2,421 research outputs found

    Sunflower Interseeding Trial

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    Sunflower, a relatively new crop for Vermont, has the potential to add value to a farm operation in the form of fuel, feed, food, and fertilizer. However, pest pressures, including weed competition, have limited the yield potential of Vermont sunflower in the past. The practice of interseeding, or planting cover crops between rows, could limit the early-season weed pressures and allow for a competitive advantage for sunflower, increasing yields and quality. Crops like clover, tillage radish, and annual ryegrass may also benefit long-term soil health and decrease expensive inputs by adding organic matter and nutrients into the soil

    Winter Canola Survival

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    Winter canola (Brassica napus) is a relatively new crop in Vermont. This crop has the potential to be added into a rotation to both promote soil health and yield a crop for oil production. Generally planted in late August or early September, winter canola should produce ample vegetation and root growth prior to plant dormancy (Figure 1). Growers can often fit a canola crop in after harvesting winter grains or other early crops. Regrowth in the spring depends on the harshness of winter conditions, but generally the plants are “greening up” in April, and will enter the rosette stage and begin to leaf out soon afterwards

    Impact of High Glucosinolate Mustard Biomass and Meal on Black Bean Yield

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    Brassicae crops (mustard family) contain chemicals called glucosinolates. These compounds are present in the leaves, stem, roots, and seed of the plants. When the plant biomass is incorporated into the soil these glucosinolates are broken down into a number of secondary compounds. The primary compound is isothiocyanate which can be biocidal to germinating seeds, insects, nematodes, and other microbes (fungi, bacteria, etc). In recent years, plant breeders have worked to develop high glucosinolate varieties of mustard to be used as biofumigants in crop production. These high glucosinolate mustards (HGM) are being used as cover crops and the entire plant biomass incorporated into the soil. Interestingly, the mustard is also an oilseed with a potential use in biofuel production. Extraction of the oil from the seed leaves a meal that is also high in glucosinolates as well as nitrogen. Hence, the meal used as a soil amendment could potentially provide nutrients and suppress weed and diseases

    Sunflower Reduced Tillage Trial

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    Sunflowers are being grown in the Northeast for their potential to add value to a diversified operation as fuel, feed, fertilizer, and an important rotational crop. However, early season weed competition can limit the yields of sunflower crops, especially when wet or adverse soil conditions do not allow for mechanical cultivation in early summer. Planting sunflower into a freshly-terminated cover crop of winter rye could help reduce weed pressures. Winter rye would suppress weed germination by covering the ground early in the season, and also through the allelopathic compounds produced in the plants’ roots, which inhibit germination of small-seeded plants. In addition, winter rye, a reliable and winter-hardy cover crop, benefits water quality and soil health, adding soil stability and organic matter between cash crops. Rye has the ability to scavenge nutrients from a previously fertilized and harvested crop, minimizing fertility inputs and keeping the ground covered through the winter

    Long Season Corn Silage Variety Trial

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    In 2013, the University of Vermont Northwest Extension Crops and Soils Team evaluated yield and quality of long season corn silage varieties at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. Long season corn can be difficult to grow in Vermont, due to the climate’s restricted Growing Degree Days (GDDs). In addition, wet springs are becoming more common, delaying corn planting later into the season. However, on many farms, long season corn can produce higher yields and quality than many short-season varieties. The test site was at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT, which has what is considered one of the longest growing seasons in Vermont (2,259 GDDs in 2013). In this year’s trial, 24 varieties were evaluated from six different seed companies. While the information presented can begin to describe the yield and quality performance of these long season corn silage varieties in this region, it is important to note that the data represent results from only one season and one location. Compare other hybrid performance data before making varietal selections

    High Glucosinolate Mustard and Potato Trial

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    High glucosinolate mustard (HGM) can be planted as a cover crop to suppress weeds and disease. Studies have shown a reduction in soil-borne diseases, as well as advantages in mitigating weed pressure, after planting HGM cover crops. Mustards, and many other cruciferous plants, contain glucosinolates, which are allelopathic, meaning they produce biochemicals that affect the growth and survival of other organisms. High glucosinolate mustard varieties have high levels of glucosinolates and have been shown to suppress the growth of weed seedlings, as well as helping to reduce soil-borne disease. The glucosinolates in HGM plants hydrolyze into molecules called volatile isothiocyanates, which are partially responsible for allelopathy. Little research has been done in the Northeast to quantify the effects of HGM cover crops in reducing skin disease in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). Potato demand hinges on appearance, as consumers often refuse individual potatoes with skin defects such as common scab or rhizoctonia, and potatoes for seed are rejected if they have significant damage to skin quality. Rhizoctonia, a soil fungus, is particularly common in cool, wet growing regions like the Northeast. Reducing these skin diseases would increase the marketable yields of potato crops. High glucosinolate mustard cover crops would provide additional benefits to weed competition and soil health. Keeping the ground covered with a living cover crop for months after a regular-season cash crop is harvested helps to stabilize and build soil aggregates, as well as providing organic matter and scavenging nutrients in the soil. The integration of HGM cover crops into vegetable production could prove to be a beneficial introduction in multiple ways

    Organic Winter Wheat Planting Date Trial

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    In 2013, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a winter wheat planting date trial. As the demand for local organic wheat has risen over the last few years, UVM Extension has been trying to determine the best agronomic practices for wheat production in the problematic Northeastern climate. Traditionally, producers have planted winter wheat after the Hessian fly free date, 15-Sep. Producers are interested in knowing how late they can plant their wheat in order to plan rotations and maximize yield

    Enhancing Forages with Nutrient Dense Sprays 2012 Trials

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    The nutrient dense study was initiated at two locations in Vermont to test the efficacy of amending forages with foliar sprays. The nutrient spray program was developed by Advancing Eco-Agriculture and consisted of five foliar sprays for the Vermont farms in this study. The recommended spray program included applications of Rejuvenate in the early spring and late fall, and a combination of PhotoMag, Phosphorus, Potassium and MicroPak applied in the spring and after each cut of hay or graze (Table 1). This study was conducted based on farmer interest in enhancing nutrient density of forages through foliar sprays and was funded by the Lattner Foundation. Any reference to commercial products, trade names or brand names is for information only, and no endorsement or approval is intended

    Winter Barley Variety Trial

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    With the revival of the small grains industry in the Northeast and the strength of the localvore movement, craft breweries and distilleries have expressed an interest in sourcing local barley for malting. Malting barley must meet specific quality characteristics such as low protein content and high germination. Many farmers are also interested in barley as a concentrated, high-energy feed source for livestock. Depending on the variety, barley can be planted in either the spring or fall, and both two- and six-row barley can be used for malting. In 2012-2013, UVM Extension conducted a winter barley trial to evaluate the yield and quality of publicly available malting and feed barley varieties

    Summer Annual Variety Trial

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    Warm season grasses, such as sorghums, sudangrass, crosses, and millets are high-yielding summer annuals that can provide quality forage in the hot summer months, when cool season grasses are not as productive. The addition of summer annuals into a rotation can provide a harvest of high-quality forage for stored feed or grazing. Generally, summer annuals germinate quickly, grow rapidly, are drought resistant, and have high productivity and flexibility in utilization. However, it is important to know the challenges of growing summer annuals, including the high cost of annual establishment, increased risk of stand failure due to variable weather, and the risk of toxic levels of nitrates and prussic acid in sorghum and sudangrass crops. UVM Extension conducted this variety trial to evaluate the yield and quality of warm season annual grasses
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