Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) and WICST

Two locations were chosen for field trials to research various bio-energy productions systems (grain-based, perennial, woody, native grassland, and integrated perennial/annual crop): the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University and the Arlington Agricultural Research Station at the University of Wisconsin.¬† Existing systems to be compared at Wisconsin¬† (the WICST plots at the Arlington Research […] 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 from petroleum […] 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 »

Does Diversification Reduce Fall Nitrates: Data from WICST

Fall soil nitrate-N levels are an indirect measure of the synchrony between nitrogen availability during the growing season and crop nitrogen uptake in agricultural fields. Also, between late fall and the following spring these nitrates can leach below the rooting zone and be lost to the agricultural system. As a result, fall monitoring of soil […] More »

The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials: Yields, Yield Variability, and Yield Trends 1990-2002.

In 1990, a large scale, and long-term study entitled the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) was initiated at two locations in southern Wisconsin. The purpose of the project was to compare alternative grain and forage-based systems using three performance criteria: 1) productivity; 2) profitability; and, 3) environmental impact. An obvious initial criterion in comparing […] More »