The objective of this project is to improve soil health, reduce soil erosion and reduce nitrate loss while utilizing a side-dress nitrogen application and simultaneous inter-seeding of a cover crop. This farm has utilized conventional tillage for many years and applied nitrogen fertilizer prior to spring planting. Questions of sustainability of the current management system drive the investigation for better/newer practices. This project will integrate side-dress nitrogen during the growing season with interseeding cover crops.
Research Category: Innovation Grants
The objective of this project is to explore practices to reduce nitrogen loss and improve nitrogen management which, in turn, improves water quality. Cover crops will bring up underutilized nutrients from deeper in the soil profile, reduce erosion and allow better infiltration of rain water. Strip tilling will also aid in reducing soil erosion and improving water quality by leaving more residue on the soil surface during vulnerable periods during the year. The split application of nitrogen will benefit both soil and water quality and result in reduced fertilizer costs with more efficient use and less total nitrogen needed.