropods were collected from pitfall traps (1995-96), soil cores (1995-96-97) in CS1 (continuous corn), CS3 (organic corn-soy-wheat/red clover), CS5 (organic corn- oats/alfalfa-alfalfa + manure), and CS6 (pasture) at the Lakeland and Arlignton sites.  In soil cornes from Arlington 1997, there were a greater abundance of insects in CS1 and CS5, although in Lakeland, there was [...] More »

Earthworm Populations at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Tria

Many farmers, organic gardeners, and researchers have recognized earthworms as important organisms contributing to “healthy” soils (Romig et al. 1995). Earthworms are frequently associated with their ability to mix the soil (Cook and Linden 1996, Marinissen and Hillenaar 1997), increase rates of water infiltration (Bouche and Al-Addan 1997, Linden et al. 1991, Zachmann et [...] More »

Management-Intensive Rotational Grazing of Dairy Heifers on WICST (1999-2000)

Management-intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) is a low input form of dairy herd management that is increasing throughout the United States. In Wisconsin, about 23 percent of dairy farmers used MIRG last year, more than triple that since 1993 (Jackson-Smith and Powell, 1999). Of the three dairy forage systems represented in the Wisconsin Integrated [...] More »

WICST: An Analysis of the Crop Yields from 1993-1998

The primary objective of this report is to determine the characteristic or average yields for the cropping systems in the Wisconsin Cropping Systems Trials and to ascertain which of the cropping systems, if any, produced the best yields. Clearly, crop yield is not the only factor to consider in designing cropping systems, but it [...] More »

Quantifying the Impact of Preferential Flow on Field-scale Chemical Transport Under Two Steady-state Conditions in Silt Loam Soil

To ensure high food/fiber production from limited arable lands, fertilizers and pesticides play essential roles in modern agriculture. After extensive use, however, some of these agrichemicals have resulted in nonpoint groundwater contamination. The general public demands not only high-quality, low-cost food and fiber but also clean and pristine environments. Tremendous efforts have [...] More »

Yields and Profits of a Low-External-Input Cropping System Compared to a Moderately-Low-External-Input Cropping System

External crop inputs (such as fertilizer and pesticides) are a key factor in profitability as well as a major factor in the pollution potential of a cropping system. One of the original justifications for the WICST was to furnish reliable data for the debate between the high-external-input advocates (nozzle heads) and the low-external-input advocates [...] More »

1992-2000 Energy use and Output/Input ratios for the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial

The consumption of non-renewable energy in agriculture is an issue that waxes and wanes in the public interest. The sudden rise in oil prices in the early 1970’s spawned a number of studies on the use of energy in agriculture (Pimentel, 1973; Heichel, 1973). Energy however, remained relatively cheap, and technologies requiring high-energy [...] More »

WICST Commodity Price Analysis

One of the theories behind the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial is that having multiple crops for an individual farm will help spread out price risk. In mono-cropping systems, a producer is taking the chance that the one crop they grow will return the best profit for them. In this paper, we exam the sensitivity [...] More »