Research Category: Innovation Grants

Investigating Aerial Seeding Cover Crops into Soybeans

(2017)
Dan Coffman

For this proposal, I’d like to demonstrate/investigate and possibly develop ideas regarding the seeding of cover crops into soybeans just before harvest. I will be looking at seeding systems (airplane & high clearance sprayer), two different cover crop blends, changes in soil health and soil erosion, and lastly, changes in management practices as well as the challenges that might be associated with that. The field selected is the same as last year. The east 30 acres will be split into 15 acre sections to investigate the different seeding systems,

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Interseeding Cover Crops While Applying In-Season Nitrogen

(2016)
Keith Hartmann

This project will build a 12-row, 30-inch row spacing, cover crop interseeder that can apply liquid nitrogen and seed a cover crop in one pass. This will expand upon ongoing farm research using a small scale prototype interseeder that was built using commonly sourced Yetter Manufacturing strip freshener units, incorporating the seeds and a Gandy seeder. The project focus is to show farmers how they can successfully establish a cover crop in a northern climate and efficiently do that with one pass across the field during an in-season nitrogen application.

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Demonstrating Optimal Nitrogen Rate and Timing Practices in a Corn-Soybean Rotation

(2016)
Wayne Dewall

This project will engage with an existing on-farm project designed to improve understanding of the impact of agricultural practices on water quality at both the field and small watershed scale.

Current two-year edge of field monitoring indicates that an average of 51 lbs. per acre is lost from the field each year. Greatest losses are in May and June when crop nitrogen (N) requirement s are low and heavy leaching rains are most common.

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Interseeding Cover Crops While Applying In-Season Nitrogen

(2016)
Keith Hartmann

This project will build a 12-row, 30-inch row spacing, cover crop interseeder that can apply liquid nitrogen and seed a cover crop in one pass. This will expand upon ongoing farm research using a small scale prototype interseeder that was built using commonly sourced Yetter Manufacturing strip freshener units, incorporating the seeds and a Gandy seeder. The project focus is to show farmers how they can successfully establish a cover crop in a northern climate and efficiently do that with one pass across the field during an in-season nitrogen application.

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Integrating Side-Dressing and Interseeding for Reduced Nitrate Loss and Soil Erosion

(2016)
Dan Coffman and Lee Thompson

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.

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Soil and Water Improvement through Strip-Tilling and Cover Crop Application

(2016)
Brad and Darlene Nere

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.

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