Archive | Reports / Articles

A list of peer-reviewed journal articles regarding WICST as well as extension documents, annual or biennial technical reports, and other publications such as posters and presentations at various scientific meetings.

Multi-crop annual forage production for improved manure management in Wisconsin

The objectives of this study was to develop annual forage crop systems that 1) create summer windows for manure spreading, 2) effectively utilizes the manure, 3) is economically as well as environmentally sound, 4) is competitive with corn silage yields, and 5) produces forage of high feeding value. Author: Kathy Vazquez and J. Posner 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 »

Managed grazing in WICST prairies: Tradeoffs between plant functional diversity, forage availability, and resistance to weed invasion

To explore the relationships between plant functional diversity, forage production, and forage quality in native grasslands managed for sequential grazing, managed grazing was employed across a diversity gradient in reconstructed tallgrass prairie communities. A well-established switchgrass monoculture was compared to reconstructed (planted) prairies that had been seeded with varying levels of native plant functional diversity [...] More »

Effect of N-fertilizer and harvest timing on biomass yields and quality in Panicum virgatum l. and restored prairie in the upper Midwest

Native warm-season grasses of the tallgrass prairie are anticipated to be a significant source of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks for renewable energy, as well as deliver additional ecossytem services, such as mitigate nitrogen (N) losses to the environment. Whether additional services are realized, however will depend largely on how these perrenial bioenergy crops are managed. [...] More »

Managed grazing with dairy heifers: Integrating cool- and warm-season grasses for improved seasonal productivity

Managed grazing in Wisconsin has been a growing fraction of the dairy industry for nearly 20 years. A recent survey by Wis-DATCP (Paine and Gildersleeve, 2011) revealed that 22% of all dairy farms now practice some managed grazing, highest in the Southwest (28%) and in each of North central and West central regions (23%), [...] More »

Summary of pasture biomass estimates on the rotational grazing (CS6) system 1990-2010

Pasture swards are complex systems of growing grasses and forbs, that are grazed during the growing season and occassionally cut for hay. As a result, it is difficult to characterize their productivity and this can be confounded by heifer management. In this report, we summarize the three different approaches used to develop pasture [...] More »

WICST Educational Outreach 2009 through 2011

WICST continues to serve as an ‘outdoor laboratory’ for learning about issues of sustainable agriculture such as crop rotation, environmental stewardship, economic sustainability, and bio-diversity. In addition to field days for the public and farm tours for schools and tech colleges, we have disseminated our research results at regional events (Wisconsin Grazing Conference, WI [...] More »

RFV vs. RFQ on Three WICST Forage Systems

Graphical comparisons of RFV (relative feed value) vs. RFQ (relative forage quality) are shown for a conventional direct-seeded alfalfa system, an organic oatlage-alfalfa companion seeded system, and a mixed cool-season grass/legume pasture under managed grazing.  Data is from 2003-2010 and is the seasonal average from 4 reps/forage type/year. More »

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 »