Organic and conventional production systems: Corn and soybean yield trends 1990-2010.

Over the past two decades agronomists have used steady to positive yield trends as evidence of a sustainable cropping system (Jenkinson, 1991; Singh and Jones, 2002; and Bundy et al., 2011). However, some writers have suggested modern agriculture is predisposed to, unsustainable negative yield trends because it relies on large machinery, manufactured pesticides, and commercial […] More »

The Dynamics of Root Growth under Different Management Systems

The research quantified the dynamics of root development for corn. The line intersect technique was utilized in order to estimate the root length and the health status of roots at different nodes. Intact rooting systems were sampled from plants at different dates. However, simple measurements with this technique do not yield an overall quantitative picture […] 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 is […] More »

Effects of Bioenergy Agroecosystems on Soil Microbial Communities

There is growing societal interest in management of agricultural systems for bioenergy feedstock production, but further environmental evaluation of these systems is warranted. Measurement of soil microbial communities and activity may be useful in environmental evaluations of alternative bioenergy cropping systems, as they are important components of soil health. We characterized microbial community structure and […] 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 »

Farming Systems and Root Health

The issue of the rotation effect in corn-based rotations is of great practical and economic importance for Midwest farmers.  It is also of crucial significance in the development of sustainable farming systems.  Unfortunately, our understanding and acceptance of the rotation effect has generally lagged behind the phenomenon, partly because we don’t understand how it works. […] More »