The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems trial was designed with real world farming in mind. Our cropping systems represent a range of organic and conventional farming practices in Wisconsin that are grouped by enterprise type – cash grain, dairy forage, or perennial native grass-based systems. These native grassland systems provide a reference point for studying the historical plant communities that built the fertile soils at WICST and represent potential cellulosic cropping systems. One key strength of WICST is that all fieldwork is performed with production-scale agricultural equipment so that data from WICST are representative of “real world” farming. The trial is laid out in a randomized complete block design with four blocks. Every phase of every cropping system is present within each block every year.
With organic and conventional, grain and forage, grazing animals, and native grasslands, WICST is unmatched among long term trials in breadth and scope!