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 [...] More »

Organic System Yields and Yield Trends in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials

The USDA-ERS held a conference in Washington D.C. from March 16-18 on organic farming systems research that included several long-term systems research trials across the USA.  These slides summarize long-term yield trends on organic and conventional crops in WICST. Authors: Jon Baldock, Joshua Posner, John Hall, and Janet Hedtcke 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 »

Organic No-Tillage Winter Rye-Soybean Systems: Weed Community Dynamics

We conducted research in 2008 and 2009 near Arlington, Wisconsin to determine the effects of a winter rye cover crop for no-tillage organic soybean production on weed management and the weed community dynamics relative to a tillage-intensive approach (plowing, tine weeding, and cultivation). Our specific objectives were to determine the effect of rye management [...] More »

Organic No-Tillage Winter Rye-Soybean Systems: Agronomic, Economic, and Environmental Assessment

We conducted research to determine some of the agronomic, economic, and environmental risks associated with the use of winter rye cover crop in no-till organic soybean production systems. Our objectives were to determine the effect of rye management (plowing, crimping, and mowing), and soybean planting date (mid-May or early June) on soil moisture availability, [...] More »

Organic and Conventional Production Systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial: II. Economic and Risk Analysis 1993-2006

This article, the second in a series looking at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST), reports on the profitability of six conventional and organic systems, with a focus on net returns and associated risk exposure. Several pricing scenarios were compared to evaluate the impact of government programs and organic price premiums. When net return [...] More »

Weed Seedbank Community Changes on the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST): 1992-2004

The goal of this study was to compare the effect of six different cropping systems over a 14-year period on: •Weed seed density; •The weed seed community; and, •To statistically test the hypothesis developed at the onset of the Wisconsin Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) at ARL UW- Research Station trial in 1990 Authors: H. Kümmel, J. Doll, J. Posner, [...] More »