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%), with […] More »

Effects of Plant Diversity and Management on Nitrogen Retention in Perennial Biomass Production Systems

There is increasing pressure on agroecosystems to provide fuel in addition to food. In order to sustainably meet these demands, we must improve the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crops because of the high costs of producing N-fertilizers and the loss of nitrogen to water and atmospheric sinks can be a major problem. One way […] More »

Potential Carbon Sequestration Increases with C4 Grass Abundance in Restored Prairie of Southern Wisconsin

The tallgrass prairie, which is dominated by warm-season (C4 photosynthesis) grasses has been transformed mainly into grassland/agricultural mosaics if not totally converted to annual crops (Rhemtulla et al., 2007). Interest in restoring the native prairie has increased at the same time that the potential for increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration when degraded soils and […] 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 Project – System Descriptions

Does greater cropping system diversity mean greater environmental soundness? WICST set out to answer this question: Can we reduce purchased chemical inputs and negative environmental impacts of agriculture by using more diversified cropping systems, and can these cropping systems be productive and profitable as well as environmentally sound? How can we find out? WICST has […] More »