Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility

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Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility

Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility

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  • 1. Greenbook 2001 Landscapes Sustaining Agricultural L andscapes !"#$%& (") *+,-(."(/0#1%$.2+0-+$# 3$4%$(5 Minnesota Department of Agriculture 90 West Plato Boulevard St. Paul, Minnesota 55107 651-296-7673 !"#$%&( s )*+,-.$/%01%23$%4#$561%7#/%8"927-#70.$%:65-;".2"5$%<5*657+%827==>#%7;;*5/7#;$%?-23%23$%:+$5-;7#9%@-23%A-970-.-2-$9%:;2B%7#%7.2$5#72-C$%=*5+%*=%;*++"#-;72-*#%-9%7C7-.70.$%",*#%5$D"$92E FFGH% (IJIK&LIMN&O F3$%P-##$9*27%A$,752+$#2%*=%:65-;".2"5$%-9%7#%$D"7.%*,,*52"#-21%$+,.*1$5E
  • 2. Introduction to the Greenbook 2001 I am pleased to introduce the 12th edition of the Greenbook. An annual publication of the Minnesota Department of AgricultureJs Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Program (ESAP), the Greenbook highlights the results of creative and innovative farmers and researchers involved with our Sustainable Agriculture On-Farm Demonstration Grant Program. These people are dedicated to helping make Minnesota agriculture more profitable and environmentally friendly. Greenbook 2001 can be very helpful as you consider making changes on your farm. The articles highlight results of the projects and provide practical and technical information. Each article includes observations and management tips from the people already trying the practices. Of course, these participants are also willing to talk about their experiences with you directly. Give them a call and visit with them about their projects. This yearJs Greenbook also includes two essays on what agriculture provides to the natural environment and our communities. Often, we think that agriculture provides only food and fiber on a global scale and we overlook what agriculture provides at the local level. Minnesota farmers are protecting the environment, spending money in their communities, and providing healthy food right here for Minnesota residents. The Greenbook also includes updates on other ESAP projects such as low-interest loans, soil quality research, monitoring at the Big Woods Dairy at the Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park, integrated pest management (IPM), organic farming, and animal mortality composting. I hope you find this issue of the Greenbook interesting and full of new ideas. Gene Hugoson, Commissioner Minnesota Department of AgricultureGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 3. Table of Contents Essays Altieri, M.A., !"#$%&()#$&*+$,(*-./*$/0$1./+.2#)3.4$.*$56).-(7()# ........................................................ 5 USDA, !"#$8(7.97#$,(*-./*3$/0$:;&77 ,&);3 ............................................................................................. 9 Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program <)&*$=)/6)&;$>#3-).9./* ............................................................................................................................ 11 Alternative Crops BuchholZ, Leland, ?*-)#&3.*6$@#+$A7/2#)$:##+$=)/+(-./*$B4$:&()&./*$/0$=/77.*&/)3 .......................... 13 Buckwheat Growers,$,7/()$A/)*$&3$&*$57#)*&.2#$A)/9$C$!"#$1#*#0.3$/0$D3.*6$A/)*$,7/E#) ............ 15 Dease, Patty, >#2#7/9;#*$&*+$A/*.*(&./*$/0$&$A/;;(*.4$1&3#+$:(3&.*&B7#$F)6&*.- <)/E#)G3$A//9#)&.2#$H$8&)I#.*6$:43#; ............................................................................................. 17 Petrich, Curt, ="/39"/)(3$8/B.7.J&./*$&*+$K##+$:(99)#33./*$B4$1(-IE"#& ......................................... 20 Runck, Willis, 8&*&6#+$=)/+(-./*$/0$K//+3L6)/E*$&*+$:.;(7&#+$K.7+$<.*3#*6 ................................. 24 Streed, Erik, M3&B7.3".*6$56)/0/)#3)4$>#;/*3)&./*$:.#3$.*$8.**#3/& ................................................ 27 ^eithamer, Joshua, =)/9&6&./*$/0$%&.2#$<)&33#3$&*+$K.7+07/E#)3$0/)$:##+$=)/+(-./* ........................ 30 Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility Becket, Tim & Geske, Jeremy, 59974.*6$8&*()#$/$A/)*$&$56)/*/;.-$@&#3 ........................................... 33 Cuomo, Greg, A#)#&7$@4#$0/)$@#+(-#+$?*9($=&3()#$M3&B7.3";#*$H$M&)74$<)&J.*6 ............................ 36 FernholZ, Carmen, !#-"*.N(#3$0/)$8/)#$M00.-.#*$D.7.J&./*$/0$$&$O#-" A/2#)$A)/9$0/)$A/)*$=)/+(-./* ................................................................................................................ 40 Hansen, Mike, P.2.*6$:*/E$,#*-#3$0/)$?;9)/2#+$=&3()#$=)/+(-./* ....................................................... 42 Hansen, Neil, P&*+$5997.-&./*$/0$8/)&7.4$A/;9/3$/$?;9)/2#$:/.7$H$K&#)$Q(&7.4 ........................ 45 Hart, Andy, :/.7$A/*3#)2&./*$/0$A&**.*6$A)/9$,.#7+3 ................................................................................ 48 Heimpel, George, 1./7/6.-&7$A/*)/7$/0$570&70&$17/-"$P#&0;.*#) ............................................................... 50 boehler, Jeff, !()I#4$P.#)R$$8/)#$.3$%/$57E&43$1##) .............................................................................. 52 Muller, Mark, D3.*6$%().#*$1&7&*-#3$/$1#*#0.$,&);#)3$&*+$"#$M*2.)/*;#* .................................... 54 Persons, Daniel, =)/6)&;;&.-$599)/&-"$/$=&3()#$@#*/2&./*$0/)$A#77$<)&J.*6 ................................... 57 Rauenhorst, Raymond, 5#).&7$:##+.*6$K.*#)$@4#$.*/$%/L.77$A/)*$H$:/4B#&*3 ....................................... 59 Rosen, Dr. Carl,$56).-(7()&7$D3#$/0$@/-I$,.*#3$&3$&$:(3&.*&B7#$:/.7$5;#*+;#* .................................. 62 Scaife, James, M3&B7.3".*6$&$@/&./*&7$<)&J.*6$:43#;$.*$&$:#;.LE//+#+$M-/343#;R ,)/3$:##+.*6$23S$?;9&-./*$:##+.*6$/*$A@=$P&*+$&*+$K//+#+$T.773.+#3$D3.*6$:"##9 ..................... 65 Sovell, James, ?*-)#&3#+$,/)&6#$=)/+(-./*$!")/(6"$A/*)/7$/0$K&#)$@(*/00$&*+ %().#*$@#-4-7.*6 ........................................................................................................................................ 69 Thompson, Tony, 5$$P/EL-/3$8#-"&*.3;$0/)$?*#)L3##+.*6$A/2#)$A)/93$.*$A/)* ................................... 72 colkmann, Norman & Sallie, 8&*&6.*6$>&.)4$8&*()#$%().#*3$.*$&$@#-4-7.*6$A/;9/3$=)/6)&; ........ 74 Wheeler, Donald, @#+(-.*6$A"#;.-&7$D3&6#$B4$D3.*6$:/4$F.7$/*$A/)*$H$:/4B#&*3 ................................ 78 Fruits and Vegetables AbaZs, David & Lise, ?*#6)&.*6$P.2#3/-I$=)/0.&B74$?*/$&$,)(.$&*+$O#6#&B7#$F9#)&./* ................ 83 Adelmann, Jeffrey & Mary, O&7(#$5++.*6$/$:;&77$,&);3$!")/(6"$=)/-#33.*6$MU-#33$=)/+(-./* ......... 86 Bailey, Pat, M2&7(&.*6$"#$1#*#0.3$/0$A/;9/3$!#&3$/$"#$:;&77$8&)I#$<)/E#) ................................. 89 Friend, Catherine & Peteler, Melissa, :(3&.*&B7#$K##+$A/*)/7$.*$&$A/;;#)-.&7$O.*#4&)+ ..................... 92 Hoover, Dr. Emily, 1./LB&3#+$K##+$A/*)/7$.*$:)&EB#)).#3$D3.*6$:"##9$K//7$8(7-"V A&*/7&$8(7-"$H$A&*/7&$<)##*$8&*()# .................................................................................................... 94GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 4. Table of Contents Midwest Food Connection, 8.+E#3$,//+$A/**#-./*R$A".7+)#*$8/*./)$/*$,&);3 ................................ 98 Reding, Donald, O.&B.7.4$/0$K.*#$Q(&7.4$<)&9#3$&3$&*$57#)*&.2#$A)/9$0/)$"#$,&;.74$,&); ........... 101 Riehle, Joe,$A/2#)$A)/93$&*+$P.2.*6$8(7-"$0/)$:)&EB#))4$M3&B7.3";#* ............................................ 104 Seim, Peter & Bacon, Bruce, :/.7$M-/7/64$&*+$8&*&6#+$:/.7$:()0&-#3 ...................................................... 108 Wildung, Dr. David, ,7&;#$1()*.*6$0/)$K##+$A/*)/7$&*+$@#*/2&./*$E."$:)&EB#)).#3 .................... 111 Livestock Arndt, John & Leila, K/)I.*6$=)&.).#$L$@//3$/0$"#$=&3$:(3&.*.*6$"#$,(()#...................................... 117 Carlton County Extension, =&3()#$5#)&./*$&*+$.3$M00#-3$/*$=)/+(-.2.4$D3.*6$&$O&).#4$/0$?*9(3 . 120 Dingels, Stephen & Patricia, O.&B.7.4$/0$:).9$<)&J.*6$A/)*$?*#)L3##+#+$E."$& <)&33WP#6(;#$8.U()# .............................................................................................................................. 122 Harmon, Michael, ?*-)#&3.*6$Q(&7.4$&*+$Q(&*.4$/0$=&3()#$,/)&6#$E."$8&*&6#;#* ?*#*3.2#$<)&J.*6$&3$&*$57#)*&.2#$/$"#$<)&J.*6$/0$K//+#+$P&*+ .................................................. 128 Miller, Dan & Cara, P/E$?*9($A/*2#)3./*$/0$A@=$P&*+$/$&$T.6"$=)/0.&B.7.4$8&*&6#;#* ?*#*3.2#$<)&J.*6$&*+$T&4.*6$:43#; ..................................................................................................... 131 Northwest Minnesota GraZing Group, :(997#;#*$,##+.*6$>&.)4$A&7#$/*$=&3()#$E." 5(/;&#+$A/*-#*)&#$,##+#) ................................................................................................................ 135 Rabe, Dennis, K"/7#$:43#;$8&*&6#;#*$23S$M*#)9).3#$8&*&6#;#* .................................................. 138 Rathke, Doug & barstens, Connie, @#2.2.*6$&*+$M*"&*-.*6$:/.73$0/)$8&U.;.J.*6 =#)0/);&*-#$/0$=&3()#3$&*+$P.2#3/-I .................................................................................................. 142 Rolling, Joseph, 5**(&7$8#+.-$&3$&$=)/#.*$:/()-#$.*$<)&J.*6$A/)* ........................................................ 145 Schiefelbein, Frank, <)&J.*6$1##0$A&7#$&3$&$:(3&.*&B7#$56).-(7()#$=)/+(-$.*$@.9&).&*$5)#&3 ........ 148 Schilling, Peter, 5++.*6$O&7(#$0/)$"#$:;&77$=)/+(-#)$2.&$%&()&7$=)/+(-./*$8#"/+3 &*+$>.)#-$8&)I#.*6 ................................................................................................................................. 150 Stassen, Steve, ,&))/E.*6$A)&#3$23S$=#*3$23S$%#3$1/U#3 ......................................................................... 151 Stelling, Ralph, ,/)&6#$=)/+(-./*$/$8&.*&.*$F*#$8&()#$5*.;&7$=#)$5-)#$0/)$XY$8/*"3 ............... 153 Struxness, Don & Dan, ,.)3$&*+$:#-/*+$Z#&)$<)&J#)3$.*$&$Z#&)$@/(*+$=&3()#$:#.*6 :#)2#+$B4$&$,)/3$,)##$K&#)$:43#; ...................................................................................................... 155 Wright County Extension, ?;9)/2#;#*$/0$=&3()#3$0/)$T/)3#3$!")/(6"$8&*&6#;#*$=)&-.-#3 ......... 158 New Demonstration Grant Projects ..................................................................... 161 Completed Grant Projects .................................................................................... 163 Sustainable Agriculture Loan Program ................................................................ 166 Animal Mortality Composting ............................................................................ 167 Big Woods Dairy at Nerstrand — Big Woods State Park ....................................... 169 Soil Quality and Rainfall Simulation .................................................................... 173 The Organic Industry in Minnesota ..................................................................... 174 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program ....................................................... 176 About the Staff..... ............................................................................................... 178GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 5. Essay • Altieri —— 5 FunctionThe Nature and Function ofBiodiversity in Agriculture Author T oday, scientists worldwide are increasingly starting to recogniZe the role and significance of biodiversity in the functioning agroecosystems deprived of basic regulating functional components lack the capacity to sponsor their own soil fertility and pest M. A. Altieri of agricultural systems (Swift et al., 1996). regulation. As functional biodiversity decreases, Department of Research suggests that whereas in natural the requirement for higher management intensity Environmental ecosystems the internal regulation of function increases, thus monocultures must be subsidiZed Science Policy and is substantially a product of plant biodiversity with external inputs. Often, the costs involve a Management through flows of energy and nutrients and reduction in the quality of the food produced University of California - through biological synergisms, this form of and of rural life in general due to decreased soil, Berkeley control is progressively lost under agricultural water, and food quality when erosion and intensification and simplification, so that pesticide and/or nitrate contamination occurs Essay monocultures, in order to function, must be (Altieri, 1995). predominantly subsidiZed by chemical inputs Information (Swift et. al. 1996). Commercial seed-bed Biodiversity refers to all species of plants, Excerpted from preparation and mechaniZed planting replace animals and microorganisms existing and P".2-="#;2-*#7. natural methods of seed dispersald chemical interacting within an ecosystem. In A-+$#9-*#9%*= pesticides replace natural controls on populations agroecosystems, pollinators, natural enemies, 4;*.*6-;7..1I079$/ of weeds, insects, and pathogensd and genetic earthworms, and soil microorganisms are all key:65-;".2"5$%-#%Q72-# manipulation replaces natural processes of plant biodiversity components that play important :+$5-;7 evolution and selection. Even decomposition is ecological roles thus mediating processes altered since plant growth is harvested and soil as genetic introgression, natural control, nutrient fagroeco3/ fertility maintained, not through nutrient cycling, decomposition, etc. The type and multifunctional recycling, but with fertiliZers. abundance of biodiversity in agriculture will gdimensions.html differ across agroecosystems which differ in RS#*2$% 23$ One of the most important reasons for age, diversity, structure, and management. In "#/$59;*5$%-#%23$ maintaining and/or encouraging natural fact, there is great variability in basic ecological70*C$%?$0%7//5$99T biodiversity is that it performs a variety of and agronomic patterns among the various ecological services (Altieri, 1991). In natural dominant agroecosystems. In general, the ecosystems, the vegetative cover of a forest or degree of biodiversity in agroecosystems grassland prevents soil erosion, replenishes depends on four main characteristics of the ground water, and controls flooding by agroecosystems (Southwood and Way, 1970): enhancing infiltration and reducing water runoff. In agricultural systems, biodiversity performs 1. The diversity of vegetation within and around ecosystem services beyond production of food, the agroecosystem. fiber, fuel, and income. Examples include, recycling of nutrients, control of local 2. The permanence of the various crops within microclimate, regulation of local hydrological the agroecosystem. processes, regulation of the abundance of undesirable organisms, and detoxification of 3. The intensity of management. noxious chemicals. These renewal processes and ecosystem services are largely biological, 4. The extent of the isolation of the therefore their persistence depends upon agroecosystem from natural vegetation. maintenance of biological diversity. When these natural services are lost due to biological In general, agroecosystems that are more simplification, the economic and environmental diverse, more permanent, isolated, and managed costs can be quite significant. Economically in with low input technology (i.e. agroforestry agriculture, the burdens include the need to systems, traditional polycultures) take fuller supply crops with costly external inputs, since advantage of work done by ecological processes GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 6. 6 —— Essay • Altieriassociated with higher biodiversity than highly simplified, 67#0."8/#-9##"(%$4/.4).:#$,.-&(")5+0-.;+"2-.4"(0.-&<input-driven and disturbed systems (i.e. modern row crops When agricultural development takes place in a naturaland vegetable monocultures and fruit orchards) (Altieri, environment, it tends to result in a heterogeneous mosaic1995). of varying types of habitat patches spread across the landscape. The bulk of the land may be intensely managedAll agroecosystems are dynamic and subject to different and frequently disturbed for the purposes of agriculturallevels of management so that the crop arrangements in production, but certain parts (wetlands, riparian corridors,time and space are continually changing in the face of hillsides) may be left in a relatively natural condition, andbiological, cultural, socio-economic, and environmental other parts (borders and strips between fields, roadsides,factors. Such landscape variations determine the degree and adjacent natural areas) may occasionally be disturbedof spatial and temporal heterogeneity characteristic of but not intensely managed. In addition, natural ecosystemsagricultural regions, which in turn conditions the type of may surround or border areas in which agriculturalbiodiversity present. production dominates (Gliessman, 1998).According to candermeer and Perfecto (1995), two distinct The heterogeneity of the agricultural landscape variescomponents of biodiversity can be recogniZed in greatly by region. In some parts of Latin America, whereagroecosystems. The first component, planned commercial, export agriculture predominates, the heavybiodiversity, is the biodiversity associated with the crops use of agricultural chemicals, mechanical technology,and livestock purposely included in the agroecosystem by narrow genetic lines, and irrigation over large areas havethe farmer, and which will vary depending on management made the landscape relatively homogenous. In such areas,inputs and crops spatial/temporal arrangements. The the agricultural landscape is made up mostly of large areassecond component, associated biodiversity, includes all of single crop agricultural production. The expansion ofsoil flora and fauna, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers, such agricultural landscapes disrupts natural areas in threeetc., that coloniZe the agroecosystem from surrounding important ways. First, natural ecosystems becomeenvironments and that will thrive in the agroecosystem fragmented and important ecological linkages may bedepending on its management and structure. Planned changed or uncoupled. For example, the conversion ofbiodiversity has a direct function. Associated biodiversity uplands from native grasslands or deciduous forest toalso has a function, but it is mediated through planned cotton will profoundly affect the nutrient and pesticidebiodiversity. Thus, planned biodiversity also has an indirect inputs into any adjacent wetlands. Second, thefunction, which is realiZed through its influence on the fragmentation increases boundary phenomena by increasingassociated biodiversity. For example, the trees in an the proportion of area that is near a boundary. This resultsagroforestry system create shade, which makes it possible in an exacerbation of the impacts from adjacent grow only sun-tolerant crops. So the direct function of Third, the absolute loss of natural areas generally meansthis second species (the trees) is to create shade. iet that the remaining patches are increasingly more distantalong with the trees might come small wasps that seek out from each other. Thus each remnant takes on more andthe nectar in the treeJs flowers. These wasps may in turn more the properties of oceanic islands in the sense thatbe the natural parasitoids of pests that normally attack the source areas for recoloniZation are often very distant. Thus,crops. The wasps are part of the associated biodiversity. local extinction events for both species and genes areThe trees, then, create shade (direct function) and attract unlikely to be balanced by recoloniZation or gene flow.wasps (indirect function) (candermeer and Perfecto, Unlike real islands, remnant patches of natural ecosystems1995). are highly vulnerable to invasion by weedy plants and animals from surrounding agricultural lands and areThe key is to identify the type of biodiversity that is desirable vulnerable as well to perturbations created by agriculturalto maintain and/or enhance in order to carry out ecological production practices (Fry, 1995).services, and then to determine the best practices that willencourage the desired biodiversity components. There In peasant dominated areas, the use of traditional farmingare many agricultural practices that have the potential to practices with minimal industrial inputs has resulted in aenhance functional biodiversity, and others that negatively varied, highly heterogeneous landscape-possibly even moreaffect it. The idea is to apply the best management practices heterogeneous than would exist naturally. In suchin order to enhance and/or regenerate the kind of heterogeneous environments, natural and semi-naturalbiodiversity that can subsidiZe the sustainability of ecosystem patches included in the landscape can becomeagroecosystems by providing ecological services such as a resource for agroecosystems. An area of non-crop habitatbiological pest control, nutrient cycling, water and soil adjacent to a crop field, for example, can harbor populationsconservation, etc. of natural enemies which can move into the field andGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 7. Essay • Altieri —— 7 parasitiZe or prey upon pest populations (Altieri, 1994). communities which continued the use of slash and burn, A riparian corridor vegetated by native plant species can were severely affected by El Niko phenomena, which left filter out dissolved fertiliZer nutrients leaching from crop a legacy of human misery and destruction of vitally fields, promote a presence of beneficial species, and allow important watersheds. the movement of native animal species into and through the agricultural components of the landscape. Such agroforestry programs which reduce deforestation and burning of plant biomass can provide a sink for On the other hand, agroecosystems can begin to assume a atmospheric carbon dioxide and also considerably reduce positive rather than a negative role in preserving the integrity emissions of nitrous oxide. Recent research shows that of natural ecosystems. Many small scale-diversified promoting techniques already familiar to thousands of small agroecosystems have been designed and managed in ways farmers in Latin America such as, crop rotation and cutting that make them more friendly to native species. For back on chemical fertiliZers through the use of composting example, by encouraging hedgerows, vertebrates can be can act as important sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide provided with large habitats, better food sources, and storing it below the soil surface. corridors for movement. Native plants can have more suitable habitats and find fewer barriers to dispersal. The benefits of agrobiodiversity in enhancing the Smaller organisms, such as below ground microbes and multifunctional agriculture extend beyond the above insects, can flourish in organically managed soils and thus described effects as shown by the impacts of shaded coffee benefit other species since they are such important elements farms in Latin America. Farmers typically integrate into in ecosystem structure and function (Gliessman, 1998). their coffee farms many different leguminous trees, fruit trees, and types of fuel wood and fodder. These trees By managing agricultural landscapes from the point of view provide shade, a habitat for birds and animals that benefit of biodiversity conservation as well as sustainable the farming system. In Mexico, shade coffee plantations production, the multiple use capacity of agriculture can be support up to 180 species of birds, including migrating enhanced providing several benefits simultaneously species, some of which play key roles in pest control and (Thrupp, 1998): seed dispersal. j increase agricultural productivityd Learning how to manage an agriculture that promotes both j build stability, robustness, and sustainability of farming environmental as well as productive functions will require systemsd inputs from disciplines not previously exploited by j contribute to sound pest and disease managementd scientists, including agroecology, ethnoscience, j conserve soil and increase natural soil fertility and soil conservation biology, and landscape ecology. The bottom healthd line, however, is that agriculture must adopt ecologically j diversify products and income opportunities from farmsd sound management practices, including diversified j add economic value and increase net returns to farmsd cropping systems, biological control and organic soil j reduce or spread risks to individuals, communities, and management as replacements for synthetic pesticides, nationsd fertiliZers, and other chemicals. Only with such foundation j increase efficiency of resource use and restore can we attain the goal of a multifunctional agriculture. ecological healthd j reduce pressure of agriculture on fragile areas, forests, References and endangered speciesd j reduce dependency on external inputsd and, Altieri, M.A. 1991. F57/-2-*#7.%=75+-#6%-#%Q72-#%:+$5-;7E j increase nutritional values and provide sources of The Ecologist 21:93-96. medicines and vitamins. Altieri, M.A. 1994. U-*/-C$59-21%7#/%,$92%+7#76$+$#2%-# The effects of agrobiodiversity in mitigating extreme 765*$;*9192$+9E Haworth Press, New iork. climatic effects, such as the drought promoted by El NikoJs were recently evident in northern Honduras. An Altieri, M.A. 1995. :65*$;*.*61H% 23$% 9;-$#;$% *= agroforestry project reviving the lueZungal method, an 9"927-#70.$%765-;".2"5$E Westview Press, Boulder. ancient agricultural system, spared about 84 farming communities from destruction. Farmers using the method Fry, G. 1995. Q7#/9;7,$%$;*.*61%*=%-#9$;2%+*C$+$#2%-# lost only 10m of their crops in 1998Js severe drought, and 7570.$%$;*9192$+9E In: Ecology and integrated farming actually obtained a grain surplus of 5-6 million pounds in systems. D.M. Glen et al. (eds). John Wiley and Sons, the wake of Hurricane Mitch. On the other hand, nearbyGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 8. 8 —— Essay • AltieriBristol, Ub.Gliessman, S.R. 1998. :65*$;*.*61H%%4;*.*6-;7.%,5*;$99-#%9"927-#70.$%765-;".2"5$E Ann Arbor Press, Michigan.Swift, M.S., J. candermeer, P.S. Ramakrishnan, J.M.Anderson, C.b. Ong and B.A. Hawkins. 1996.U-*/-C$59-21%7#/%765*$;*9192$+%="#;2-*#E In: H.A. Mooneyet al. (eds.). Functional roles of biodiversity: A globalperspective. J. Wiley and Sons, N.i., pp. 261-298.Thrupp, L.A. 1998. )".2-C72-#6% /-C$59-21H:65*0-*/-C$59-21% 7#/% =**/% 9$;"5-21E World ResourcesInstitute, Washington, DC.candermeer, J. and I. Perfecto. 1995. U5$7V=792% *=0-*/-C$59-21H%F3$%25"23%70*"2%57-#=*5$92%/$925";2-*#E FoodFirst Books, Oakland, CA.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 9. Essay • USDA —— 9 Functions Far armsThe Multiple Functions of Small Far ms Essay 8 +7..% =75+9% ;7##*2% $W-92% -#% 7% C7;""+ 79% 5$.-;9% *=% /719% 6*#$% 01% ,5$9$5C$/% =*5 23$% 2*"5-929% *5% #*927.6-7% =*5% 3*?% +*92 open space, particularly appreciated by urban people as well as rural neighbors. Connection to the land has always been central to the spiritual Information $C$51*#$X9%65$72%657#/,75$#29%.-C$/E%%8+7.. and cultural values of our countryJs indigenous Excerpted from the =75+9% 75$% 7% C-27.% ="#;2-*#-#6% ,752% *=% 7 people. Additionally, widespread ownership of USDA, :%F-+$%2* ?*5V-#6%.7#/9;7,$%2372%-#;."/$9%!$==$59*#-7# land is an essential principle of our NationJs:;2. A Report of the $#25$,5$#$"59% *=% 7..% V-#/9% Y% .*;7..1% *?#$/ earliest public policies. And land ownership and USDA National 65*;$51% 92*5$9B% 67576$9B% +7;3-#$51 farming provided a foundation for community Commission on /$7.$593-,9% 7#/% *23$5% 0"9-#$99$9% *,$572-#6 and tradition for the new settlers and pioneers Small Farms, *#%7%9-+-.75%9;7.$%79%23$%=75+$59%23$1%0*23 who often fled from oppressive regimes to seek January 1998. The 9$5C$%7#/%/$,$#/%*#E greater opportunity in America. complete report is available at n Clark Hinsdale, cermont Farmer j Environmental benefits: Approximately 60m agsys/smallfarm/ The USDA National Commission on Small of all farms are less than 180 acres in siZe, ncosf.htm Farms describes small farms as farms with less indicating that the majority of farmland is than o250,000 gross receipts annually, on which managed by a large number of small farm day-to-day labor and management are provided operators. Responsible management of the by the farmer and/or the farm family that owns natural resources of soil, water, and wildlife the production or owns, or leases, the productive encompassed by these operations produces assets. This description of small farms includes significant environmental benefits for society to approximately 94m of all U. S. farms. These enjoy. Therefore, investment in the viability of farms own 75m of the total productive assets in these operations will yield dividends in the agriculture, mostly land, and receive 41m of all stewardship of the NationJs natural resources. agricultural receipts. This description includes 41m of all farmers who consider farming their j Self-empowerment and community primary occupation and an equal percentage of responsibility: DecentraliZed land ownership farmers that work part-time on the farm and rely produces more equitable economic opportunity on non-farm jobs as their primary source of for people in rural communities, as well as income. greater social capital. Owner-operated farm structures offer individual self-employment and Economic statistics speak only to the “product business management opportunities. This can output” of farms by measures of crop and provide a greater sense of personal responsibility livestock sales and they likely underestimate the and feeling of control over oneJs life, economic contributions of small farms. These characteristics that are not as readily available numbers do not reflect the social and to factory line workers. Landowners who rely environmental goods produced by a large on local businesses and services for their needs number of small farms. Some of the functions are more likely to have a stake in the well-being performed by small farms and thus the public of the community and the well-being of its values generated by small farms include: citiZens. In turn, local landowners are more likely to be held accountable for any negative actions j Diversity: Small farms embody a diversity that harm the community. of ownership, of cropping systems, of landscapes, of biological organiZation, culture j Places for families: Farms, particularly and traditions. A varied farm structure family farms, can be nurturing places for children contributes to a diversity of cropping systems to grow up and acquire the values of and, therefore, to biological diversity. A large responsibility and hard work. The skills of number of smaller farms contributes to a diverse farming are passed from one generation to and esthetically pleasing rural landscape and another under family ownership structures. WhenGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 10. 10 —— Essay • USDAfarm children do not return to farming because of theirdesire for more financially secure careers, a generation offarming knowledge, skills and experience is lost.j Personal connection to food: With less than 2m of theNationJs population engaged in farming, most consumershave little connection to agriculture and food production.As a consequence, they have little connections with nature,except as a place for recreation, and lack an appreciationfor farming as cultivation of the earth for the production offood that sustains us. Through farmers markets, CommunitySupported Agriculture, and direct marketing strategies ofsmall farmers, people are beginning to connect with thepeople growing their food. Consumers are developingmeaningful, direct relationships with farmers and aconnection with food as a product of a farmerJs cooperationwith nature.j Economic foundations: In some states and regions ofthe country, dispersed farm operations are key to economicvitality. Historically, decline in U. S. farm numbers weremore than offset by increases in productivity and output.However, this does not appear to be the case in places likeWisconsin, a state whose farm economy has beencharacteriZed by a large number of moderate-siZed family-operated dairy farms. Since 1988, total volume of milkproduced in the state has dropped and the real value ofgross sales has also decreased. The loss of dairy farms inthis case has meant a loss to the stateJs economic output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• ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 11. Sustainable Grant Program • Description —— 11Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program Program Purpose accomplished in their demonstrations. Typically, 2001 Grant there are approximately 40 field days each year The Grant Program provides a unique with funding from ESAP. Many of these projects Technical opportunity for farmers, non-profit groups, were sponsored in cooperation with county Review Panel agricultural researchers, and educators across extension services, Sustainable Farming Steve Dingels, the state to work together and explore ways of Association, Land Stewardship Project, State Farmer, enhancing the sustainability of farming systems. Technical Colleges, the University of Minnesota, Redwood Falls, local units of government, private colleges, and Minnesota Program Description agribusinesses. bendall Dykhuis, The Department has received over 900 grant Agronomist, applications and has approved over o2 million Unfortunately, the number of field days in 2001 St. Louis County in funding for 208 projects since the program will be greatly reduced. With the threat of Foot- Extension began in 1989. Sixteen new demonstration grant and-Mouth Disease, the ESAP staff decided it projects proposed by farmers, educators, and was wise to cancel field days on farms with Richard Handeen, researchers were funded in 2001. Project cloven hoofed animals. This will help prevent Farmer, categories include: Alternative Crops, Fruits and the accidental spread of the disease should it Montevideo, cegetables, Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility, occur in Minnesota. As an alternative to field Minnesota and Livestock. This year there are 49 active days, grantees will be asked to share information grant projects throughout the state of Minnesota. on their projects during farmer discussion forums Linda Noble, throughout the coming months. Farmer, Grants provide up to o25,000 for on-farmbenyon, Minnesota demonstrations that last up to three years. The Grant Summaries projects demonstrate farming methods or Paul Peterson, systems that increase energy efficiency, reduce The project summaries that follow are brief Forage Specialist, agricultural chemical usage and show descriptions of objectives, methods, and findings University of environmental and economic benefits. A of individual grant projects funded over the last Minnesota Technical Review Panel, made up of farmers, three years. To find out more details about these university agricultural researchers, extension projects, contact the principal investigators Greg Reynolds, Farmer, agents, and educators, evaluate the applications directly through the listed telephone numbers andDelano, Minnesota on a competitive basis. The panel, with addresses. assistance from the staff of the Energy Summary of Grant Funding (1989-2001) Carl Rosen, Soil Scientist, and Sustainable Number of Average Grant University of A g r i c u l t u r e Year Grants Funded Total Funding Size Range Minnesota Program, will make 1989 17 $280,000 $16,500 $3,000—25,000 recommendations to 1990 14 $189,000 $13,500 $4,000—25,000 Bruce condracek, the Commissioner of 1991 4 $46,000 $11,500 $4,000—23,000 Minnesota Agriculture for 1992 16 $177,000 $11,000 $2,000—25,000Cooperative Fish & 1993 13 $85,000 $6,000 $2,000—11,000 approval. Wildlife Research 1994 14 $60,825 $4,000 $2,000—10,000 Unit 1995 19 $205,600 $11,000 $2,000—25,000 Field Days 1996 16 $205,500 $12,900 $4,000—25,000 1997 20 $221,591 $11,700 $1,000—25,000 The grant project 1998 19 $210,000 $11,100 $1,000—24,560 participants hold public field tours 1999 23 $234,500 $10,200 $3,000—21,000 2000 17 $150,000 $8,800 $4,600—15,000 every year to share $190,000 $11,875 $5,000—25,000 2001 16 what they have learned and )*)+, !"# $!%!&&%"(GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 12. Alternative Crops • Buchholz —— 13 RedIncreasing Red Clover Seed Production Pollinatorsby Saturation of Pollinators Project Summary field on the east perimeter. He also had a control Principal field of 17 acres with no beehives. The hives Leland BuchholZ has a 60 dairy cow and 300 were placed in the field on June 26 and removed Investigator plus tillable acreage operation. He raises all in late September. Leland BuchholZ feed stuffs for his dairy operation with a rotation RR 1, Box 62A of corn, oats, and red clover. The soil is a Grey Eagle, MN sandy loam and the topography is slightly hilly. Results 56336 All labor is provided by family members. In 1999, both fields were harvested on September 320-285-5401 Leland is certified for seed production in oats 28. Seeds were weighed on the farm and testing Todd County and red clover. His farm is located in an area for dockage was done by La Crosse Seeds. noted for production of some of the best quality There was a five pound net gain in the “Bee Test Project red clover seed in the U.S. He would like to Field” that was insignificant and did not reflect Duration evaluate the effect of placing high levels of bees the increased number of bees visiting the test directly in a field of red clover on seed yield. field (Table 1). Leland was hoping for a gain of 1999 to 2001 In addition, using red clover as an alternative 100r lb seed/A because the profit margin is low. crop in a rotation has environmental benefits. Leland was able to sell the seed for between ESAP Contact Some of these benefits include reduced o.40/lb and o.45/lb. He needed a 65 to 70 lb Jean Ciborowski pesticide use and reduced use of nitrogen for seed/A increase to pay for the hive rental. 651-297-3217 the next crop. Red clover solid seeding also provides excellent soil erosion control, while In 2000, both fields were harvested in late providing producer flexibility for use in a graZing September. Seeds were again weighed and Keywords program and harvest of hay or seed. tested for dockage. In 2000 there was a 50 lb bees, beehives, net gain in the “Bee Test Field” which was pollinators, red Project Description significant. Leland received o.45/lb for his seed. clover, seed In 1999, Leland placed 32 honey beehives on The “Bee Test Field” had a net gain of o22.50/A production a 30 acre red clover field. The hives were over the “Control” as a result of the increased randomly placed on June 28 and removed on seed production (Table 1). This is still o7.50 September 27. He also had a control field of short of the cost of placing a beehive in the field. 20 acres with no beehives. He sat in each field Leland would like to see a net gain of at least and counted bee visits as recommended by a o33.00 thereby giving him a minimum 10m profit consultant and found he had more bee visits to margin. Leland believes that the improved seed red clover flowers in the field supplemented with production in 2000 may be attributed to the hives. In 2000, Leland modified the procedure he used in 1999. He placed 32 honey beehives on a 32 acre red clover field. Rather than placing the hives in a random fashion, Leland placed the 32 hives in clusters of eight with each of the four clusters placed approximately 1,760J apart covering the entire Beehives in the field one-half mile length of theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 13. 14 —— Alternative Crops • Buchholzspacing of the beehives in clusters onthe field perimeter. He will continue to Table 1. Yield of Red Clover Seed with and withoutspace the hives in the above fashion to Saturation with Pollinators, 1999 and 2000see if the spacing does indeed contribute !""". /012341 ---. /012341to increased seed production. Control Field “Bee Test Field” Control Field “Bee Test Field” Number of beehives 0 32 0 32Management Tip Cost of beehives 0 $30/hive 0 $30/hiveSpacing of beehives, evenly and in Number of visits by Avg = 3 to 4 Avg = 5 to 6 bees in a 20 minute NA NAclusters, on the perimeter of the field bees/sq yd bees/sq yd periodaids in improved pollination. Number of acres 17 32 20 30 lbs of seed/A 155.30 211.1 ~201.6 211.33Cooperators % DockageQ$5*1%@-..-7+9, Todd County Extension (=light immature seeds, 10 10 21 22 weed, dirt or trash)Q7//-$%4..-#6B Retired Red Clover lbs pure seed/A 139.8 190.0 159.24 164.83 Specialist, University of MinnesotaA7C$%U57"V+7#B La Crosse Seeds Net gain/loss (lbs pure seed/A) ___ +50.2 ___ +5.59 Seed appearance Similar in both fields Similar in both fieldsProject LocationFrom Grey Eagle take Hwy 287 north 4 miles to Todd Cty McGregor, S.E. (Originally published in 1976). >#9$;2Rd 8 and go west 1 mile. Turn north onto Oakhaven Rd <*..-#72-*#% *=% )".2-C72$/% )5*,% <.7#29E Updated(gravel) and go s mile then turn west on Elder Rd (gravel) continuously and available at:and go t mile. Resources F3$%Q7#/E Monthly periodical devoted to agriculture. PO Box 3169, Mankato, MN 56002, 507-345-4523.U$$%)".2"5$H%F3$%P767]-#$%*=%:+$5-;7#%U$$V$$,-#6E email: thelanduthe-land.com800-289-7668. Information is also available on the webat: 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 14. Alternative Crops • Buckwheat Growers —— 15 Corn AlternativeFlour Corn as an Alternative Crop - Cornthe Benefits of Using Corn Flour Project Summary are not in soil), the mulch is turned under and Principal edible beans are planted the third year. After Flour corn has potential as an alternative crop the beans are harvested, the plants are plowed Investigator in Minnesota and as an alternative flour for in and the rotation starts again. This rotation Lynda Converse people with gluten allergies. Crop rotation, gives the farmer an opportunity for income from c/o Buckwheat harvesting, and processing strategies, as well as a variety of crops while restoring the nutrientsGrowers Association marketability and profitability of growing flour to the soil.20415 County Rd. 2 corn, are being studied on farms in severalAldrich, MN 56434 counties. bathy also wanted to look at the possibility of 218-445-5475 or planting and harvesting on a larger scale using 320-594-2456 Project Description machinery. She had been planting, weeding, Wadena County bathy Connell, a former Master Gardener near harvesting and grinding by hand for several years Sebeka, has been growing and selecting seed but this would not be feasible on a larger scale. Project for Painted Mountain flour corn. Painted There are a number of problems with using Duration machine harvesting. Even after dry down, flour Mountain seed had been selected for hardiness 2000 to 2002 and early maturity in Northern Montana and corn has a soft cob. In some soils, plants tend she continued that selection at her site that gets to have short stalks with ears forming fairly close ESAP Contact one of the earliest frosts in the fall and continues to the ground. These characteristics make to have damaging frosts into the very late spring. machine combining a challenge. A corn picker Mary Hanks might be the best option but the project will She has been hand harvesting and grinding corn 651-296-1277 explore other possibilities. As bathy selected flour for use in her home for over five years. Corn flour has an excellent flavor and flour- within the Painted Mountain plant population, like texture and can be substituted in recipes stalk and ear height were taken into consideration Keywords to help alleviate these problems along with for pancakes, cookies, and quick breads without corn flour, flour sacrificing quality or flavor. selecting for uniform early maturity. corn, gluten-free flour, Painted bathy and several members of the Sustainable Mountain corn Farming Association and the Buckwheat Growers Association designed some trial sites with the objective of determining if Painted Mountain could be grown and harvested as a profitable alternative, value added product and seed crop without the use of chemicals. Their original marketing ideas were gluten-free flour for people with gluten allergies and a flour that would appeal to ethnic populations. bathy, Floyd Hardy in Crow Wing County and Marvin Duhn in Douglas County agreed to be cooperators for the project. bathy recommended a three-year rotation. The flour corn is planted following fall-seeded buckwheat that is turned under for weed control. The corn is inter-seeded with hairy vetch. After harvesting the corn, the stalks are cut and left in the plot to be used with additional hay to mulch Kathy Connell discusses flour plant potatoes the second year. When the corn agronomics potatoes are picked (they are not dug since they GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 15. 16 —— Alternative Crops • Buckwheat GrowersResults whiter corn flour for this market. In addition, one farmer will also pursue seed selection for blue corn flour.In 2000, two of the research sites were one-half acre each andthe third was one acre. Though bathy recommended planting There also appears to be a market for the flour corn asinto fall-seeded buckwheat that had been plowed down for decorative corn. Painted Mountain is more colorful thanweed control, none of the sites were able to do this. some other decorative corn and, even though it is more expensive than some other decorative corns, indicationsOnly one of the one-half acre sites was inter-seeded with are its bright colors make it more desirable. This markethairy vetch. Unfortunately, this created a great hiding place will also be explored and developed more in the next year.for striped gophers who enjoy flour corn when itJs almostready to be harvested. The cooperators still believe inter- Farmers in Wilkin, Wadena and Todd Counties haveseeding with hairy vetch is valuable but have determined expressed an interest in growing flour corn next year asthat it might be better to inter-seed later when the flour part of the project.corn reaches a certain height so there is less competition.The other two sites attempted to cultivate for weed control. Management TipsOne farmer fertiliZed with manure before planting. Although 1. Plant flour corn no later than May 15. The plants needthis seemed like a good idea, it contributed to the weed to get an early start to produce strong stalks and, hopefully,problem at this site. This led the farmer to seek information more height for easier harvesting.about flame weeding. He is continuing to do research onflame weeding with the hope of building his own flamer 2. Be aggressive with weed management.and using this technique next year. The second site receivedtoo much rain and the flour corn was planted in an area 3. Flour corn kernels are soft and the cobs have a smallthat had not been planted for several years. Weed control diameter. Field dry down has been somewhat successfulwas difficult from the beginning and it only worsened as but, because flour corn tends to mold easily, early harvestthe season progressed. This plot was lost. The project then dry down in a rodent proof crib is recommended forwill focus on weed management research including flame rainy falls.weeding and the use of minimal pre-plant herbicide nextyear. They are also considering other rotations because 4. Watch for striped gophers and take appropriate action.there is not a great deal of interest in growing the potatoesin mulch, especially for larger sites. CooperatorsThe results from the first year indicate that you need to P75C-#%A"3#B Farmer, Carlos, MNplant flour corn seeds early, no later than May 15. The .*1/%^75/1B%Farmer, Brainerd, MNseed is very hardy and needs to get started early in order 82$C$%7#/%_7231%)*##$..B Farmers, Sebeka, MNto produce a strong stalk and, hopefully, grow taller. The `.$#% U*56$5/-#6B Agriculture Resources Consulting,Sebeka site had three killing frosts after the corn started to Freeport, MNgrow but the plants survived and produced the anticipated F*+%U-.$VB%Buckwheat Growers Association. Aldrich, MNearly maturing crop. The farmers recommend plantingthe flour corn in rows not less than 2J apart with plant Project Locationspacing of 8 - 10” to improve growth, weed suppression,dry down and harvesting. The farmers also observed that Contact Lynda Converse for locations of cooperatorsJPainted Mountain flour corn pollinates early making it less farms.susceptible to cross-pollination from neighboring varietiesof corn. Other ResourcesMembers of the Hispanic community attended a project 57#V%_"2V7B 2323 County Road 6, Barnum, MN 55707,field day and are very interested in the corn flour. They 218-389-3220. Frank has done quite a bit of research onhave not been able to grow the native flour corn of their flour corn and has information about machine harvestinghomeland in Minnesota and they were very interested in of flour corn being done in Canada.this variety. However, they would like to have a cornflour that is lighter in color. Corn flour tends to be gray-blue in color because of the multi-colored kernels. Theproject will focus on seed selection and development forGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 16. Alternative Crops • Dease —— 17Development and Continuation of a Community Based Grower’s MarketingSustainable Organic Grower ’s Cooperative & Marketing System Project Summary sustainable farms, such as her own, lies in Principal working with the local community and being Patty Dease is interested in assessing local more creative in marketing farm products. With Investigator interest in purchasing organic fruits and the farmersJ market project, she hopes to Patty Dease vegetables and in providing small farmers with ascertain the level of local interest in organic 15832 Cty. Road 7 a viable income source. Working with three fruits and vegetables. South Haven, MN other farms, she is starting a farmersJ market 55382 located on her farm. The challenges addressed in forming a farmersJ 320-236-7852 market are: Stearns County Project Description Patty Dease wants to work with other local 1. Farmers receiving a just wage for the labor Project intensive efforts of growing organic foods. organic farmers to market their produce in a Duration joint effort and start a farmersJ market at her Farmers are working harder only to receive less farm. She has been growing organic produce payment for their produce. This is most evident 2000 to 2001 at Earthway Farm for the past 12 years and her on the small family farms in Minnesota. This farm has been a community supported project has the potential to benefit small family ESAP Contact farms because it will achieve an economically agriculture (CSA) farm for three years. Draft Mary Hanks horses do most of the work and also give sleigh viable income for locally produced organic farm 651-296-1277 rides in the winter. She gives school tours of products. the farm and last year had about 3,500 visitors. Keywords She converted one of her barns into the Country 2. Supplying the local community with healthy, Gift Store that sells handcrafted and farm-related organic foods. Promoting organic food in the farmersJ markets, community requires marketing skills even though marketing and products made by 32 local artisans and farmers. Patty hopes to move away from crafts to selling interest in organic food has been increasing. promotion, organic produce, small farm more farm-related products such as goat milk soap, beeswax candles, and wool mittens. She The goal of this project is to establish a reliable cooperatives and her family find satisfaction in the and sustainable marketing system for locally and environmental rewards of organic farming. The organically grown products. Some of the soil seems healthier with each year as the fields products to be sold at the farmersJ market are go through rotation and rest periods. already being produced by area farmers. The farmers were not realiZing financial success Patty is joining forces with because of low farm prices and the lack of a other local organic farmers to form a farmersJ market to sell produce at her farm. Working together allows them to share ideas and resources. Each farmer can concentrate on growing produce that best suites their soil and available labor, rather than a wide variety of crops. Marketing as a group also saves time and money. Patty believes that the Vegetables for sale on market day future for small, GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 17. 18 —— Alternative Crops • Deasecreative and detailed marketing plan. Patty hopes that Patty anticipates similar results. Also, marketing effortshaving a marketing plan and selling directly to consumers will focus more on the summer months and less on thewill help. The project fits well into PattyJs long term goal winter/spring months. Patty plans on holding the marketof growing organic produce, which is at the core of Earthway on Saturdays rather than Fridays next year, as the weekendFarm. may be more convenient for the customers.Results Finally, Patty noticed a difference in what people wanted to purchase each week. One week, greens sold out early,The seven initial families began by dividing up labor. They the next week greens were not a valued item. This madedecided who would grow what produce, who would set up it difficult to plan on what produce to bring to the market.the market, who would work the market and other details. Despite the lack of desired community response, at theBy the end of the summer, three families had dropped out end of the season, regular customers expressedof the project. Other job responsibilities proved to be too appreciation for the market.overwhelming for them. Most of the growers felt that, despite the challenges, thePatty concentrated a lot of her efforts in advertising. season went well for the first year. Most plan on continuingAdvertising was heaviest in late winter and early spring, their involvement with the market. One farmer said thatand continued throughout the summer. Ads were placed in she found it satisfying to interact with the customers andlocal newspapers, specifically the 82E% ).*"/% F-+$9, see where her produce was going. On the other hand, she:##7#/7.$% :/C*;72$B and the F5-I)*"#21% Z$?9. To missed the grocery storeJs steady demand for her products.promote the market, Patty distributed flyers about themarket to the farmJs visitors, which numbered over 3,500 Management Tipspeople. Flyers were posted in nearby small townsJbusinesses and the Stearns County Extension Office helped 1. When committing to a project with a group of organicto spread word of the market through its office staff. A farmers, make sure that everyone is clear about their levelgreat deal of advertising was also done in the western of commitment and involvement. Some people may besuburbs - Plymouth, Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park and Eden enthused about the project in the beginning but may notPrairie. Two short articles written about the market and see the project through to the end.PattyJs farm were published in a local paper. 2. There is a great deal of physical labor involved in thisThe market was held every Friday with any surplus sold project. DonJt overextend yourself or your family. Makeon Saturday. Some of the products at the farmerJs market sure that your growing area and commitments are no largerinclude organic vegetables and fruit, herbs and dried than you or your family can, poultry and eggs, cheese, soy products, honeyand beeswax, creams made from beeswax, and farm 3. Marketing skills need to be developed in order torelated products such as goat milk shampoo and soap, promote the fruits of your labor.and lip balm made from beeswax. 4. Consult local farmers. Talk with farmers who haveThough meat was not sold at the market, fliers for local successfully marketed their produce and find out whatfarms that produce sustainably raised meat were worked for them in the past. Also, retired farmers are adistributed. wealth of valuable information on sustainable agriculture.Unfortunately, this summer was particularly dry and Cooperatorsproduce did not grow as well as in past years. The varietyand quantity of products to sell at the market was _-+%7#/%a71%`5$6*-5$B Growers, South Haven, MNdisappointing because of it. )75.%^*==+7#B Stearns County Extension, St. Cloud, MN `$*56$%P752-#%7#/%P751%^$-#], Growers,Community response was another challenge. The market Annandale, MNdid not receive the response Patty and the other farmers )7#/1%P"..$#, Grower, South Haven, MNhad hoped for. Patty decided that next year she will focus :.7#7%7#/%^75*./%<57+7##%b%=7+-.1B Growers. ,more of her marketing time and money on a broader area, South Haven, MNparticularly in St. Cloud. Focusing on the St. Cloud areahas provided a good response for other local farmers andGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 18. Alternative Crops • Dease —— 19 Project Location Other Resources Take Hwy 55 west of Minneapolis. Turn right (north) on Ebodaghe, Denis. 1998. 8+7..%=75+%5$9*"5;$%6"-/$E The Cty Rd 2 in South Haven. The farm is 4 miles down the Small Farm Program, USDA-CREES, Stop 2220, 1400 road. Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-2220, 201-401-4385. Available at: F3$% 8+7..% 75+$5X9% !*"5#7.E P.O. Box 1627, Sisters, Oregon 97759.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 19. 20 —— Alternative Crops • PetrichPhosphorus Mobilization and WeedPhosphorus WeedSuppression by Buckwheat Project Summary Robin Brekken drilled his cover crops on June Principal 16, 1999 into soil that had been cultivated three This project involved two farmers in the flat, times in the previous month with a field cultivator Investigator fertile Red River calley area of northwestern and chisel plow. He controlled weeds in the Curt Petrich Minnesota who are transitioning their land into fallow plot with several diskings, and disked Route 3, Box 95 organic production. They were concerned about down the buckwheat, oats/peas and sorghum Crookston, MN controlling weeds during the transition and between July 28-30, 1999 (Table 1). 56716 evaluated different cover/smother crops for their 218-281-1293 ability to suppress weeds and release Curt Petrich planted his oats/peas mix in late Polk County phosphorus. The three cover/smother crops June and his buckwheat and sorghum on July 7, compared in this trial were buckwheat, a mixture 1999. The buckwheat had to be replanted on Project of oats/peas, and sorghum-sudangrass. These July 22, 1999 because of soil crusting and sealing Duration crops were summer seeded, incorporated in the following heavy rains. Curt didnJt disk his fallow fall, and then followed by a fall-seeded rye crop 1999 to 2000 plot and so it grew weeds. Curt disked down that was plowed under the following spring prior the cover crops in late August. to planting soybeans. The greatest interest was ESAP Contact in buckwheat because it has been shown to Both farmers seeded their rye in September, and Jean Ciborowski scavenge phosphorus from low phosphorus soils. plowed it down to plant soybeans in May 2000. 651-297-3217 It is not known, however, if this translates into increased phosphorus availability to the next Just before the cover crops were plowed down, crop. Buckwheat is also a highly competitive weeds growing in them were counted and Keywords smother crop, but it is unknown how much of sampled for dry matter yield. The cover crop this effect carries over to the following year. buckwheat, stands were also counted and sampled for dry Indicators of the success of this project included phosphorus, matter yield and P content. In November 1999, crop and weed biomass counts, soil tests, and sorghum- soil samples were collected for analysis of P tissue tests of the following yearJs rye crop. sudangrass, weed content and aggregate stability, an indicator of suppression soil tilth. In May 2000, weeds growing in the Project Description rye were counted and the rye was sampled for The farmers in this project each planted four, dry matter yield and P content. In July 2000, on one acre plots which were replicated six times the Brekken farm only, weeds in the soybeans on each farm, for a total of 24 acres on each were counted and sampled for dry matter yieldd farm. Sorghum-sudangrass, an oat/pea mixture soybeans were sampled for analysis of P uptake. and fallow were the three treatments compared with buckwheat. Sorghum- sudangrass and oats were chosen because they have similar smother crop effects to buckwheat, although they are not known to mobiliZe phosphorus. Oats was chosen based on its reputation as a soil conditioner. The peas and oat combination could improve the soil nitrogen Buckwheat in test plot levels.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 20. Alternative Crops • Petrich —— 21 Results Table 1. Comparison of Practices No data from any measurement at the B=0CC0; 904=>?@ Petrich farm in 2000 produced statistically significant differences. This 936;4>;A June 16, 1999 July 7, 1999 (replanted July 22 ) Buckwheat 60 lb/A 60 lb/A was probably due to the patchiness of Sorghum-Sudangrass 20 lb/A 20 lb/A the cover crop stands due to extremely 30 lb oats/90 lb peas/A 80 lb oats/50 lb peas/A wet conditions in that field in 1999. Oats/Peas Although he did take 1999 563378. (control) Disked once during season Not disked, weeds allowed to measurements from those areas where grow the cover crops were thick, in 2000, 9378:78; July 28, 1999 (7 weeks) Aug. 25, 1999 (5 weeks) he could not distinguish those areas Buckwheat Chopped July 28, 1999 Aug. 25, 1999 (5 weeks) from the areas where there had hardly Sorghum-Sudangrass Plow-down Aug. 5, 1999 been any cover crop. Thus, it seems Oats/Peas July 28, 1999 (7 weeks) Aug. 25, 1999 (5 weeks) that in 2000, the measurements did not /<0 accurately distinguish between Seeding Date Sept. 10, 1999 Sept. 29, 1999 Plowdown Date ~May 16-26, 2000 May 16, 2000 treatments. Thus, most of the results below are from the Brekken farm. D7<E06; planting May 28, 2000, 23" rows May 16, 2000, solid seeded =##) *+>>$#,,.4"<% The farmersJ Figure 1. Weed Populations in Soybeans, Brekken Farm conclusions at the end of last year did July 2000 not prepare them for what they observed this year. Last year they thought they had discovered two winners: buckwheat and sorghum-sudangrass, both of which were very thick and competitive with weeds. Weed counts taken in the standing cover crops at BrekkenJs in 1999 found 50m fewer weeds in the buckwheat and 37m fewer weeds in the sorghum-sudangrass than in the oats/ peas. If they assumed that the oats/peas had 10m fewer weeds than an uncultivated fallow would have (data Figure 2. Soybean and Weed Dry Matter, Brekken Farm July from PetrichJs), this would have been a 2000 55m weed reduction by buckwheat and a 43m reduction by sorghum- sudangrass. However, this project was designed to look at residual weed control the year following the cover crops. In May 2000, there were very few weeds in any of the rye plots, probably because the rye was effectively suppressing them, combined with it being early in the season. By early July, the soybean sorghum-sudangrass plots whereas it was almost completely plots showed visually distinct differences. absent from the buckwheat plots. Lambs quarters were also a problem in the sorghum-sudangrass at harvest. The truly surprising observation was that the weeds Clearly, any weed suppression they saw in the standing following sorghum were much higher. Weed numbers sorghum-sudangrass did not have a residual effect. Rather, (Figure 1) were almost five times higher following sorghum it suggests that sorghum-sudangrass residues may have a than following the next highest treatment (oats/peas)d stimulatory effect on weeds. pigweed numbers were 6.5 times higher. Weed dry matter (Figure 2) was 1.7 times higher. Robin Brekken observed The differences among the other three treatments were not that by harvest time pidgeon grass was thick in the great enough to be statistically significant, but there was aGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 21. 22 —— Alternative Crops • Petrichconsistent trend for improved weed control following The dry weights of soybeans following buckwheat andbuckwheat than following either oats/peas or fallow. Weed fallow were significantly lower than following sorghum-populations (Figure 1) following buckwheat were slightly sudangrass or oats/peas. However, since soybeans arelower than following fallow, which were slightly lower than known for their ability to grow out of early season stresses,following oats/peas. Weed dry matter (Figure 2) following there was not a concern about a possible reduction in grainbuckwheat was about a quarter of weed dry matter yield. This early suppression of growth does not correlatefollowing oats/peas or fallow, though this is not enough to well with the lower dry weight of weeds followingbe considered a significant difference. Still, considering buckwheat and fallow.that these are weeds that germinated almost 11 months afterthe cover crops were plowed under, this data suggests that 1%%$#%(-#*-(/.0.-&< Last fall, both growers appreciatedbuckwheat does have a weak residual weed control ability. the soil conditions left by both buckwheat and sorghum- sudangrass. The soil was especially “mellow” following374,>74$+, ?4/.0.@(-.4"<% In soil samples taken at buckwheat. Laboratory analysis of aggregate stability, aBrekkenJs in November 1999, three months after the cover measure of soil tilth, failed to show any significantcrops were plowed down, soil phosphorus did not differ differences among the treatments though there was a trendsignificantly among buckwheat, fallow, or oats/peas though for it to be best after buckwheat or sorghum and worstit was significantly lower following sorghum-sudangrass. after oats/peas. This was consistent with both farmersJThis was probably due to the phosphorus that was still observations that oats/peas left the soil in a soddy or stickytied up in the sorghum-sudangrass residues which were condition.still visible at the time of sampling. Buckwheat and oats/peas residues, though also still visible, were much more Management Tipsbroken down. The high phosphorus in the fallow plots isexplained by the repetitive tillage which would have broken 1. Cover crops need a thick stand to provide maximumdown soil organic matter, releasing phosphorus to the soil. benefit. Good seedbed preparation is very important,This may be beneficial in the short term but, in the long especially for the smaller-seeded buckwheat and sorghum-run, it depletes soil organic matter and ruins soil tilth. sudangrass. They need to be planted shallow (less than one inch) in a firm seedbed. A high seeding rate is alsoIn May 2000, the effect of residues on subsequent crop best. The rates used here (60 lb for buckwheat, 80/50 lbgrowth could be seen in the field. There was a visible for oats/peas, and 20 lb for sorghum-sudangrass) areyellowing of rye following sorghum. Rye dry weight was adequate if tillage, moisture and soil conditions are optimalsignificantly reduced, relative to the fallow plots, following for good germination, but not if conditions are poor.all of the cover crops, with greatest suppression followingsorghum-sudangrass, then buckwheat, then oats/peas. 2. It is important to plow down buckwheat before its seedsNitrogen uptake by rye was also reduced, in the same order mature or else it may itself become a weed problem theas dry weight was reduced. This strongly suggests nitrogen next year. The first flowers can set viable seeds beforetie-up by cover-crop residues. The greatest suppression full bloom so a farmer has to be watchful. It can flower asoccurred with sorghum which has the highest C:N ratio, early as five to six weeks after planting.and thus the highest potential to tie up N. Thesmallest suppression occurred with the oats/peas mixture which, because of N-fixation bypeas, has a more favorable C:N ratio. It is likelythat the cover crop residue tied up soil nitrogen.If nitrogen was limiting, this could affect theirattempt to study phosphorus uptake.The results for soybeans were confounded bya different unrelated nutrient deficiency: thesoybeans were all affected by iron-deficiencychlorosis. The distribution of the chlorosis wasrandom with no differences attributable to covercrop treatments. It seemed to be limiting to Puptake. Sorghum-sudangrass in test plotGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 22. Alternative Crops • Petrich —— 23 3. Sorghum-sudangrass can either be disked under when A$0*573%:..7#B University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN it is five to six feet tall or it can be shredded with a mower Q*-9%U57"#B%Agricultural Resources Consulting, and allowed to regrow. Advantages to letting it regrow are St. Paul, MN that it then covers the soil and smothers weeds for a longer period of time and it contributes more organic matter to Project Location the soil. Shredding it seems to stimulate more vigorous growth and also offers an opportunity to get rid of any From Crookston on Hwy 9, go 7 miles south from the competitive weeds, that might otherwise go to seed. junction with 102. Turn east onto a gravel road. Robin BrekkenJs plots are on the southeast quarter of the section 4. Plowing down cover crops with high production of high to the north, just west of the gravel road at 1s miles. C:N ratio residues, such as sorghum-sudangrass may Continue east another 2 miles to Hwy 48 (also gravel), temporarily tie up soil N, with the potential to suppress then south another 2 miles to Hwy 41. Curt PetrichJs plots growth of subsequent crops, especially those with high N are on the east side of Hwy 48, on the northwest quarter of requirements. This can be counteracted by planting them the section just south of Hwy 41. in mixtures with leguminous cover crops, such as peas. Other Resources 5. Aggregate stability is most enhanced by high C:N ratio >#2$5#72-*#7.% A$C$.*,+$#2% a$9$75;3% )$#25$E Ottawa, crops, such as sorghum-sudangrass. Adding a legume to a Canada. Cover Crops for Sustainable Agriculture. grain may enhance N fertility, but it will also decompose faster, with less benefit to soil organic matter. P7#76-#6% )*C$5% )5*,9% <5*=-270.1 (2nd Ed.). 1998. 6. Weeds can contribute organic matter to a soil, with Sustainable Agriculture Network. Available in book form, benefits to tilth and soil fertility, just like intentionally CD-ROM, or html or pdf versions. planted cover crops. However, you must plow them under before they set seed. )$#2$5% =*5% Z$?% )5*,9% b% <.7#2% <5*/";29E Purdue University. Cooperators a*0-#%U5$VV$#B Farmer, Crookston, MN [#-C$59-21%*=%)7.-=*5#-7B%8"927-#70.$%:65-;".2"5$%a$9$75;3 4.-]70$23%A1;VB Southwest Research & Outreach Center, 7#/%4/";72-*#%<5*657+E%%Cover Crop Resource Page Lamberton, MN web site: 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 23. 24 —— Alternative Crops • Runck Woods-grownManaged Production of Woods-grown Wildand Simulated Wild Ginseng Project Summary Successful woods-grown ginseng production Principal requires an intensive management system with Willis Runck and his family have been growing techniques that differ from cultivated ginseng Investigator woods-grown ginseng since 1974. There is little production. We developed our methods and Willis Runck information available on this production system. techniques from trial and error. There is limited RR 1, Box 172 This project will demonstrate establishment, public information available on growing woods- New Ulm, MN maintenance, and harvesting techniques as well grown ginseng, much of it adapted from 56073 as seed production and stratification methods. cultivated ginseng production methods. We 507-359-4308 wanted to demonstrate our techniques because Brown County Project Description many of the cultivated techniques will not result Our family farm operation has a total of 440 in high quality woods-grown ginseng roots. Project Many farmers have wooded lots where ginseng Duration acres of land located in the Minnesota River calley. Approximately 290 acres are used for could provide additional income while 1999 to 2001 the production of corn, soybeans, and spring reestablishing this plant to its natural habitat. wheat. The other 150 acres consist of dense ESAP Contact hardwood forest. We planted our first plot of Today, cultivated ginseng is being over woods-grown ginseng, about 5,000J, in 1974 with produced while wild ginseng is becoming Mary Hanks extinct. The Chinese have always placed the the intention of making more productive use of 651-296-1277 highest value on American wild ginseng since the woodland. Today, the total managed woodland area planted to ginseng is about six it was first exported to China in 1717. The and one-half acres plus one-third acre of North American continent has the only Keywords remaining wild ginseng in the world. As a result, cultivated ginseng under artificial shade. Our ginseng, woods- ginseng beds are separated based on age of the woods-grown ginseng will continue to gain in grown ginseng plantsd we have some new plantings as well as value as it replaces the wild roots. The latest some that are 20 years old. Except for spraying market values for the three types of ginseng for disease control, all work is done manually. root are: j Cultivated roots, 3 to 4 years old Ginseng S<7#7W% D"-#D"$=*.-"9T is a slow o10 to o20/ lb growing, perennial plant. It is a medicinal herb j Woods-grown, 8 years old cultivated for its root. Ginseng develops from o150 to o190/ lb seed planted in the fall. Plants emerge when j Wild roots, unsorted temperatures reach about 50°F. Plants reach a o450 to o500/ lb height of about 1 s to 2J after three to four years. A ginseng root can grow for 70 to 90 years or more but woods-grown ginseng is harvested after 8 to 12 years of growthd older roots are more valuable. Woods-grown ginseng more closely resembles wild ginseng and is more valuable than cultivated ginseng (grown in cultivated fields under shade cloth). Woods-grown ginseng plant with seedsGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 24. Alternative Crops • Runck —— 25 Results incidence, we still used nine fungicide applications on older ginseng plots in 1999. Seven of the nine sprays contained The most critical decision that a woods-grown ginseng copper sulfate, also called Bordeaux Mix. Copper sulfate grower will make is the selection of a site. Ginseng prefers is also classified as a fertiliZer and would qualify for use moist but well-drained soils with high organic matter content in organic farming. This was the second year we used and a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. It requires only 20m sunlight copper sulfate. It provided excellent control against and will die if light intensity is above this level. If a flat, Alternaria blight and possibly provides some protection forested area is chosen, it must have mature hardwood against other fungal diseases such as Botrytis blight and trees. Otherwise, only sloped, wooded terrain facing to RhiZoctonia crown and root rot. But we also noticed the north or east should be chosen. These sites will have negative factors associated with copper sulfate cooler ground temperatures during the growing season applications. Copper sulfate is very caustic (pH 4) and which results in less disease incidence, particularly less must be mixed with lime to neutraliZe the solution. This Phytophthora root rot. Soil temperatures are six to eight requires a good filter system on the sprayer to prevent the degrees lower in these forested plantings when compared spray noZZles from plugging and it also requires non- to cultivated plots with artificial shade. Sloped areas facing corrosive sprayer parts. This spray can cause a slight to the south and west should be avoided. bronZing, or burning, of the leaves. Spraying in the evening when the air temperature is below 80°F can diminish this Planting should be done in the fall because early sprouting problem. Table 1 describes the main disease problems can occur with spring planting. To prepare the plot, remove and control methods that we have used. underbrush to reduce competition, and lower tree limbs to improve air circulation. Areas with poor airflow will have more disease Table 1. Disease Problems in Woods-grown Ginseng problems. When planting the seeds, I I>10610.J6F0 *=A6;>1F D<FG47F1 H7;:>4>7;1 H7;4=73 rake back the leaves then lightly rake the seeds into the soil. Planting rates Alternaria air-borne attacks warm, humid good air Blight fungus leaves & weather circulation; of 20 to 30 lb are best for limiting root stems, kills copper sulfate, disease spread. Root disease may still top of plant Diathane M45, occur at these rates but its spread from Manzate 200 plant to plant is slower and can be better controlled with cultural practices. Phytophthora soil-borne attacks root wet and warm well drained site; Root Rot fungus and kills it soil conditions systemic fungicides, I cover everything with leaf mulch, no Ridomil and more than 2” for seedlings. If other Aliette mulch is used, make sure it is weed free. The mulch prevents the seed from Phytophthora soil-borne attacks leaves wet and warm well drained site drying out, keeps the soil temperature Leaf Blight fungus and stems soil condition, and good air warm and humid circulation; cool, and prevents the soil from weather systemic splattering the plants during heavy rains. fungicide, Aliette Disease is the single most limiting factor for successful ginseng production. Woods-grown ginseng In our experience over the years, weJve found how important can be harvested after seven or eight years. However, the it is to control mice and moles in woods-grown ginseng older the roots, the higher the price. Most people have a plots. Mice eat the berries containing the newly formed difficult time reaching this maturity because of disease seeds and moles dig tunnels in the plots causing the problems. Once the roots reach seven years, the outer uprooting of plants. We use poison set in approved skin becomes tougher and develops some resistance to the containers to control the mice and find that setting traps in root rots. Cultivated ginseng growers use 15 to 18 mole tunnels is the best way to control moles. WeJve had applications of fungicide each season to prevent Alternaria little success with mole poisons or gas pellets. blight. Woods-grown plots will normally see six to eight applications of fungicide. Plots on my farm have cartways, We estimate start-up costs for establishing one acre of or trails, around them to allow access for sprayer equipment woods-grown ginseng at about o12,000 for new growers. that blows the fungicide onto the plants. As an established grower, I can start a new one-acre plot for about o7,000. Ginseng production is very labor Even though woods-grown ginseng plots have lower disease intensive and, at the same time, requires the investment inGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 25. 26 —— Alternative Crops • Runcklabor-saving equipment. Our labor inputs range from 1,000 5. Stay ahead of mice and moles. Use poisons in approvedto 1,100 hours annually to plant, maintain, and harvest the containers for mice and traps in tunnels for moles.six and one-half acres of ginseng. iounger plantings requiremore time, mainly for weed control that is done by hand. 6. Be aware that ginseng plots are attractive to thieves. AThree to six year old plantings require thinning and good, loud guard dog helps with security.transplanting to attain proper spacing. We also spend timeeach year spreading wood chips in the plantings to help Cooperatorshold leaf mulch in place as well as providing ground coverthemselves. All root harvesting is done by hand. U5";$%<*22$5B Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton, MNDrying roots is accomplished by placing the roots on screen- A5E%U5-7#%^"/$.9*#B%Department of Horticulture,bottom trays which are placed evenly in a single layer in a University of Wisconsindrying room. The drying room should have an air @71#$%8;3*,$5B Brown County Extension,temperature between 70 to 90°F and be equipped with a Sleepy Eye, MNdehumidifier or ventilation fans. Roots are dried to about `5$6%!*3#9*#B Minnesota DNR, New Ulm, MN10 to 12m moisture which takes about 15 to 20 days. Ifroots are dried too fast or exposed to sunlight, they become Project Locationbrittle and discolored. Contact Willis Runck for directions to the farm.We harvest seed as well as roots. Ginseng plants usuallyproduce seed the third year. The seed is contained in the Other Resourcesberries that we pick by hand. When seed is harvested, the Epler, J. W. 1985. :..% :0*"2% `-#9$#6E Cornhuskersginseng embryo is immature and small so seed must go Press, Hastings, Nebraska.through a stratification process (cold/warm/cold sequence)that lasts about 12 months. Seed is first depulped by Parke, J. I. and b. M. Shotwell. 1989. A-9$79$9% *=fermentation then the green seed is washed and mixed with )".2-C72$/% `-#9$#6E WI No. 3465. University ofclean sand in equal amounts in a wooden box. The box is Wisconsin, Agricultural Experiment Station, Madison,about 6” deep with the bottom covered with fine mesh Wisconsin 53706.screen to allow for good drainage. The seed/sand mixtureis placed in the box, ending with a layer of fine sand and a Scott, J. A., Jr., S. Rogers and D. Cooke. 1995. @**/9Iwire screen on top to keep rodents from getting into the `5*?#% `-#9$#6E West cirginia University Extensionseed. The box is then buried at a depth 2” to 4” deeper Service. Morgantown, West cirginia 26506-6108.than the box in an area that is not in direct sun. The burial is filled with 2” to 4” of mulch. The mixture is burieduntil late summer following the year it was harvested. @-9;*#9-#%`-#9$#6%`5*?$59X%:99*;-72-*#E 500 Third St., Suite 208-2, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401, 715-845-7300.Management Tips1. Site selection is critical. Make sure the siteis well drained, provides 70 to 80m shade,preferably an east, northeast or north facingslope.2. Growing ginseng is very labor intensive.Start with small plots and increase your plantingsas you gain experience.3. Disease is the limiting factor for successfulwoods-grown ginseng. Rotate fungicides so thatthe disease organisms do not develop resistanceto one fungicide.4. Proper stratification of seed is essential. Cold treatment frame for ginseng seedWatch out for poor quality seed.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 26. Alternative Crops • Streed —— 27 AgroforestryEstablishing Agroforestry DemonstrationSites in Minnesota Project Summary planted in 2001. He has used several types of Principal herbicides, burning and tillage and still some of Investigator During 1999 and 2000 the Center for Integrated the old rootstock has survived. Jerry feels that Natural Resources and Agricultural a problem with old rootstock is very site specific Erik Streed Management (CINRAM) worked with five and would not be a problem at all plantings.Center for Integrated landowners to establish six agroforestry Natural Resources demonstration sites. The sites will demonstrate =.")/$#(8,(")=.0)0.;#D(/.-(-< Phil cotruba and Agricultural the effectiveness of living snow fences, alley near Bemidji looked at the effectiveness of Management, cropping, windbreaks and wildlife habitat, College of Natural planting windbreak and wildlife habitat adjacent riparian buffers around wetlands, and forest to a reclaimed landfill. The species planted Resources, farming under mature oak-hickory forest. University of included several types of berries and trees such Because the trees are still getting established, as oak, ash, white pine, Norway pine, and white Minnesota results of the plantings will not be known for spruce. The main objectives of this project were: 115 Green Hall several years. CINRAM will assist the farmer 1) to provide wind protection and diminish the 1530 Cleveland Avenue North cooperators for many years in assessing the loss of soil humidity on this site due to poor,St. Paul, MN 55108 potential of agroforestry to improve sandy, droughty soils, and strong winds, 2) to 612-624-4299 environmental sustainability and produce a provide wildlife habitat, and 3) to commercially valuable product such as fruits, aesthetic value to an area on a major road that http://www.cnr.umn. nuts, medicinals and botanicals. previously was a landfill. edu/FR/cinram/ Agroforestry Site Descriptions and Phil is pleased with the progress of the planting. Project Results Even with the poor soil conditions and the high Duration maintenance requirements to reduce animal A.:."%*"49B#"2#< A highbush cranberry living depredation, the trees are doing extremely well. 1999 to 2000 snow fence was planted in May of 1999 along a driveway on the Murl Nord farm in northern ESAP Contact Minnesota. Murl tested the potential for growing highbush cranberry on a large scale in northern Wayne Monsen Minnesota and evaluated its effectiveness for 651-282-2261 stopping snow. After two years, there was good establishment of the bushes and they are growing Keywords well. agroforestry, alleycropping, blueberry, 100#&C$4>>."%< Jerry Stensing, near Waskish filter strips, forest in northern Minnesota, demonstrated planting farming, golden blueberries in the alleys between various types seal, highbush of fruit shrubs. Jerry is using fruit shrubs, planted cranberries, hybrid in May 1999, such as pin cherry, highbush haZelnuts, living cranberry, and wild plum to create windbreakssnow fence, riparian that cause snowdrifts to insulate the blueberries buffers, windbreak/ and help them survive the extreme cold wildlife habitat conditions. The shrubs will provide high quality fruits for sale and habitat for wildlife. The project is progressing well with good growth on the shrubs. However, Jerry experienced difficulty in eliminating some old fruit trees, Jason Wiebke examines a shrubs, and weeds from the areas between the golden seal seedling new shrubs where new blueberries will be GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 27. 28 —— Alternative Crops • StreedE.>($.("F+;;#$<% Paul Olsen near Alexandria demonstrated Cooperatorsthe establishment of approximately 300 hybrid haZelnutseedlings as a buffer around a wetland. Paul is testing the P"5.%Z*5/B Black Duck, Beltrami Countyability of hybrid haZelnuts to provide wildlife food and !$551%82$#9-#6B Waskish, Beltrami Countyhabitat, produce edible nuts, and filter agricultural runoff <3-.%c*25"07B Bemidji, Beltrami Countyinto a wetland. <7".%d.9$#B Alexandria, Douglas County !79*#%@-$0V$B Winona, Winona CountyIt appears that weed control during the first two years wasnot adequate and the survival rate was very low. Phil Project LocationRutter, hybrid haZelnut breeder at the Badgerset Research Contact Erik Streed at CINRAM for directions to the farmsFarm that supplied the seedlings, says that often haZelnuts involved in this project.will develop a root system before growing biomass aboveground. He suggests that it is possible that there are actuallymore bushes surviving than are currently visible. Other Resources :65*=*5$9251% :/C7#276$% Z$?9.$22$5E Published at theB4$#,-B($5."%<% Jason Wiebke near Winona demonstrated University of Minnesota. For free newsletter subscriptions,forest farming with golden seal grown under mature oak- call 612-624-4299.hickory forest hillside woodlots in southeast Minnesota.Golden seal is a medicinal herb that is used to increase U7/6$59$2%a$9$75;3%75+E%Phillip A. Rutter, RR 1, Boximmune system effectiveness in humans. In the fall of 141, Canton, MN 55922, 507-743-8570. Research,1998, Jason established a quarter acre plot of golden seal cultivation, and sales of hybrid haZelnuts.under natural forest cover. Jason had already establishedtwo one-third acre plots under artificial shade. He plans Center For Rural Policy and Development. 2001. 83*52to evaluate the economic implications of both production a*272-*#%@**/1%)5*,9H%%:%5*.$%=*5%23$%9272$%*=%P-##$9*27Emethods in future years when the golden seal becomes Final report and policy recommendations of the advisorymarketable siZe. committee addressing agroforestry. Mankato, MN. Available at: 507-389-2599 or www.ruralmn.orgThe natural shade plots were prepared by clearing out theunderstory brush, logs, rocks, etc., and planting golden seal University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999.rootlets, or cutlets, directly into the forest floor. The :65*=*5$9251% -#% P-##$9*27H% :% 6"-/$% 2*% 5$9*"5;$9% 7#/artificial shade plots are on open ground and covered with /$+*#92572-*#%9-2$9E MN No. BU-7275. St. Paul, MN,black plastic mesh. No weeding or irrigation was done 800-876-8636. Price: o10.00 plus shipping.during 1999 and 2000. The golden seal is spreading throughrhiZomes and a dense patch is developing in both the natural University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999.and artificial shade plantings. Jason anticipates some )72;3-#6%23$%9#*?%?-23%.-C-#6%9#*?%=$#;$9E MN No. MI-golden seal will be ready for harvest in 2004 or 2005. 7311. St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. Price o65.00 plus shipping.Management Tips1. Plastic mats covered with wood chips helpmaintain moisture and provide excellent weedcontrol.2. If the site is located in an area where ongoingmaintenance will be hard, it is crucial to takeextra steps to control weeds and animal damageduring establishment.3. It is possible that hybrid haZelnuts aredeveloping a root system even if there is nogrowth above ground. Blueberries in an alley cropping system on the Jerry Stending farmGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 28. Alternative Crops • Streed —— 29 University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999. University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1998. )*++$5;-7.%^7]$.#"29%-#%P-##$9*27E MN No. FO-7280. P75V$2-#6%8,$;-7.21%*5$92%<5*/";29E MN No. FO-7278. St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999. ^105-/ [8A:%Z72-*#7.%:65*=*5$9251%)$#2$5%SZ:)TE East Campus- <*,.75%<5*=-29E MN No. FO-7279. St. Paul, MN, UNL, Lincoln, NB 68583-0822, 402-437-5178. The center 800-876-8636. interacts with a national network of cooperators to conduct research, develop technologies and tools, establish University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999. Q-C-#6 demonstrations, and provide useful information on 8#*?%$#;$9E MN No. FO-7277. St. Paul, MN, agroforestry. 800-876-8636.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 29. 30 —— Alternative Crops • ZeithamerPropagation of Native Grasses andWildflowers for Seed Production Project Summary 2. There will be a long-term benefit from a single Principal planting. Joshua ^eithamer wants to increase the Investigator efficiency, profitability and production on his 3. Natives will provide good cover for wildlife. Joshua ^eithamer small acreage by planting and harvesting native 3844 Englund grass and wildflower seed. He will demonstrate 4. Natives have deep root systems that pull Road SW planting, maintenance and harvesting nutrients from lower in the soil profile, can out- Alexandria, MN techniques using specialiZed equipment as well compete weeds once the natives are established, 56308 as modified conventional farm equipment. The and discourage gophers. 320-762-1798 cost of establishment and the return on the Douglas County investment will be reported. 5. There is a growing market for native seed with the potential to increase income from these Project Project Description acres. Duration Joshua ^eithamer wants to increase the 1999 to 2002 JoshuaJs goal is to grow native crops and harvest efficiency, profitability and production on his them for seed, using modified conventional farm 52 acres of tillable land. For the past five years, ESAP Contact equipment rather than labor-intensive hand Joshua, who just graduated from high school, harvesting. He used a Truax drill to plant the Mary Hanks has grown conventional crops such as wheat, seed. This drill is specifically designed for 651-296-1277 rye, buckwheat, and soybeans with only planting native prairie seeds, which increases the marginal financial results because of the high germination rate because it places the seeds at overhead associated with raising these crops the correct depth, providing a consistent rate of Keywords on limited acres. However, he gained seeds per acre. Native seeds are either too small experience with a variety of crops and has taken big bluestem, or too fluffy to pass through a conventional drill. an adaptive approach to farming, looking for Indiangrass, Hand seeding is usually not a good choice improvement over more conventional methods. maximillian because it involves too much room for human sunflower, native error and the cost of these seeds is too high to During the summer of 1998, Joshua worked for grasses, perennial waste any. Prairie Land Management (PLM) planting native plants, purpleconeflower, sideoats grasses and wildflowers. This ignited his interest The goal of the first year was to attain the best grama, wildflowers in growing his own prairie. He was convinced stand possible. By the end of the second growing that propagating and harvesting indigenous crops season, Joshua harvested seed. At the beginning was an excellent way to ensure environmental benefits as well as an economic return that is well above conventional crops. Joshua saw that native grasses and wildflower plantings have economic and environmental benefits: 1. Erosion will be virtually nonexistent by keeping the ground covered year round with Josh out standing in his fields of Echinacea perennials.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 30. Alternative Crops • Zeithamer —— 31 of the third growing season, Joshua will perform a prescribed burn. The species Table 1. 1999 and 2000 Native Species Planting and Rate he planted will regrow more rapidly and Cost, Plant Density and Height denser after a fire. Seed production 936;4>;A H714. 7O. D00: 936;4. I0;1>4< +PAM.Q0>A@4 /640. K3EL+N G0=. +?=0 K936;41L<:MN K>;?@01N should increase each production year. 1999 2000 1999 2000 Joshua expects the change from conventional crop production to native Big Bluestem 10 $152.50 17* 19 12 65 !6-5$#4#%#-, %0$$53. seed production to increase his income and, therefore, his college fund. Indiangrass 10 $159.50 19 19 18 60 !"#$%&()*+, -*)-(. Results Sideoats Grama 8 $106.40 14 18 12 36 !/#*)01##*, 20$)340-5*1. Beginning in the early spring of 1999, Joshua prepared a firm and level Purple Coneflower 5 $380.00 18 19 12 24 !72&3-20, -%*()38#13. seedbed then let the fields develop a canopy of weed growth until late June. Maximillian Sunflower 5 $400.00 14 18 57 67 Then, using a Truax drill, sideoats !9013-)&*(, +:3+3113-3. grama, Indiangrass and big bluestem * Numbers are averages of multiple counts within plots of species. were planted in ten-acre plots. Two, one-half acre plots of purple coneflower and maximillian threshing. The sideoats grama seed was very clean but sunflower were planted at the same time. Within four the fluffier seeded species, big bluestem and Indiangrass, days after planting, an herbicide burndown was made to were not as clean because the seeds were very light and eliminate the weed canopy and give the newly planted seeds hard to separate from the chaff. To try to get cleaner an excellent start. Once the native plants emerged, Joshua seed, Joshua turned off all of the wind on the combine and monitored plant densities and heights and controlled the opened up the sieve and chaffer as much as possible without weeds by mowing. Seeding rate, cost of seed, plant throwing seed out the back of the combine. densities and heights for the plantings are shown in Table 1. No seed harvest was planned the first year although Joshua was not able to finish cleaning the seed before the some of the grasses had seeded out despite having only report was printed. He plans to build new sieves for an half of a growing season. It was hoped that those seeds older fanning mill and use that to finish the job. iields of would drop to the ground and germinate in the spring of seed from the 2000 cropping year will be published in next 2000, providing an even thicker stand of native plants. yearJs report with an economic analysis of the project and comparison with conventional cropping systems. In 1999, the maximillian sunflower plot became the home of a spectrum of songbirds, insects, rabbits and a hen Management Tips pheasant. The hen was the first pheasant Joshua had seen in his county in many years. The height of the cover, as 1. Begin a project with an open mind and a firm and level well as the food the seeds provide, probably seedbed. attracted the wildlife. There was above average weed growth in the spring of 2000, causing concern about competition with the native grasses. Joshua had originally planned to control weeds with mowing but he was forced to use a broadleaf herbicide to reduce weed competition, especially thistles. Since he planned to harvest seed this year, it was particularly important to have relatively clean fields. Plant densities and heights for the second season are shown in Table 1. To harvest the grasses and purple coneflowers, Josh (middle) describes the art of Joshua first windrowed them to dry them out. growing wild flowers for seed He used a retrofitted “b” Gleaner to do theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 31. 32 —— Alternative Crops • Zeithamer2. Remember that native grasses and wildflowers are not Other Resourcesconventional crops. It will not look as pretty the first yearas 180 bu corn planted in neat rows with no weeds. Henderson, Carrol L. 1994. Q7#/9;7,-#6% =*5% ?-./.-=$E MN Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Rd.,3. Maximillian sunflower is really impressive. It can St. Paul, MN 55155, 651-296-6157.replace existing corn plots and only needs to be plantedonce. This saves time, erosion, and money, and promotes Minnesota Department of Agriculture. 1998. 49270.-93-#6wildlife all at the same time. 7#/%+7-#27-#-#6%?75+%9$79*#%65799$9%SZ72-C$%65799$9TE p. 26-29. ># Greenbook 98. MN Department of Agriculture, 90 W. Plato Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55107,Cooperators 651-296-7673. email:$%F3*+,9*#B Prairie Land Management, Glenwood, MN Sedivec, b. b. and W. T. Barker. 8$.$;2$/%Z*523%A7V*27A7C$%<$,$5B%Alexandria High School 7#/% P-##$9*27% 57#6$% ,.7#29E ND No. EB-69. NorthQ7551%e-..-*WB%Douglas County Extension, Alexandria, MN Dakota State University Extension Service, Fargo, ND.!$551%^766$#+-..$5B Douglas County SWCD, Alexandria, MN Wendt, beith. 1984. :%6"-/$%2*%P-##$9*27%,57-5-$9E MN Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Rd., St.Project Location Paul, MN 55155, 651-296-6157.The ^eithamer farm is 4.2 miles west of Alexandria onHwy 27 then 1/10 mile north on Englund Rd. The house isthe first driveway on the left.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 32. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Becket/Geske —— 33 CornApplying Manure to Cornat Agronomic Rates Project Summary nutrient management plans. Proper utiliZation Principal of the manure should achieve desired crop yields The nutrients found in manure are valuable as and reduce commercial fertiliZer expenses. Both Investigators crop fertiliZer. However, when not managed farms realiZe that sound nutrient management is Tim Becket and properly, they are a potential source of surface essential if they wish to continue farming well Jeremy Geske water and ground water pollution. Water into the future. Dakota County pollution commonly occurs when the Extension/SWCD combination of manure and commercial Dakota County Extension and SWCDs have4100 - 220th St. W. fertiliZer exceeds crop demand. Our goal for combined efforts to provide a manure nutrient Farmington, MN this project is to demonstrate proper manure management program to benefit Dakota County 55024 nutrient planning, manure testing, manure farmers and the environment. Together, these 651-480-7704 nutrient crediting and spreader calibration. Two Dakota County organiZations provide technical, educational and Dakota County farms (a dairy and a hog financial assistance to livestock producers who enterprise) have developed manure want to refine their handling of manure. Project management plans and are comparing manure Duration to commercial fertiliZer for their ability to deliver In our extensive experience working with plant nutrients to row crops. In 1998, corn farmers, we find that many are not properly 1998 to 2000 fertiliZed with manure yielded the same as corn accounting for the nutrients in the manure they grown with commercial fertiliZer. Wet apply. In order for manure to be a reliableESAP Contact conditions in 1999 reduced nutrient availability source of plant nutrition, the farmer needs to Mark ^umwinkle from dairy manure but not hog manure. In know how much is being applied. This can 651-282-6204 2000, we fine tuned a starter fertiliZer to account only be achieved by knowing the quantity of for the slow release nature of the nutrients in nutrients contained in the manure and the rate the manure. Consequently we eliminated the at which the manure is applied to the land. Keywords spring nitrogen deficit. These farmers are Farmers regularly have their soil sampled for demonstrating an overall economic savings fertility but they do not test their manure for input reduction, manure (o5,100 in reduced fertiliZer cost on Taylor nutrient value. Manure spreaders are notmanagement, water Farms in 1998) showing that it pays to test commonly calibrated for the rate of manure quality manure and follow a manure nutrient being applied. Thus, manure is viewed by management plan. farmers as an undependable fertiliZer source. Manure and/or commercial fertiliZer is then Project Description over-applied, increasing the potential for ground In an increasingly urban community, manure and feedlot issues are a growing concern. Ray and ben Taylor (Taylor Farms) and Blake Otte (Square Deal Dairy) are interested in demonstrating to their neighbors that profitable agriculture does not have to come at the expense of the environment. Both Taylor Farms and Square Tim and Jeremy review plant Deal Dairy are interested available nutrients from manure test in following manureGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 33. 34 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Becket/Geskewater and surface water pollution. This is not only harmful Resultsto water quality, but is an economic loss to the farmerwhen commercial fertiliZer is unnecessarily applied to land HIIJ< At Taylor Farms, the corn fertiliZed with hog manurethat has received adequate nutrients from manure. had the highest average yields (Table 3). Statistically, yields with hog manure were similar to yields with commercialB($5)#,2$.>-.4",< Taylor Farms consists of 400 acres fertiliZer. The control treatment (no fertiliZer or manure)of corn and soybeans on fine sandy loam with 2-6m slopes. had the lowest yields. Over-application of manure did notThe Taylors custom background 1,600 gilts. Liquid manure produce higher yields. iield results at Square Deal Dairyis sweep injected. At Square Deal Dairy, Blake Otte milks were consistent with Taylor Farms. Again, well managed330 cows and raises 750 acres of corn and alfalfa on a manure was competitive with commercial fertiliZer. Overallloam soil with minimal slope. Manure with bedding is yields were lower due to extremely wet conditions. Webroadcast and incorporated within 12 hours. were surprised that the surface applied, unincorporated manure produced approximately the same yield as the!G>#$.5#"-(0 )#,.%"< At both farms randomiZed field incorporated manure.siZed plots (30J x 400J) were replicated three times tocompare the dependability of manure nutrients with HIII< As expected, the plots fertiliZed with hog manure atcommercial fertiliZer. Treatments at both farms included: Taylor Farms produced identical yields to those fertiliZed with commercial fertiliZer. By following the nutrient1. Commercial fertiliZer at U of M recommended rate. management plan, the Taylors were able to achieve their 140 bushel yield goal and save money on fertiliZer. iields2. Manure at U of M recommended rate (plus starter at Square Deal Dairy were affected by wet weather. Overall fertiliZer in 2000). yields were low and manured plots yielded significantly less than commercially fertiliZed plots but still much higher3. Control (no fertiliZer). than the unfertiliZed control. This is likely due to the high amount of organic nitrogen in the dairy manure (comparedManure application rates at both farms were based on to the TaylorJs hog manure). Wet conditions on the heavierprojected nitrogen availability from a laboratory manure soil slowed the early season release of nitrogen from theanalysis (see Table 1) and nitrogen needs of the corn based organic form.on standard U of M criteria (see samplemanure rate calculations for Taylor Table 1. Taylor Farms Liquid Hog Manure Nutrient AnalysisFarms in Table 2). In 1998, a fourthtreatment included manure applied at J24=>0;4 R 3EL%""". A6337;1twice the recommended rate to Nitrogen 0.17 14demonstrate the wastefulness of such a Phosphorus 0.05 4practice. This treatment was Potassium 0.13 10discontinued in 1999. We wanted toshow that following a sound nutrient Table 2. Taylor Farms Manure Application Rate to Cornmanagement plan would be financially (Sample Calculation)beneficial to the farm so we tracked the --# --- !"""fertiliZer replacement value of themanure. Crop Corn Corn Corn Yield goal 140 bu/A 140 bu/A 180 bu/AOn July 2, 1998, corn leaf tissue was Previous crop Soybeans Corn Corntested for nitrogen status using a Soil organic matter low low lowchlorophyll meter. The meter actually N requirement 110 lb/A 150 lb/A 150 lb/Ameasures leaf “greenness.” A greener 2nd year N credit 0 lb/A 32 lb/A 27 lb/Aleaf means more chlorophyll and betternitrogen nutrition. This method of 3rd year N credit 8 lb/A 0 lb/A 26 lb/Amonitoring nitrogen status was not N to apply in manure 102 lb/A 118 lb/A 95 lb/Auniformly dependable in 1998. We Actual manure rate 11,400 gal/A 5,700 gal/A 5,700 gal/Awould not have been able to use thetechnology to deliver a metered nitrogen N from manure 104 lb/A 87 lb/A 87 lb/Aside-dress so the activity was N from fertilizer 0 lb/A 27 lb/A 8 lb/Adiscontinued in 1999.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 34. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Becket/Geske —— 35 will be invested in sampling manure and spreader KLLL<% Poor corn yields at Taylor Farms resulted from a calibration. With all those nutrient dollars waiting to be combination of herbicide damage and dry midsummer captured from the manure, we hope more farmers will weather. As in the previous two years, manured corn engage in a similar planning process. yields were equal to the commercially fertiliZed plots. At Square Deal Dairy, manured plots had the highest yields Our goal to show the dependability of manure as a primary but the difference was not significant. The drier season nutrient source is supported by this demonstration. We favored corn production on this farmJs heavy soils. The have also shown that over-application of nutrients, whether unfertiliZed control plots yielded much higher than from manure or commercial fertiliZer, does not increase anticipated (154 bu/A). yields, wastes money and risks a potential pollution haZard. We wanted to show that farmers could benefit economically by following a sound manure nutrient management plan. Management Tips Table 3. Grain Yield: Manure vs. Commercial Fertilizer 1. Test your manure for nutrient content. D>40 50=4>3>T0= --#. S>03: ---. S>03: !""".S>03: (bu/A) (bu/A) (bu/A) 2. Calibrate your spreader for actual manure delivery rate. Taylor Liquid hog manure, injected1 168 154 92 Farms Commercial 167 152 91 Control 131 117 81 3. Contact local professional staff to Double rate hog manure 153 --- --- help build a nutrient management plan. Square Solid Dairy Manure, Inc.2 135 131 157 4. Monitor the crop response to tailor Deal Commercial 143 150 154 Dairy Control 77 67 154 your plan to your resources. A nitrogen Double rate dairy manure 138 --- --- starter fertiliZation may be used to Dairy Manure left on surface 133 --- --- overcome delayed release of manure nitrogen. 1 Included starter fertilizer in 2000 consisting of (9-0-9) applied at 25 gal/A. 2 Included starter fertilizer in 2000 consisting of (8-0-20) applied at 100 lb/A. Cooperators Taylor Farms has incorporated the information from the first year of this demonstration into their fertiliZer program. a71%7#/%_$#%F71.*5B%Northfield, MN As a direct result of manure testing and better planning, U.7V$%d22$B%Randolph, MN they are now able to fertiliZe 160 acres of corn exclusively !*$%P$1$59B%Hampton, MN with liquid hog manure. They achieved a savings of o31.90/ A or o5,100 in reduced commercial fertiliZer cost in 1998. Project Location Nitrogen savings alone were o16.25/A (125 lb x o.13/lb) To Taylor demonstration: go north on Hwy 3 from or o2,600 over the whole farm. Northfield 1 mile to Hwy 47. Go northeast 1 mile to Cty Rd 94. Go east 1s miles to Cty Rd 59. Go south t mile Nitrogen fertiliZer prices are projected to remain very high to farm on 310th St. E. through the spring planting season of 2001. Currently, nitrogen is o.24/lb when applied as anhydrous ammonia. To Square Deal Dairy demonstration: go southwest on This is compared to o.13/lb when we started this project Hwy 47 from Hampton 1s miles to Cty Rd 83. Go south in 1998. The fertiliZer equivalent value of the manure at 2 miles to farm on northwest corner of Cty Rd 83 and Taylor Farms this coming spring will likely exceed o45.00/ 270th St E. A or o7,200 applied to 160 acresw The cost of engaging in the nutrient planning process is simply the cost of manure nutrient sampling plus the time invested in working through the plan. Manure samples currently range from o12-o20. They should be taken for three consecutive years to build a dependable baseline for each farm. Farmers should expect to spend from one-half to one day to work through a nutrient management plan, depending on the complexity of the operation. Two hoursGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 35. 36 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Cuomo Rye Reduced PastureCereal Rye for Reduced Input PastureEstablishment and Early Grazing Project Summary crops that can be fall planted and consistently Principal survive the winter. One of the primary obstacles to establishment Investigator of perennial pastures for graZing or hay In addition to reducing herbicide use and Greg Cuomo production is weed competition. Herbicides are supplying early spring forage, cereal rye could University of not always desirable or available for establishing also serve as a companion crop to reduce erosion Minnesota, pastures so alternatives would be valuable to and moderate soil temperature during perennial West Central farmers who were interested in reducing chemical forage crop establishment. A benefit of using Research and use. Cereal rye has been used in crop rotations cereal rye as a companion crop compared to Outreach Center, to suppress weeds in subsequent crops but little more traditional companion crops is that cereal State Highway 329 work has been done in pasture settings. In this rye generally stops growing relatively early in Morris, MN 56267 project, perennial forage crops will be screened summer. Oats, barley and wheat are planted in 320-589-1711 for suitability for seeding into rye stubble. Rye Stevens, Pope, spring and grow during the summer. will also be graZed to determine its benefits to Midsummer, when moisture may be limiting, is Lac lui Parle, and extending the graZing season and for overall Chippewa Counties the time when companion crops tend to be most forage production. competitive with establishing perennial forage Project crop seedlings. When cereal rye is used, the Project Description rye and the planted forage crop growth cycles Duration overlap early in the growing season when Perennial forage crops are relatively slow to 1998 to 2000 moisture is usually more abundant. Rye has establish and weeds can be very competitive, essentially ceased growing by midsummer and especially if moisture is limiting. Currently, ESAP Contact when establishing forage crops, weeds are either will not compete as much for moisture or light as do the other companion crops. Mary Hanks not controlled, resulting in competition and 651-296-1277 potential stand reduction, or are controlled with While rye has been effective at controlling herbicides which increases the cost of stand weeds in field crops, it is not known whether establishment. Keywords the allelopathic chemicals released by the rye will also inhibit the establishment of forage A group of farmers in West Central Minnesota cereal rye, extending crops. This project evaluated forage crop working with Greg Cuomo, then graZing the graZing season, establishment and weed control following fall specialist at the West Central Research and pasture planted rye to determine if rye is an option for Outreach Center (WCROC), became interested establishment, supplying green forage for graZing in early spring. rotational graZing, in ryeJs potential to: control weeds for pasture weed suppression establishmentd provide an alternative companion crop for the establishment of perennial forage cropsd and, supply green forage for early spring graZing. Before herbicides were available, farmers took advantage of ryeJs allelopathic characteristics to help control weeds in their crops. And, cereal rye is well adapted to the cold Minnesota winters and is one of the few Greg at Struxness rye research siteGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 36. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Cuomo —— 37 The results of the two year research suggests that cereal The cereal rye was allowed to grow until mid-May then rye does not offer any obvious benefits for establishment three perennial forage crop establishment treatments were of forage crops. tried. The treatments were 1) mow and leave residue 1- day before plantingd 2) spray rye with glyphosate 1-day Two demonstration sites were established in 1998 for early before plantingd and, 3) plant into fallow wheat stubble. spring graZing and for forage establishment research. Two By not graZing, the additional rye biomass on the plot areas additional sites were planted in 1999 for research in 2000. will help assess the impact of cereal rye on weeds and the establishment of the forage crops. Emergence and *-$+G"#,,B($5<%%At the Struxness farm, 90 lb/A of rye establishment of perennial forage crops were evaluated in were drilled into ten acres of prepared seedbed in August areas planted to rye and compared to emergence and 1998 on a well drained, loamy soil site that had previously establishment in the control areas. been in CRP. One acre was tilled and left fallow for comparison. The fall planted rye was graZed early in the =#,-C#"-$(0E#,#($27(")M+-$#(27C#"-#$*.-#< About spring of 1999 when it was 6 to 8” tall and before the four acres of rye were planted at the WCROC in August perennial pastures were ready for graZing, lengthening the 1998. The rye was no-till planted into oat stubble. The graZing season for the StruxnessJ cow/calf and stocker rye germinated then an extended dry period eliminated the operation. Forage yield, animal gain and graZing days per rye on the sandy soil at the Center. Rye was replanted in acre were recorded. October but the stand was not satisfactory in the spring of 1999 and the site was not used. When perennial pastures were ready for graZing and the beef herd could be moved to them, grasses and legumes The WCROC site was planted again in August 1999. This (Table 1) were planted in 1) the fallow groundd 2) the area site was used in 2000 to evaluate both graZing (like the planted to rye, graZed in spring, and sprayed with glyphosate Struxness site) and the rye accumulation impacts on (Roundup) one day before planting to reduce rye perennial forage crop establishment (like the Edlund site). competitiond and, 3) the area planted to rye, spring graZed, Evaluations of graZing and forage crop establishment similar and not sprayed with glyphosate before planting. to Struxness and Edlund sites were made. Emergence and establishment of grass and legume seedlings were used to evaluate the impact of cereal rye on reducing weed competition during establishment of the perennial forage crops. The area sprayed with glyphosate was evaluated for the Table 1. Forage Crops Establishment on Struxness Farm, 1999 allelopathic effect of the rye on forage crop establishment. The area not )=064F0;4 Fallow and Rye Grazed, Rye Grazed, sprayed was used to evaluate the impact 57=6A0. DG0?>01 Tilled No Herbicide Glyphosate of both allelopathy and competition from the rye. The potential that the ;##1, "0(#-, <$((0( --- Visual Stand Rating* --- Smooth Bromegrass 6.3** 3.3 (52) *** 4.3 (68) allelopathy from rye would reduce Orchardgrass 4.3 0.3 (7) 1.8 (41) establishment of the forage crops Reed Canarygrass 2.8 0.3 (11) 1.0 (36) themselves was also evaluated. Timothy 2.8 0.0 (0) 1.0 (36) Perennial Ryegrass 7.3 0.0 (0) 1.0 (14) !)0+")B($5<% The Edlund farm is a =$+, "0(#-, <$((0( row crop and cow/calf farm that also Big Bluestem 1.8 0.3 (17) 0.8 (44) produces alfalfa hay for sale and Switchgrass 1.8 0.0 (0) 0.5 (44) feeding. The demonstration site is on Indiangrass 0.5 0.0 (0) 0.5 (100) well drained, loamy soil with a 6 to 12m >0%*+0( slope. Grass pastures on this farm tend Alfalfa 6.3 5.0 (79) 6.3 (100) to be on land that is marginal or not Birdsfoot Trefoil 6.8 1.8 (26) 2.5 (37) suited for row crop production and it Kura Clover 5.0 2.8 (56) 3.3 (66) Red Clover 8.5 4.5 (53) 5.3 (62) has been a challenge to establish alfalfa. * Stands were visually estimated using a 0-9 scale with 0=no plants and 9=full stand. About 90 lb/A of rye were planted at ** LSD at 0.05=1.5 and is suitable for comparison within and between columns. the Edlund site in August 1999 for use ***Numbers in parenthesis are the percents of the fallow and tilled check for that in 2000. No graZing was done here. treatment.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 37. 38 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • CuomoResults Table 2. Forage Crops Establishment on Edlund Farm, 2000Perennial forage crop establishment data D00:>;A. /640 )=064F0;4from the three sites are shown in Tables (Lb/A) Fallow and Rye Grazed, Rye Not Grazed,1 through 3. The average percent 57=6A0. DG0?>01 Tilled No Herbicide Glyphosateestablishment of cool season grasses andlegumes compared to the tilled check --- Visual Stand Rating* --- Birdsfoot Trefoil 6.7 9.0 4.0 (44)** 3.0 (33)averaged across the sites is presented Smooth Bromegrass 20.8 8.0 3.0 (38) 3.3 (41)in Table 4. At the Struxness site in Reed Canarygrass 7.3 8.3 2.0 (24) 1.8 (21)Spring 1999, beef cattle graZed the rye Orchardgrass 5.1 6.8 5.5 (81) 2.3 (33)from the time it was 6 to 8” tall until Kura Clover 6.8 6.8 2.8 (41) 3.3 (48)perennial pastures were ready for Red Clover 8.2 9.0 7.8 (86) 6.0 (66)graZing. The ten acres supported 1,109 Perennial Ryegrass 19.2 9.0 7.8 (86) 3.5 (38) Alfalfa 11.2 8.5 8.0 (94) 6.5 (76)graZing days (110 days/A) between April30 and June 3. A mixed group of beef * Stands were visually estimated using a 0-9 scale with 0=no plants and 9=full stand.steers and heifers averaged 1.89 lb of **Numbers in parenthesis are the percents of the fallow and tilled check for thatgain/day or 210 lb of gain/A over the treatment.34-day graZing period. Table 3. Forage Crops Establishment on West Central Research and Outreach Center, 2000Results were similar across all sites: D00:>;A )=064F0;4 /640j Perennial forage crop establishment (Lb/A) Fallow Rye Not Rye Not Rye Rye was better in fallow and plowed 57=6A0. DG0?>01 and Grazed, No Grazed, Grazed, No Grazed, ground compared to establishment in Tilled Herbicide Glyphosate Herbicide Glyphosate cereal rye. The only exception to this --- Visual Stand Rating* --- was legumes in some treatments at the Birdsfoot Trefoil 6.7 5.5 4.8 (86) ** 3.5 (64) 2.5 (45) 4.0 (73) WCROC in 2000. Smooth Bromegrass 20.8 6.5 3.8 (58) 4.5 (69) 4.0 (62) 3.8 (58)j Legumes tended to establish better Reed Canarygrass 7.3 7.5 3.3 (43) 4.3 (57) 3.8 (50) 3.8 (50) than grasses. This indicates that they Orchardgrass 5.1 4.3 3.0 (71) 3.5 (82) 2.3 (53) 3.0 (71) Kura Clover 6.8 4.3 3.3 (76) 4.5 (106) 2.0 (47) 5.5 (129) may be better able to compete with Red Clover 8.2 6.8 5.8 (85) 7.3 (107) 7.3 (107) 8.0 (119) the stress of competition with the Perennial Ryegrass 19.2 9.0 6.0 (67) 5.8 (64) 5.3 (58) 8.5 (94) cereal rye. This response was due in Alfalfa 11.2 7.0 6.5 (93) 7.0 (100) 4.3 (61) 8.5 (121) large part to the alfalfa and red clover Switchgrass 9.6 1.0 1.5 (150) 1.3 (125) 1.0 (100) 1.0 (100) seedlings ability to aggressively Indiangrass 20.5 1.0 1.5 (150) 1.3 (125) 1.0 (100) 1.0 (100) establish themselves. However, in the Big Bluestem 13.8 1.0 1.3 (125) 1.0 (100) 1.0 (100) 1.0 (100) Timothy 8.0 2.0 1.5 (75) 1.3 (63) 2.8 (138) 2.8 (138) 2000 planting year, perennial ryegrass was often the best establishing forage * Stands were visually estimated using a 0-9 scale with 0=no plants and 9=full stand. crop. In general, alfalfa and red clover **Numbers in parenthesis are the percents of the fallow and tilled check for that established relatively well regardless treatment. of planting method.j Of the grasses planted, perennial Table 4. Average Percent Establishment of Forage Crops ryegrass established best across Across Locations Compared to Fallow & Tilled Check, planting methods. Although at 1999 and 2000 StruxnessJs, smooth bromegrass )=064F0;4 established better in areas where rye 57=6A0. )<G0 Rye Not Rye Not Rye Rye Grazed, Grazed, No Grazed, Grazed, No was planted. Glyphosate Herbicide Glyphosate Herbicidej There were no consistent impacts of graZing or herbicide use detected on Cool Season Grasses 59* 50 57 38 perennial forage crop establishment Cool Season Legumes 77 77 89 51 when cereal rye was planted. * Stands were visually estimated using a 0-9 scale with 0=no plants and 9=full stand.j Warm season grasses did not establish 1Numbers are the percent establishment compared to fallow and tilled check well in the first year at any location. averaged across two planting locations, either Struxness 1999 and WCROC 2000 or Warm-season grasses can be slow to Edlund 2000 and WCROC 2000. establish and may thicken with time at these locations.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 38. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Cuomo —— 39 In almost all instances, these forage crops established better Project Location in tilled ground than with any combination of cereal rye and glyphosate use. One reason why perennial forage crop Contact Greg Cuomo at WCROC for project locations. establishment was reduced when planted into cereal rye compared to fallow ground may have been due to early Other Resources competition of the rye with the forage crop seedlings. Alderfer, R., et al. 1992. 4==$;29% *=% +7#76$+$#2% *=% 7 Although there was less competition for moisture in ?-#2$5%51$%;*C$5%;5*,%9192$+%*#%657-#%1-$./B%?$$/%;*#25*.B midsummer when using cereal rye as a companion crop, 7C7-.70.$%9*-.%?72$5B%7#/%#$2%5$2"5#%,$5%7;5$%-#%;*5#%7#/ competition between the rye and the seedlings may still 9*10$7#9E Unpublished. Contact Greg Cuomo, WCROC, come at a critical time resulting in reduced establishment. Morris, MN, 320-589-1711. Even in the areas where rye was planted, there were weed :,,5*,5-72$%F$;3#*.*61%F57#9=$5%=*5%a"57.%:5$79%S:FFa:T. infestations. In the fallow and plowed areas, a heavy stand P. O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702, 800-346-9140. of foxtail developed but did not reduce forage crop Website: establishment to the levels in the cereal rye plots. Foxtail Extensive material on non-chemical weed control for row tends to emerge and grow later in the summer which may crops. have given the seedlings in the fallow areas adequate time to get started ahead of the weed competition. Although University of Saskatchewan. @-#2$5% 51$% ,5*/";2-*#E comparisons were not made in these experiments, it appears Available at: that cereal rye presents competition to establishing perennial wintergcereals/wintergrye/cvrye.htm forage crops similar to other cover crops. As such, cereal rye did not offer any obvious benefits for establishment. Warnes, D., et al. 1990. 4==$;2%*=%,5$;-,-272-*#%*#%23$%"9$ *=% ?-#2$5% 51$% 79% 7#% 7..$.*,723-;% ;*C$5% ;5*,% -#% 9*10$7# Cooperators ,5*/";2-*#E Unpublished. Contact Greg Cuomo, WCROC, A7#%7#/%P-991%825"W#$99B Appleton, MN Morris, MN, 320-589-1711. A*#%825"W#$99B%Milan, MN Q$a*1%4/."#/B%Cyrus, MNGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 39. 40 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • FernholzTechniques for More Efficient Utilization of Vetch Corna Vetch Cover Crop for Corn Production Project Summary stubble seeded to vetch. cetch will be Principal incorporated by disk prior to corn planting. Post- Hairy vetch has shown potential as a green Investigator planting weed control will be provided by row manure to add biological nitrogen for fall soil Carmen FernholZ cover for weed suppression through allelopathy cultivation. Route 2, Box 9A (some plants release toxic substances Madison, MN (allelochemicals) into the immediate 3. a$/";$/%F-..76$%c$2;3%8192$+%(H Corn will 56256 environment of other plants) and for inter-row be planted in late May into fall chiseled wheat 320-598-3010 competition with weeds. Establishment of vetch stubble seeded to vetch. cetch in early to full Lac lui Parle has been successful with seeding in late summer bloom will be suppressed (in late May) by rolling County after a small grain crop. The question that with cultipacker or similar implement prior to Carmen would like to answer is how can he best corn planting. cetch mulch will be relied upon utiliZe vetch seeded following a small grain crop for weed control in corn. Project to reduce the energy costs of corn production Duration related to inputs of fertiliZer, fuel and labor. He 4. a$/";$/%F-..76$%c$2;3%8192$+%&H Corn will would like to identify combinations of be planted in late May into fall chiseled wheat 1999 to 2002 stubble seeded to vetch. cetch in early to full management practices that 1) allow the greatest utiliZation of biologically fixed nitrogen, and 2) bloom will be suppressed (in late May) by rolling ESAP Contact allow reduced tillage while maintaining with cultipacker or similar implement prior to Jean Ciborowski satisfactory weed control in an organic vetch corn planting. Additional suppression of vetch 651-297-3217 based system. and weeds will be provided by one or more passes with a spring tooth harrow modified to Project Description prevent crop damage. Harrow adjustments and Keywords modifications will knock down vetch leaving In August, 2000, following a crop of spring substantial living and dead mulch. allelopathy, wheat, about five acres of wheat stubble was biologically fixed chisel plowed and hairy vetch was broadcast In treatments one through four, no fertiliZers will nitrogen, green over the tilled ground at a rate of 15 lb/A. In be applied because this is an organic system and manure, hairy vetch, the spring of 2001, the vetch will be evaluated Carmen wants to test whether or not it will work small grains for growth and survivability. Corn will be without fertiliZer. planted in 30” rows into the vetch to assess the contribution of the vetch cover crop to nitrogen 5. Z*% c$2;3B% Q-C$92*;V% P7#"5$% :,,.-$/ and weed control in corn production. Control F5$72+$#2H Corn will be planted in late May plots using cultivation for weed control will be into fall chiseled wheat stubble. Weed control included in the experimental design. Weed in corn will consist of row cultivation. control, crop and vetch development will be monitored throughout the season. 6. ^-63% F-..% c$2;3% F5$72+$#2% ?-23% Q-C$92*;V P7#"5$H%Corn will be planted in late May into Eight treatments will be replicated three times. fall chiseled wheat stubble seeded to vetch. Each treatment consists of 12 rows that are 200J cetch will be incorporated by disk prior to corn long and 30J wide. The treatments include: planting. Weed control will consist of row cultivation. 1. Z*%c$2;3B%Z*%Q-C$92*;V%P7#"5$%)3$;VH Corn will be planted in late May into fall chiseled 7. a$/";$/% F-..76$% c$2;3% 8192$+% (% ?-23 wheat stubble. Weed control in corn will consist Q-C$92*;V%P7#"5$H Corn will be planted in late of row cultivation. May into fall chiseled wheat stubble seeded to vetch. cetch in early to full bloom will be 2. ^-63% F-..% c$2;3% F5$72+$#2H Corn will be suppressed (in late May) by rolling with planted in late May into fall chiseled wheat cultipacker or similar implement prior to cornGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 40. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Fernholz —— 41 planting. cetch mulch will be relied upon for weed control germinate. If seeded in mid- to late August, the moist cool in corn. conditions will allow the plants to grow and develop adequate root systems before freeZe-up. This also helps 8. a$/";$/%F-..76$%c$2;3%8192$+%&%?-23%Q-C$92*;V%P7#"5$H in winter survival, especially if there is minimal snow cover. Corn will be planted in late May into fall chiseled wheat stubble seeded to vetch. cetch in early to full bloom will 2. If the management practice is to spread vetch seed over be suppressed (in late May) by rolling with cultipacker or the top of chisel plowed wheat stubble, a precautionary similar implement prior to corn planting. Additional measure might be to harrow the seed immediately. This suppression of vetch and weeds will be provided by one allows even minimal rain showers to help germinate the or more passes with a modified spring tooth harrow. seed that will have been lightly covered by soil from the harrow. Carmen neglected to harrow his fall seeding and In treatments five through eight, manure will be spring even though there were some significant fall showers, none applied at an approximate rate of 4,000 gal/A. were adequate to get the germination started until late in October when there were three days of heavy rains. At Results this point, the vetch germinated. Now Carmen is wondering if the vetch had adequate growing time before freeZe up. Plots were set up and seeded in August, 2000. There has been significant snow cover that may be helpful Unfortunately, it was very dry from the time of seeding in protecting the vetch from cold temperatures. through late October. It was only after some significant rains in late October that the seeded vetch finally began Cooperators to sprout. The vetch began to emerge when the colder, sub-freeZing temperatures arrived. Carmen is still in doubt _$C-#% U$229% b% A*#% >/$B Perennial Weed Management as to whether any of the newly sprouted vetch will survive Project, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, over the winter because of its tender state of growth at University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN the time of freeZe up. Carmen will evaluate the plots in 8"927-#70.$%75+-#6%:99*;-72-*# the spring once the snow has melted. Project Location Management Tips CarmenJs farm is located 1s miles east of Madison on 1. cetch, although it can be planted quite shallow or spread MN Hwy 40. on the top of the soil, still needs cool, moist weather toGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 41. 42 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hansen, Mike FencesLiving Snow Fences for ImprovedPasture Production Project Summary This project looks at the design, planting and Principal monitoring of living snow fences in an attempt Three Coteau Ridge livestock farmers are to distribute snow evenly across the landscape. Investigator planting living snow fences (tree windbreaks The hope is that the insulating properties of Mike Hansen designed to even out snow cover). The goal is evenly distributed snow will lead to the following RR 2, Box 173 to capture snow water, reduce pasture forage benefits: Hendricks, MN winterkill, and lengthen the graZing season. Over 56136 the past three years windbreak seedling j increased survival and early spring growth 507-694-1825 establishment has been hampered by very dry of forages, especially susceptible legumes Lincoln County weather and grasshopper infestations. The j greater spring recharge of soil moisture farmers are searching for alternative measures j less runoff and downstream flooding Project to protect the young plantings. j more favorable (warm and humid) Duration microclimate for forage during the growing Project Description season 1998 to 2000 Living snow fences have great potential to j reduced wind-chill on livestock, reducing ESAP Contact benefit livestock and pasture production in stress and feed requirements southwestern Minnesota. Many farmers within j increased window for winter graZing of Mark ^umwinkle stockpiled forage the Coteau Ridge Sustainable Farming 651-282-6204 Association have been moving away from corn- soybeans row cropping. The Coteau Ridge is Results Keywords minimally suited to the corn-soybean rotation HIIJ< Living snow fences were planted on the given the steeply sloping topography and the pasture Mike Hansen farm, the Jim Sovell farm and the drier, colder climate in relation to adjacent areas improvement, water Rolling Acres farm. All three farms are located of southwestern Minnesota. As an alternative, cycle, windbreaks on hilly ground in the Ivanhoe, MN area. In farmers are focusing on livestock production early June, we planted single row living snow (beef, hogs and sheep) and the establishment fences of Siberian larch every 300J through the and maintenance of high quality pastures. pastures. The rows run east and west and are used as paddock dividers. Livestock fences Looking southwest from the Mike Hansen farm, have been installed ten feet on either side of each one can see the expanding development of wind newly seeded tree row. Siberian larch was generators on the Coteau Ridge. This is chosen because it loses its needles in the fall. consistently one of the windiest regions in the nation. A major obstacle to pasture development on the Coteau Ridge is the tendency for snow to blow across the landscape and accumulate in lee areas. This leaves large areas barren of snow and subject to severe winter temperatures. Along with the freeZe-out of both grasses and legumes, lack of snow cover delays spring soil warm up and Snow captured by young eastern red cedar thus delays spring graZing. windbreak after a 60 mph Alberta clipperGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 42. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hansen, Mike —— 43 This means that in winter, the snow fence would be partially by surrounding woods that help hold snow cover in place. open, allowing some distribution of snow. In summer, We found evidence for this in the few surviving seedlings leaves would more extensively block the wind, creating a on our farms. The surviving Siberian larch are all located warmer microclimate with less evapotranspiration. in landscape positions where snow accumulated and prevented desiccation. A single row windbreak in an adjacent field was planted on each farm to a variety of fruit and nut trees to test for In an attempt to protect the young seedlings from wind and survivability of trees that might produce a cash crop. This lack of snow cover, four rows of field corn were planted row consisted of haZelnut and caragana on all farms and upwind from the trees. However, extensive graZing by deer Manchurian apricot (on the Hansen farm) or Freedom prevented the corn from protecting the new plantings. We honeysuckle (on the Sovell farm). The Sovells also planted want to try this concept again using tall wheatgrass instead a windbreak of eastern red cedar and Black Hills spruce. of field corn. In order to facilitate even snow distribution across the field, the distance between plants in the row was expanded to KLLLS As of early spring, we had effectively no topsoil or one and one-half times the normal spacing (the trees were subsoil moisture. We eventually received 15.9” of planted 30J apart). We hope that the semi-permeable precipitation this year compared to an average of 23”. Our windbreak created by the single rows and wide spacing in attempt to establish windbreaks over the last three years the row will prevent excessive snow buildup immediately should be considered a worst case scenario. The species down-wind from the trees. that have survived should do even better under more normal precipitation and snow cover conditions. The species that All tree seedlings were hand planted into the sod after continue to appear to be most adaptable to our harsh opening a hole with a post hole auger. A mechanical tree conditions are the eastern red cedar, Freedom honeysuckle planter would have created continuous furrows up and down and Black Hills spruce (Table 1). Saskatoon serviceberries the slope, exposing hilly land to erosion. Tree mats were were planted last year and survived well. used to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. We observed an unexpected Table 1. Windbreak Seedling Survival Rates on the Rolling drawback to the use of the weed Acres and Jim Sovell Farms as of Fall 2000 suppressing mats. The mats are dark DG0?>01 /774. D47?C. H7;:>4>7; D2=P>P63. /640 colored and warm and attract insects on 64. 936;4>;A R cool summer nights. Grasshoppers Siberian Larch Bare root 0 spending the night on the mats are likely to eat the closest food, that being the Hazelnut Bare root 0 young saplings, early the following Manchurian Apricot Bare root 50 morning. Nanking Cherry Bare root 50 Saskatoon Serviceberry Bare root 100 Sapling survival in the first year was Caragana (Siberian Peashrub Bare root 20 disappointing. The combination of a Black Hills Spruce Potted 60 two year drought and a grasshopper infestation took a toll on the new Eastern Red Cedar Potted 100 plantings. The larch, haZelnut and Eastern Red Cedar Bare root 0 caragana were severely damaged but the Freedom Honeysuckle Bare root 100 Freedom honeysuckle, Black Hills spruce and eastern red cedar survived and performed very well. Eventually, when adequate rainfall allows the saplings to develop to a height of five feet, the effectiveness of the HIII<$ This was our third dry year in a row. Spaces where plantings as a windbreak will be monitored through the saplings did not survive the first year were replanted in following series of measurements: 1999. The Siberian larch saplings do not seem to be able to withstand our harsh climate without added protection. j snow depth and distribution The plants exposed to cold temperatures without snow j soil temperature and moisture through the growing cover did not survive the winter. Cold temperatures alone season are likely not the culprit. Siberian larch can thrive in even j forage composition, ground cover and yield more northerly regions than ours but they are usually aidedGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 43. 44 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hansen, MikeThese measurements will be taken on a transect Cooperatorsperpendicular to each snow fence to map the windbreakeffect across the field. a-;375/%7#/%!*$%a*..-#6, Ivanhoe, MN !-+%8*C$.., Ivanhoe, MNWe are excited about the survival of the eastern red cedar,Black Hills spruce, Freedom honeysuckle, and Saskatoon Project Locationserviceberry. We will be planting more of these species as From Ivanhoe, go west on Hwy 19 to the intersection ofsoon as weather allows. The spruce and cedar were the Hwys 19 and 75. Go exactly 4 miles west on Hwy 19 andonly species purchased as potted nursery stock. For larger turn south on gravel road for 1-1/2 miles. The Hansenplantings, the cost of potted stock is prohibitive. We paid farm is on the left.o5.00 for potted stock versus o.20 for saplings. Other ResourcesManagement Tips )72;3-#6% 23$% 8#*?% ?-23% Q-C-#6% 8#*?% $#;$9E 1999.1. Potted seedling stock withstands harsh conditions better Publication MI-7311-S. University of Minnesota Extensionthan bare root seedlings. Service, St. Paul, MN, 612-625-8173.2. For large plantings, continual water hauling is too labor Q*;7.%8*-.%7#/%@72$5%)*#9$5C72-*#%A-925-;2%*==-;$Eintensive. Rely instead on physical protection forestablishment.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 44. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hansen, Neil —— 45Land Application of Mortality Compost Waterto Improve Soil and Water Quality Project Summary has high fertility and can produce good pasture Principal when moisture is adequate. However, it is very In cooperation with the Minnesota Department susceptible to dry conditions and graZing on this Investigator of Agriculture, an animal mortality composting soil is limited by low forage production during Neil C. Hansen facility was constructed at the West Central summer months. University of Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Minnesota Morris, MN. Educational programs conducted For this demonstration, soil moisture was West Central at the WCROC composting facility have compared between compost amended and control Research and generated substantial interest among livestock plots with three replications each. Plots were Outreach Center producers in the use of mortality composting. 10J x 20J in siZe. Compost amended plots State Hwy 329 However, concern is often expressed over use received a 40 T/A (dry basis) application of Morris, MN 56267 of the finished compost material. This concern compost on May 12, 2000. The compost was 320-589-0397 surrounds issues of odor, aesthetics and safety. incorporated with a chisel plow to a depth of The purpose of this project was to demonstrate five inches. The control plots were similarly Project how land application of finished mortality plowed on the same date. The site was seeded Duration compost could enhance selected soils within a to a mixture of alfalfa (12 lb/A) and bromegrass landscape. Specifically, we demonstrated the (6 lb/A) on June 1, 2000. Weekly soil moisture 1999 to 2001 effects of target applying compost to a sandy determinations were made throughout the soil in an attempt to improve soil moisture and summer to assess the impact of the compost ESAP Contact to an eroded soil to reduce runoff and erosion. application on moisture holding capacity. Mark ^umwinkle 651-282-6204 Project Description *.-#K< The objective at this site was to compare runoff water quality and soil erosion from plots At WCROC, we have successfully fertiliZed with compost and conventional Keywords demonstrated mortality composting of sheep, fertiliZer. Several studies have shown that fresh swine, and cattle. The composting is mortality compost, manure application to eroded soils can increase accomplished using solid barn bedding material phosphorus, infiltration and reduce the resulting runoff. It as the co-composting material. The bedding sediment, soil was anticipated that compost would provide a provides both the carbon and nitrogen needed moisture similar effect. in the composting process. The finished compost is being land applied at the following The Edlund farm is a row crop and cow/calf two sites. farm that also produces alfalfa hay for sale and *.-# H< The objective at this site was to demonstrate the value of land applying compost to a sandy soil to improve moisture holding capacity. The site chosen for the demonstration was in the WCROC sheep pasture research area. The site has a Sioux Gravely Sandy Loam soil. This is a common soil type in the Pomme de Terre River The animal mortality composting facility at the valley and is commonly West Central Research and Outreach Center used for pasture. The soilGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 45. 46 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hansen, Neilfeeding. The demonstration site is on a Barnes-Langhei approximately 3m higher in the compost amended plots.Loam with an 8m slope. The site is part of the Chippewa For a 10” depth, this amounts to approximately 0.5” moreRiver basin. This soil was formed in glacial moraine, is available water for the crop. The higher moisture holdingwell drained, strongly calcareous, and subject to erosion. capacity is due to the increase in soil organic matter fromThe site was cropped to alfalfa prior to the demonstration. the applied compost. Organic matter levels increased fromAt this site the fertiliZer and compost application rates were 6.5m to 7.7m. It is anticipated that the increase in moisturecalculated to supply phosphorus, since soil potassium holding capacity will translate into an increase in foragelevels were very high. production. However, due to the late seeding date and to high weed pressure in 2000, a yield comparison was notThe treatments at this site were mortality compost and possible. A yield comparison will be made in the summerconventional phosphate fertiliZer, each replicated three of 2001.times. Mortality compost was applied at a rate of 4.5 T/A(dry basis). Assuming an 80m availability of phosphorus *.-#K< Due to lower than normal precipitation, the soilin compost, the available phosphorus application rate was was very dry at the time of the rain simulations, resulting105 lb/A. An equivalent amount of phosphorus was applied in very low runoff amounts. There were no statisticalto the conventional fertiliZer treatment. Compost and differences in runoff, total phosphorus loss, or sedimentfertiliZer were incorporated with a tractor mounted rototiller loss between the compost and conventional fertiliZerand alfalfa was seeded on June 8, 2000 at a rate of treatment (Table 2). This did not confirm our hypothesis12 lb/A. that the mortality compost would reduce runoff and contaminant transport relative to fertiliZer as has beenSimulated rainfall events were conducted for all plots at observed for manure in similar studies. The effects of thesite 2 on August 17-18, 2000. The rain event was 2.0”/hr two treatments on alfalfa yield will be determined in 2001.for 1.2 hr. The rate of runoff was determined every tenminutes throughout the event and water samples were *+55($&< Mortality composting is a low cost methodcollected for analysis at the same times. Samples were that generates little or no odor and recycles nutrients into aanalyZed for total phosphorus and total sediment useful by-product. Mortality composting can be doneconcentrations. using materials available on the farm. In the WCROC compost facility, sheep, swine, and cattle mortalities haveResults been successfully composted using solid barn bedding material as the co-composting material. In this project,The finished compost generated at WCROC was analyZed we demonstrated the usefulness of finished compost forto determine its nutrient content. The compost had 49m targeted application on the farm. Applying compost to amoisture and had a carbon to nitrogen ration of 25:1. This sandy soil increased soil organic matter content and wateris an ideal C:N for compost and illustrates the effectiveness holding capacity. Compost did not reduce runoff fromof mortality composting with the solid barn bedding material the eroded site. iield comparisons at both sites will beproduced on the farm. The compost contained a good done in 2001.balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, andpotassium (Table 1). We have no odor Table 1. Elemental Analysis of Mortality Compost Producedproblem associated with the at the West Central Research and Outreach Centercomposting process, but flies have been U04. B61>1. K3EL47;N U04.B61>1.KRNa challenge at times. Total Nitrogen 20 1.0 Total Carbon 500 25*.-#H< Soil moisture varied widely over Phosphate (P205) 28 1.2the summer of 2000. Early summer Potassium (K20) 27 1.0conditions were wet and the soilmoisture was near field capacity. Belownormal precipitation in late summer Table 2. Comparison of the Effects of Compost andresulted in a steady decrease in soil Conventional Fertilizer on Runoff and Contaminantmoisture, reaching a minimum of about Losses from Simulated Rainfall15m by mid-August. Soil moisture was )=064F0;4 /2;7OO . K>;N )7463. 9@71G@7=21. K3EL+N D0:>F0;4. K3EL+Nhigher for the compost amended plots Compost 0.11 0.09 58throughout the summer. During the dry Fertilizer 0.13 0.10 66periods, soil moisture wasGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 46. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hansen, Neil —— 47 Management Tips Project Location 1. Maintaining a compost temperature of at least 130° for The University of Minnesota WCROC is east of the two weeks is sufficient to eliminate pathogens. University of Minnesota, Morris campus and just off of State Hwy 59 on the left. 2. When compost is available in limited quantity, it can be targeted to soils with low water holding capacity. Other Resources Cooperators Glanville, Thomas Dean. 1996. )*+,*92-#6% /$7/ .-C$92*;VH%:%#$?%9*."2-*#%2*%7#%*./%,5*0.$+E Publication U-..%^$7/, Department of Animal Science and WCROC, No. SA-8. Iowa State University, Ames, IA. University of MinnesotaGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 47. 48 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hart Conservation FieldsSoil Conser vation of Canning Crop Fields Project Summary tillage, seeding and cover crop options (see Principal Table 1) There were over 35,000 acres of peas and sweet Investigator corn planted in southeastern Minnesota this year. We are evaluating the test strips by comparing Andy Hart Most of these acres are left open to wind and the residue or ground cover available to reduce R., C. and A. Hart water erosion for seven to ten months out of the wind and water erosion. The greater the ground Farms year. For example, an early pea crop may be cover, the better the soil erosion protection. This 10723 Cty. planted in mid-April and harvested in mid-June. coming spring, we will plant this entire field to Rd. 11 NE This field is then left untouched and exposed to field corn using a no-till planter. Next fall we Elgin, MN 55932 erosion until the following April. By including will do corn yield comparisons on the ten strips. Olmsted County a cover crop after pea harvest, we can protect We believe the strips with the cover crops will the soil, build organic matter, and encourage show higher corn yields Project earthworm activity, providing a loose soil Duration condition for the next yearJs crop. A good soil Results condition allows us to use no-till in the following 2000 to 2003 crops of field corn and soybeans. All of the cover crop strips developed significant ESAP Contact stands in the fall of 2000. Ground cover Our goal for this project is an attempt to expand increased from August 31 to October 15 Mark ^umwinkle the practice of cover cropping in vegetable crop sufficiently enough to protect our soil (Table 651-282-6204 fields, specifically in sweet corn and peas. We 2). Ground cover in the cover crop strips ranged want to show how cover crops can reduce soil from 60m to 90m but ranged from only 15m to erosion and promote land stewardship. We want 41m without cover crops. The only visually Keywords to investigate the potential for cover crops to noticeable soil erosion occurred in the pea plots positively affect yields of the next yearJs crops. without cover crops. Since all establishment cover crops, soil conservation, options performed quite well, we feel it makes vegetable Project Description sense to encourage the use of the lower cost production methods. For example, seeding barley with an This project was initiated in 2000 by planting air flow fertiliZer spreader provided adequate test strips of oat and barley cover crops after ground cover at the lowest cost (o6.25/A). sweet corn and peas. We know that the cost of establishment of the cover crops is a major impediment to adoption of this practice so we tried to establish these plots at a low cost. The treatments were chosen to highlight several establishment options available to area farmers. We can then compare the quality of the stand to the cost of establishment. In all, ten test strips were set up including: j two checks with no tillage or planting j one conventional check, disked and left Cover crop test strips of barley and oats planted unplanted after canning peas and sweet corn j seven combinations ofGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 48. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Hart —— 49 Compaction is a common problem when Table 1. Cost of Establishment of Oat and Barley Cover Crops raising canning crops. In two of the test Using Several Different Tillage and Seeding strips we are comparing fall chisel Equipment Combinations (Dollars/A Based on plowing to the use of a DMI deep ripper Custom Hire Rates) just prior to planting the cover crop as ways to alleviate compaction. This )>336A0 D00:>;A H7P0= VW2>GF0;4 H714 VW2>GF0;4 H714 H=7G H714 )7463 year, the midsummer deep tillage produced a good cover crop and none 0.00 none 0.00 none 0.00 0.00 avoided exposing soil in the fall. In disk 10.00 none 0.00 none 0.00 10.00 none 0.00 regular grain drill 8.00 oats 2.25 10.25 comparison, the fall chisel plowing disk 10.00 regular grain drill 8.00 oats 2.25 20.25 dramatically reduced the cover crop none 0.00 no-till grain drill 12.00 oats 2.25 14.25 benefit, reducing cover to 30m. fall chisel plow 10.00 no-till grain drill 12.00 oats 2.25 24.25 DMI deep 10.00 no-till grain drill 12.00 oats 2.25 24.25 In addition to this demonstration, we ripper planted 27 fields in two counties totaling disk 10.00 air flow fertilizer 5.00 barley 1.25 16.25 more than 1,500 acres this year to cover spreader crops after harvesting peas or sweet none 0.00 air flow fertilizer 5.00 barley 1.25 6.25 spreader corn. Oats and barley were used until September 1 when a switch was made 1 Oats and barley seeded at 1 bu/A to winter rye. The winter rye will make a good stand in late fall. It will not Table 2. Fall 2000 Ground Cover After Peas & Sweet Corn winterkill and provides a good living with Oat & Barley Cover Crops Using Several cover in the following spring. We Different Tillage & Seeding Equipment Combinations believe these 1,500 acres of cover crops H7P0=. KRN planted across a diversity of farm )>336A0 D00:>;A H7P0= *;.+2A214.X *;.*?47E0=.- landscapes show that this system can VW2>GF0;4 VW2>GF0;4 H=7G +O40= +O40= +O40= +O40= be adapted to any farm. 9061 H7=; 9061 H7=; none none none 30 49 25 41 Management Tips disk none none 18 28 15 23 none regular grain drill oats 32 60 95 95 1. Plant the cover crop as early as disk regular grain drill oats 25 50 98 98 possible after harvest, even if the soil none no-till grain drill oats 35 60 95 95 is dry. It takes very little moisture to fall chisel plow no-till grain drill oats 34 60 25 30 get good germination. DMI deep no-till grain drill oats 32 56 97 97 ripper disk air flow fertilizer barley 22 38 85 90 2. DonJt be afraid to shop around for a spreader good price on cover crop seed. none air flow fertilizer barley 31 51 60 85 spreader Cooperators 1 Oats and barley seeded at 1 bu/A A7C$% QE% )*,$.7#/B NRCS District Conservationist, Olmstead County, MN Project Location From Rochester, go north on US Hwy 63 for 5 miles to Olmsted Cty Rd 21. Turn right (east). Travel 2 miles on Cty Rd 21 to Cty Rd 128. The plot is located in the NW corner of the intersection of Olmsted Cty Rds 21 and 128.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 49. 50 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • HeimpelBiological Control of AlfalfaBlotch Leafminer Project Summary for release in Minnesota. The second site was Principal in Minnesota where releases were made. The primary goal of GeorgeJs project was to Investigator introduce and release a parasitoid of the alfalfa C400#2-.4",."M"-($.4< Parasitoid collections George E. Heimpel blotch leafminer (ABLM) into Minnesota alfalfa were made in two adjacent alfalfa fields at an Department of fields. The recent invasion of the alfalfa blotch agricultural experiment station of the University Entomology leafminer into Minnesota apparently occurred of Guelph located in Winchester, Ontario. Each University of without simultaneous invasion of the parasitoid, field was approximately two acres in siZe. Minnesota Dacnusa dryas (D. dyras), and leafminer George collected approximately 2,000 pupae and 1980 Folwell Ave. damage has been high in some areas of the state reared them on 116 plastic petri dishes in groups 219 Hodson Hall as a result. This parasitoid has been released ranging between 6 and 25 per petri dish at 22°C,St. Paul, MN 55108 in the eastern U. S. and Canada from Europe, with 16 hours of light and eight hours of dark, 612-624-3480 and has provided excellent biological and 65m x 10m R.H. The dishes were checked of alfalfa blotch leafminer in those areas. for emergence of ABLM flies and their Ramsey County GeorgeJs objective was to repeat that experience parasitoids until no more emergence was in Minnesota. observed. Project Duration By releasing D. dryas in the state, George hoped E#0#(,#, ." ?.""#,4-(< Releases of the 1998 to 2000 to alleviate the need for growers to apply parasitoids (D. dryas), collected from the above pesticides to alfalfa fields. Such applications fields, were done in an alfalfa field in Ham Lake, ESAP Contact not only pose environmental and health risks, MN (Anoka County). The field is owned by but also endanger the currently successful Gary Sullivan and the alfalfa is mainly sold as Jean Ciborowski biological control of alfalfa weevil and pea horse feed. Releases were done within four 651-297-3217 aphids from which growers benefit. large field cages (2 x 2 x 2 m) at the Sullivan farm on June 7, 1999. Releases in these cages Project Description were needed because the rest of the field had Keywords been mowed at this time. The alfalfa under The main objective of this project was to alfalfa, alfalfa the cages supported a moderate infestation of establish the parasitoid D. dryas in Minnesota blotch leafminer ABLM. One-hundred and twenty D. dryas in order to control populations of the ABLM, a(ABLM), biological were released into each cage (approximately pest of alfalfa that invaded Minnesota in 1994. control, 90m of these were females). The cages were Populations of this pest increased alarmingly Chrysocharis removed one week after the release. ABLM wasliriomyZae, Dacnusa between 1994 and 1999, prompting some dryas, parasitoid growers to use insecticides. These chemical inputs not only represent financial and time costs to the farmer, but they put at risk currently successful biological control of the alfalfa weevil and one or more aphid species in alfalfa. The work was conducted at two sites. The first site was in Ontario where George in insect rearing lab parasitoids were collectedGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 50. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Heimpel —— 51 sampled in the subsequent generation along transects Cooperators originating from the release sites. Samples of ABLM larvae were taken 10, 50, 100, and 250 meters from the release 57#;*-9%P$.*;3$B%Agriculture Canada Eastern Cereals and sites and larvae were reared out in the lab to determine Oilseeds Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada parasitism rate. !*3#% `7C.*9V-B Manitoba Agriculture Soils and Crops Branch, Manitoba, Canada N.,24:#$& 4; ( "#9 1FA? >($(,.-4.) ." ?.""#,4-(< `751%8"..-C7#B%Ham Lake, MN During GeorgeJs collections in Minnesota, he discovered @E%AE%^"2;3-9*#B%a*0%c$##$2$B%%45-;%U"5V#$99B%b%!*#7237# that a parasitoid previously unknown in Minnesota was Q"#/65$#B Department of Entomology, University of parasitiZing ABLM. This is Chrysocharis liriomyZae Minnesota (previously known as C. punctifacies), a species that was A7C-/%^*66%b%F-+*231%A7C-9, Department of Entomology, introduced into the Eastern U. S. in the 1970Js. This species University of Wisconsin became established there, but it is unclear what role it a*0$52% @-$/$#+7#, Center for Economic Entomology, played in biological control of ABLM in that area. The Champaign, Illinois fact that he found it parasitiZing ABLM in Minnesota !*3#% d051;V-, Department of Entomology, Iowa State suggests that it has migrated here from the Eastern U. S. University Apparently, this is a more mobile species than D. dryas, which is not present in Minnesota (apart from this release). Project Location Contact George Heimpel for directions to release site. Results and Observations Releases of D. dryas were done in the summer of 1999 in Other Resources Anoka County and George had determined during that Heimpel, G.E. 2000. :.=7.=7% 0.*2;3% .$7=+-#$5% ",/72$H season that reproduction of D. dryas had occurred. His U-*.*6-;7.% ;*#25*.% 23$% 0$92% .*#6I2$5+% *,2-*#. Forage goal in the summer of 2000 was to determine whether Clippings 7: 1-2. these parasitoids had overwintered. Samples from 2000 revealed that D. dryas had successfully overwintered in Lundgren, J.G., R.C. cenette, J. Gavloski, W.D. Hutchison Minnesota. Parasitism levels were low (y5m), however, and G.E. Heimpel. 1999. A-925-0"2-*#%*=%23$%$W*2-;%,$92B and the parasitoid that he discovered in Anoka County in :65*+1]7%=5*#2$..7%SA-,2$57H%:65*+1]-/7$TB%-#%P7#-2*07B 1999 (C. liriomyZae) was dominant, with parasitism levels )7#7/7E Great Lakes Entomologist 32:177-184. Journal z30m at the Anoka site. George also sampled from an article documenting presence of ABLM in Manitoba. alfalfa field in Houston County, and found the same pattern: relatively high parasitism by C. liriomyZae and cenette R.C., W.D. Hutchison, E.C. Burkness, and P.b. no parasitism by D. dryas (no releases of D. dryas had OJRourke. :.=7.=7% U.*2;3% Q$7=+-#$5H% a$9$75;3% [,/72$E been made at this site). George plans to continue A$,752+$#2%*=%4#2*+*.*61B%[#-C$59-21%*=%P-##$9*27E A monitoring the overwintering and establishment of the pamphlet that describes the spread of ABLM. Available introduced parasitoid D. dryas. at RadcliffeJs IPM World Textbook: Management Tip Growers should use caution when applying pesticides against alfalfa pests due to the possible damage to parasitoids that may be present.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 51. 52 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • KoehlerTurkey Litter: More is Not Always Better urkey Project Summary the first year of the project. One farmer had the Principal turkey litter spread before the field plots were Turkey litter is a very valuable source of plant laid out so there were not any different rates of Investigator nutrients. However, the overuse of turkey litter applied. Another farmer used turkey litter Meierhofer Farms manure will overload the soil with phosphorus on a sweet corn field. The canning company c/o Jeff boehler causing environmental pollution. The over harvested this field so we had no way of 218 Wells St. application of livestock manure may lead to determining yield results. Belgrade, MN regulations on the amounts of manure that can 56312 be applied to farmersJ fields. The wise use of Dennis ^enner used the variable rates of turkey 320-254-8231 turkey litter is important so that farmers will litter but decided to switch to dry edible beans jeffku have land available to apply litter well into the as the crop on this field instead of corn. Dennis future. used the following turkey litter rates and fertiliZer combinations in the plots. Project In this project, we are trying to determine the Strip 1n5 tons turkey litter Duration optimum amounts of turkey litter to apply 100 lb starter without applying excess nutrients for crop Strip 2n3 tons turkey litter 2000 to 2002 needs. We will use late spring nitrate tests to 100 lb starter, 90 lb actual area determine if additional nitrogen is needed to Strip 3nNo turkey litter ESAP Contact complete the cropsJ nutrient needs. Farmers will 90 lb actual area Wayne Monsen be able to save money on fertiliZer costs with 651-282-2261 the use of turkey litter. The average corn grower The starter fertiliZer had an analysis of N-12, P- spends over o40/A for fertiliZer on corn. With 12, b-45, and S-8. The beans were planted on the use of turkey litter, farmers should be able May 15. The urea was side-dressed on June 15 Keywords to lower their fertiliZer costs by more than when the beans were between six and eight inches o10/A. tall. The field was cultivated to incorporate the phosphorus crediting, spring urea. nitrate tests, turkey Project Description litter application This is a group project between the Meierhofer The yields for the dry beans were the same for rates all three treatments in 2000. The added nutrients turkey farm and three area crop farmers. Meierhofer Farms produce approximately 4,000 and the costs for the turkey litter did not give tons of turkey litter annually and markets litter any added returns this first year. The cost of to area farmers. With the Belgrade Co-op, we five tons of turkey litter was o27.50/A and the are trying to determine how much manure to cost for three tons was o16.50 with the apply to crop fields. The three cooperating application rate of o2.50/A. farmers will provide two 20 acre fields each year for manure application trials. We plan to test the turkey litter on corn in 2001 and 2002. We hope to show the benefits in both Turkey litter will be bulk spread at three different yield and crop input savings. With the costs of rates: Zero, 3 tons/A, and 5 tons/A. The late nitrogen fertiliZer rising, turkey litter will be a spring soil test will be used to determine any good alternative to commercial fertiliZers. supplemental needs for nitrogen fertiliZer to supply crop needs. Management Tips 1. Take a look at the wise use of turkey litter Results because it is an environmentally sound nutrient We had hoped to get results in 2000 with management tool on your farm. different rates of turkey litter on corn. However, we did not get many results fromGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 52. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Koehler —— 53 2. The average corn grower spends over o40/A on fertiliZer. Other Resources With turkey litter and side-dress nitrogen, the cost can be under o30/A. Blackmer, Alfred. 1992. )3$;V%Z%.$C$.9%-#%+7#"5$%=*5 ;*5#=-$./9E Publication No. IC 478R3. Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 515-294-5247. Cooperators !$551%`5"0$5B Farmer, Belgrade, MN Blackmer, Alfred. 1998. Z-25*6$#% 7C7-.70-.-21% =5*+ F*+%a17#B%Certified Crop Consultant, Belgrade, MN *567#-;%=$52-.-]$59E Publication No. IC 478R8. Iowa State A$##-9%e$##$5B Farmer, Belgrade, MN University, Ames, IA, 515-294-5247. a*0$52%e$##$5B Farmer, Belgrade, MN Schmidt, M. A. 1992. $52-.-]-#6%;5*,.7#/%?-23%,*".251 Project Location +7#"5$E% Publication No. AGFO 5881. University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. Contact Jeff boehler at the Belgrade Co-op for directions to the farms involved in this project. Schmidt, M. A. 1998. P7#"5$%+7#76$+$#2%-#%P-##$9*27E Publication No. FO-3553-c. University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 53. 54 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • MullerUsing Nutrient Balances to Benefit armersFarmers and the Environment Project Summary nutrient inputs and identify nutrient leaks on their Principal farms. Excessive nutrients have become a serious issue Investigator with impacts on drinking water sources, fish The iardstick is innovative because it addresses Mark Muller habitat, and even the viability of fisheries in nutrient management from a different Institute for the Gulf of Mexico. The Minnesota River perspective. Instead of recommending specific Agriculture and Basin, and Mountain Lake in particular, has best management practices to farmers, the Trade Policy suffered from excessive nutrient inputs. iardstick only provides information on nutrient 2105 - 1st Ave. S. Mountain Lake has had two fish kills in recent flows specific to the farm. Instead of regulation Minneapolis, MN years due to excessive phosphorus. What was or persuasion, the iardstick uses information 55404 once one of the best fishing locations in southern to focus farmers on nutrient management. This 612-870-3420 Minnesota has been lost. Community members frequently opens the door for crop consultants are working to restore the lake to its prior http: // or extension educators to work more closely vitality. with the farmer. Project From 1996 to 1998, several farmers in the IATP, in cooperation with the Cottonwood Duration watershed assisted with the development of the County Soil and Water Conservation District, Nutrient Management iardstick (iardstick), a completed the iardstick worksheets on eight 1999 to 2000 bookkeeping tool designed to help farmers farms in the Mountain Lake area in the past understand and better utiliZe the flow of primary four years. All eight farms had corn and ESAP Contact nutrients on their farms. The iardstick, along soybeans as their primary crops. Three farms Wayne Monsen with soil tests and advice from crop consultants, raised hogs, two farms raised turkeys, one farm 651-282-2261 can help farmers find ways to reduce nutrient was a dairy, and two farms had no livestock. inputs. Four of the farms relied primarily on the individual farmer for labor while the other farms Keywords This project continued this education process had extensive hired labor. The average farm nutrient balances, of utiliZing the iardstick worksheets with eight siZe was approximately 350 acres. Nutrient participating farmers. The iardstick has proven Management to be an effective method for increasing farmer interest in nutrient management, both for Results iardstick, nutrient worksheets financial benefit and environmental protection. Each winter and spring, Dave Bucklin of Cottonwood County SWCD and Mark Muller Project Description of IATP went to each of the farms participating in the iardstick for at least one two-hour session. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy They discussed nutrient management and (IATP) started developing the Nutrient completed the iardstick forms. After the data Management iardstick for use in the Midwest was compiled and analyZed, they discussed the in 1996. The iardstick provides a simple results with the farmers and suggested ways of nutrient balance to help farmers better understand tightening nutrient flows. how nutrients flow on and off of their farm. IATP believes that there are considerable opportunities The iardstick worksheets gave the farmers a for farmers to reduce nutrient “leaks” on their good picture of where the nutrients move on their farm that will also save them money. The farms. Average nutrient flows for nitrogen, iardstick is a bookkeeping tool designed to help phosphorus, and potassium were determined on farmers understand and better utiliZe the flow of the six livestock farms for 1997 and 1998. primary nutrients on their farms. The iardstick, Nitrogen enters the farm from feed purchased, along with soil tests and advice from crop fertiliZer and manure, nitrogen fixing plants, and consultants, can help farmers find ways to reduce through rainfall (Figure 1). Nitrogen leaves theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 54. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Muller —— 55 farms through animal products, crops, Figure 1. Average Nitrogen Fluxes on Six Livestock Farms animals, and manure. Twenty-six in Cottonwood County, 1997 and 1998. percent of the nitrogen is either stored on the farm or lost to the environment. Phosphorus and potassium both enter the farms through feed inputs, fertiliZer and manure and leave the farms through animal products, crops, animals, manure, and lost to the environment (Figures 2 and 3). Thirteen percent of the phosphorus and 36m of the potassium is either stored on the farm or lost to the environment. The iardstick scores for the participating farms from 1997 to 1999 show decreases in excess phosphorus and potassium. However, there were increases in nitrogen scores from the Figure 2. Average Phosphorus Fluxes on Six Livestock Farms farms (Figure 4). This indicates that in Cottonwood County, 1997 and 1998. the farmers are incorporating the information they obtain from the iardstick program for phosphorus and potassium into their nutrient plans on their farms. However, since nitrogen scores rose during this time, farmers still feel the need to supply the crop with more nitrogen than the iardstick scores indicate is needed. The participating farmers used soil samples in conjunction with the iardstick to plan for the nutrient needs of the crops. Farmers determine the most cost-effective amount of nutrient application then apply the amount of Figure 3. Average Potassium Fluxes on Six Livestock Farms fertiliZer that will supply the crop in Cottonwood County, 1997 and 1998. nutrient needs and achieve the goal of very low amounts of nutrients being lost to the environment. The farmers were pleased with the yield results from 1997 to 2000 as they are very close to the average yields of farms in the area. The most important source for evaluation is farmer implementation of improved nutrient management practices. Participants are learning from the project and we have received lots of inquiries from other organiZations throughout the Midwest. IATP hasGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 55. 56 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Mullerworksheets and other materials Figure 4. Yardstick Scores for Nitrogen, Phosphorous, andavailable that farmers can obtain to use Potassium for Participating Farms, 1997 to 1998.for their farm nutrient managementplanning.One of the biggest hurdles to farmersadapting better nutrient managementpractices seems to be the fear ofreduced yields. “Green” insuranceprograms and other methods of reducingthe risk that farmers entail from reducingnutrient inputs may be a good next stepto getting greater participation in theiardstick and other nutrientmanagement programs.Management Tips1. The Nutrient Management iardstickis a series of worksheets that providesinformation on nutrient flows on a farm.The iardstick programs, over the courseof a few years, will help you see the trends of nutrient )*#9$5C72-*#% F$;3#*.*61% >#=*5+72-*#% )$#2$5Eflows on your farm. 765-494-9555. Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) is a2. The iardstick worksheets help you recogniZe both nonprofit, information and data transfer center that promotesfinancial and environmental concerns. environmentally and economically beneficial natural resource systems.3. The iardstick gives the farmer another piece ofinformation when making decisions on nutrient management. $$/92"==9% a$=$5$#;$% >99"$E% 2000. Miller Publishing Company, Minneapolis, MN. An annual publication that4. Rather than a prescriptive formula that tells a farmer contains detailed information on the animal feed and feedingwhat to do, the iardstick is a knowledge-building tool that industries, nutrient requirements of livestock and poultry,lets the farmer make his or her own decision. ingredient analysis data and an extensive buyers guide. Available by calling 800-441-1410 or on the web at:Cooperators U";V.-#B Cottonwood County Soil and Water Rehm, G., M. Schmitt, and R. Munter. 2001. $52-.-]$5 Conservation District 5$;*++$#/72-*#9%=*5%765*#*+-;%;5*,9%-#%P-##$9*27E MN!*#7237#%:/5-7#B%P-V$%:/5-7#B%:.C-#%A-;VB%82$C$#%A-;VB No. BU-6240-GO. University of Minnesota Extension Q7"5$#%^75/$5B%<3-.%^75/$5B%a*#7./%_.799$#%b%a*0$52 Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. Available at: <7#V572]B Farmers, Mountain Lake, MN DC6240.htmlProject Location Rehm G., M. Schmitt, J. Lamb, G. Randall, and L. Busman.Contact Mark Muller for directions to the farms involved 1998. [#/$5927#/-#6% ,3*9,3*5"9% =$52-.-]$59E MN this project. BU-6288-GO. University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. Available at:Other Resources DC6288.htmlBusch, D., L. Busman, and P. Nesse. 1998. A$C$.*,-#67% +7#"5$% +7#76$+$#2% ,.7#H% :% ,.7##-#6% 7#/% 5$;*5/V$$,-#6% 6"-/$E% MN No. BU-6957-D. University ofMinnesota Extension Service. St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 56. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Persons —— 57 PastureProgrammatic Approach to PastureRenovation for Cell Grazing Project Summary Results Principal Land that has been in the Conservation Reserve We chose to begin renovation on two sites. We Investigator Program (CRP) will be brought into production used five acres at each site. The first parcel Daniel Persons using cell graZing with a beef cow/calf herd and was on the home place, the upper half of a nine Rafter P Ranch stockers. The majority of the pastures will be acre field with steep slopes and a heavy thistle RR 1, Box 82 kept in the graZing cycle while renovations occur. infestation. The second was a 28.6 acre former bensington, MN Many of the renovations will deal with heavy CRP field that has sloping land and a gopher 56343 weed infestations and gophers. problem. Over time, the gophers in the CRP 320-589-1711 field were not as much of a problem as Project Description thistles on the home field. The gophers were Grant/Douglas probably the cheapest tillage we have. The grass Counties The Rafter P Ranch is a grass-based beef and was always the tallest around and on the top of sheep operation in West Central Minnesota. The the mounds. The thistles were so thick in the Project ranch consists of 480 acres of hay and graZing home field planned for renovation that the cattle Duration land set in the rolling hills along the Chippewa would not graZe the area, leaving a high River. The ranch is currently stocked with about percentage of the forage untouched. At both 2000 to 2002 70 stock cows and 50 ewes. Lambing occurs in sites, we used a field cultivator with 7” sweeps. February and calving occurs in April. Cows are This worked to knock down the gopher mounds ESAP Contact graZed from April 15 to November or December. and scratch a shallow seedbed. Mary Hanks 651-296-1277 Much of the land that is being graZed was former The seeding consisted of 50 lb each of crop ground that was seeded to alfalfa and orchardgrass, annual ryegrass, perennial orchardgrass in 1997. When we seeded the ryegrass, alfalfa and red clover seed mixed with Keywords ranch, we realiZed that we would have to fertiliZer and spread over ten acres. Seed was renovate it someday to maintain high quality spread by the co-op in early April followed by beef cow/calf, CRP pastures. In 1999, we rented 160 acres of former land, grass-based, a light dragging. In late summer, we made the CRP ground. This ground needed renovation decision to spray part of the new planting with a pasture renovation, and provided us with the impetus to do the rotational graZing, herbicide to control the thistle, sacrificing the additional renovation on the home place. Gopher legume plants to save the grass. We will sheep mounds, thistles, and rocks are particular reintroduce alfalfa and clover in the coming year problems we needed to deal with in the former where herbicide was applied in 2000 to control CRP areas. thistles. Because the ranch has a fixed livestock base, we wanted to do the renovation so that pastures were not removed from the graZing schedule. The renovation would have to be systematic and take place over a three year period or longer. Dan (far right) explains his pasture renovation plan GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 57. 58 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • PersonsThe results of the renovation are goodso far, with very good stands at both Table 1. Renovation Expenses per Acre, 2000sites. The home parcel was graZed three Y;G24 VZG0;10. G0=. +?=0times. About 100 animal units graZed Fertilizer (21N, 100P, 20K) $24.31this site on May 29 for two days, only Seed: 5 lb/A - $41.6050 days after it was seeded. The second Penlate orchardgrassparcel was clipped to a height of 6” Linn perennial ryegrassearly in June. About 100 animal units TetraMax perennial ryegrassgraZed this site for two days on June Hurricane annual ryegrass29. The two renovated pastures carried Columbia 2000 alfalfaabout 800 animal unit days or a total of Marathon red clover26 AUM (animal unit months) or 2.6 Chemical: 2 pt/A Curtail $9.23AUM/A for the year even though they Spray chemical $4.40had been worked to the point of bare Field cultivation: 4 passes @$6.00/A/pass $24.00ground in early April. This compares Apply fertilizer and plant seed $4.50to 3.27 to 3.82 AUM/A in 1999. Weare very pleased with the ability of these Drag fields: 3 passes @$4.25/A/pass $12.75renovated pastures to keep on producing )7463.H714.90=.+?=0 $!"M[-even during the establishment year.Renovation expenses are shown in Table 1. 2. Chemical control of thistles was worth the expense. The competition for nutrients is just too great and the cattleThe field cultivator did a fair job of knocking down the donJt like eating around them.gopher mounds but left a very fluffy seedbed. We thinkthis may have reduced our stands because poor seed 3. Make a light application of nitrogen in mid-June aftergermination resulted from poor seed to soil contact. Next seedlings are established. This should eliminate some ofyear, we are going to try to use a 12J box scraper to level the reduction in forage yields during the renovation year.gopher mounds early in the spring then use a no-till drillinstead of the field cultivator. CooperatorsWe also learned that we need to be more aware of our U5$22%d$.V$B Grant County Extension, Elbow Lake, MNfertility needs as we push the pastures to produce more 45-;%F"=2*#B Hoffman Co-op Agronomy Center,beef. We believe that nitrogen was limiting forage Hoffman, MNproduction on the renovated areas this year. We did not U-..%U$5#-#6B%Alexandria Technical College,fertiliZe for nitrogen even though the soil test called for at Alexandria, MNleast 60 lb. We plan a light application of nitrogen in mid- A$##-9% !*3#9*#B West Central Research and OutreachJune next year after the seedlings are established to add Center, Morris, MNsome vigor to the seedlings. `5$6%)"*+*B West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MNWe are trying to renovate the home sites without anyadditional fencing to see if it is feasible to renovate without Project Locationrestricting livestock access to the newly seeded areas. Therenovated area on the rented site has been fenced separately From Hoffman, MN at Hwy 55, go south on Grant Cty 5so that we can control livestock access. We will continue for 3-1/8 miles to the intersection with an unnumberedto compare these two approaches. township road on the left. Turn left. The driveway (which is 1/2 mile long) is 3/4 mile on the right. Or, fromIn 2001, we plan to renovate another 15 acres at two bensington, at Hwy 55, go south on Douglas Cty 1 to thesites. edge of town, turn right on Township Rd 99. Go 3-1/2 miles, the driveway is on the left.Management Tips Other Resources1. Plant forages that have good cash markets such asorchardgrass and alfalfa. Make sure that you can :,,5*,5-72$% F$;3#*.*61% F57#9=$5% =*5% a"57.% :5$79mechanically harvest excess forage at peak production S:FFa:TE P. O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702,times. 800-346-9140. Available at: http://www.attra.orgGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 58. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Rauenhorst —— 59Aerial Seeding Winter Rye into Winter RyeNo-till CornNo -till Corn and Soybeans Project Summary soybeans looking much healthier all year long. Principal It has been suggested by many leading Over the years, Minnesota farmers have tended researchers that the best potential for controlling Investigator to specialiZe in either row crops or livestock. SCN may lie in the alteration of soil biology. Raymond Farmers in row crops no longer have available Some researchers feel that there may be a benefit Rauenhorst a diversity of natural/organic tools such as hay, from the decaying residue of small grain. After 16502 - 480th small grain, or manure. For many farmers, this seeing all the problems associated with shorter Avenue amounts to an intense and tight rotation between crop rotations and all the benefits of longer, moreEaston, MN 56025 corn and soybeans. As a result, we have an varied rotations, I decided to try winter rye inter- 507-787-2514 increased incidence of crop diseases and pests seeded in late summer into standing corn and Faribault County such as soybean cyst nematode (SCN), soil soybeans. erosion, and natural fertility problems. Many Project farmers have expressed the need for a third By inter-seeding rye into corn and beans, I hope Duration crop in their rotation. My goal is to test the to achieve these objectives: feasibility and benefits of interplanting a third 2000 to 2002 crop of winter rye (non-harvestable) into the j determine the feasibility of getting a rye stand two year corn-soybean rotation. established ESAP Contact j improve crop yields Mark ^umwinkle Project Description j reduce SCN pressure 651-282-6204 j reduce incidence of diseases I farm 1,080 acres in a corn-soybean rotation. j reduce erosion The corn is strip-tilled and the beans are no- j increase soil biomass Keywords tilled. I have been in no-till since 1992. Our j check compatibility/antagonism of rye with soil textures vary extensively, ranging from light, cover crops, inter- the planted crop rolling sandy (droughty) soil to flat, wet ground seeding, soil high in organic matter. erosion, soybean On September 4, 1999, 46 acres of winter rye cyst nematode were aerial seeded at a rate of 90 lb/A into three Faribault County was the first county in cornfields and one soybean field. There is a Minnesota to detect SCN (in 1978). Since then, strong possibility that corn yields may be some local farmers have been forced to quit reduced when immediately following rye due growing soybeans altogether as the yield losses to allelopathy or water or nutrient use. to SCN became insurmountable. These Consequently, the acreage of rye planted into farmers were forced into continuous corn which soybeans is being kept to a minimum. Rye has its own set of insect, disease, and yield problems. I have witnessed firsthand the benefits of longer rotations on my farm. During the years of farm acreage set-aside programs, I consistently experienced a five to eight bushel soybean yield increase when soybeans followed set-aside small grain versus a corn crop. Early spring rye regrowth in strip-till This also led to the corn stubble on the Rauenhorst farmGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 59. 60 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Rauenhorstseeding was accomplished using aturbine air tractor with a 50J spread. Table 1. 2000 Corn and Soybean Yields as Affected by RyeEach rye plot is approximately ten acres Cover Cropin siZe and is located in the middle of !""" H=7G. S>03:. KE2L+Nthe field, providing a no-rye comparison H=7G U>4@. /<0. H7P0= J7./<0on either side of the rye strip. On April Corn 110 12324, 2000, the rye was burned down with Soybean Field #1* --- ---Roundup and planted the following Soybean Field #2 50.8 47.0week to corn after beans or vice versa. Soybean Field #3** 23.5 27.1 *Yields not taken due to yield monitor problemsThe test strips are being monitored for **Flooded on May 17 (8.5” rain) and on June 1 (4.7” rain)cash crop yield, rye population andbiomass production, changes in SCN Table 2. Soybean Cyst Nematode Egg Counts as Affected byegg counts, and available nutrients in Rye Cover Cropthe soil. Soil erosion is being monitored H@6;A0.>;.VAA.H72;41.O=7F.DG=>;A.47.5633.KRNby observing the formation of rills. !""". H=7G U>4@./<0.H7P0= J7./<0 Corn -31 -80Results Soybean Field #1 +53 +60 Soybean Field #2 -15 +1253C4:#$ C$4> !,-(/0.,75#"-< We Soybean Field #3 +62 +129received 1.1” of rain during the week Soybean (average) +40 +123following the rye aerial seeding in thefall of 1999. The cover crop germinated in four days and midseason but the early season stunting was expressed inwas four inches tall one week after planting. The following lower yields at harvest (Table 1). It is possible that thespring season started with very dry conditions. I was corn suppression is due to allelopathy or reduced accessworried that the rye could be using the remaining limited to nutrients, especially nitrogen. Next year a small strip ofmoisture reserves needed for cash crop production. In corn in the rye plot will be sidedressed with nitrogen tohind sight, it may have been beneficial to burn down the determine if the rye is excessively tying up this mostrye a week earlier. The rye was 10” tall at spraying on important nutrient in the spring.April 24. On April 29, the rye in the test strips was sampled.The rye plant population averaged 50 plants/ft2. The rye *CP34>+0(-.4"< SCN egg counts this year showed thatbiomass production was 2,400 lb/A after soybeans and the rye cover may have a desirable effect on this serious1,500 lb/A after corn. pest. All soybeans used in this test were non-SCN resistant varieties. The rye reduced SCN egg numbers in all threeC(,7C$4>O.#0),< The soybean yield response to the rye soybean fields (Table 2). The greatest effect was in fielddepended on the extent of exposure to saturated soil from {2 which produced the strongest stand of rye. Soybeanheavy spring rains. Soybean field {2 (see Table 1) is hilly yields were also excellent in field {2. When averagedand sandy. This well drained field recoveredquickly from rains of 5.4” on May 17 and 2.0”on June 1. The rye was beneficial at this site,preventing erosion and allowing rainfall torecharge subsoil moisture. Soybean yields werehigher in the rye strip than in the control.Soybean field {3 is low on the landscape, highin organic matter, and poorly drained. Rains of8.5” on May 17 and 4.7” on June 1 flooded thisfield. The rye increased the flood damage byretaining water and then later delaying therecovery of the soybeans.The field planted to corn after rye was clearly Burned down rye is ready forset back by the rye. The corn recovered in soybean planting in mid-MayGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 60. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Rauenhorst —— 61 across all three soybean fields, SCN egg counts after one 2. Rye established in corn provides an opportunity to graZe year in soybeans only increased 40m in the rye plots but both crops in late fall. This does not significantly affect increased 123m in the no-rye control. the spring regrowth of the rye. =##)C4"-$40< cisual observation revealed that the rye Cooperators cover helped control foxtail, lambsquarters, and pigweed but had no effect on wooly cupgrass. <7".%<*52$5B%Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN !($0& C4"20+,.4",< It appears that getting a rye crop established into standing corn or beans is very feasible. Project Location There is evidence that the rye may help reduce SCN From I-90, take exit 128 (Cty Rd 17) north 4s miles. Go pressure. Beans may be preferable to corn when planting east 1 mile on 160th St., then north s mile on 480th Ave. into the killed rye. This technology may be most The farm is in the grove on the east side of the road. appropriate on well drained soils. Management Tips Other Resources University of California-Davis. % )*C$5% ;5*,9E% Database 1. Rye burndown in spring should be timed to optimiZe available at: resources for both the cover crop and the cash crop.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 61. 62 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Rosen Rock FinesAgricultural Use of Rock Fines asa Sustainable Soil Amendment Project Summary farm, located near Gutches Grove, MN, has been Principal organically certified since 1992. Animal Each year in Minnesota, over 50 million tons production, including beef, sheep, and chickens Investigator of aggregate (primarily gravel and sand) are are the main source of income. Phil rotates Dr. Carl Rosen produced for road and building construction. legumes and grass (for hay and pasture) with University of A by-product of aggregate production is rock small grain. The soil is loam to silt loam in Minnesota dust or “fines” that are generated during the texture. Soil tests show medium levels of Department of Soil, crushing process. Currently, rock fines are potassium and low levels of phosphorus. Phil Water and Climate being stockpiled as a waste product and we are is interested in trying to bring up phosphorus 439 Borlaug Hall evaluating them as a nutrient source for crop and potassium levels for his alfalfa/grass forage.St. Paul, MN 55108 production. If rock fines can be successfully These crops were already established so rock recycled as a viable soil amendment, their use fines were top-dressed over the hay field in Project could be an unexpected gain for state agriculture 1999. Phil wanted to also look at incorporating Duration and reduce the amount of land used for surface the rock fines so he replanted a field to oats and storage. For organic operations, rock fines may alfalfa after rock fines incorporation. 1999 to 2001 prove to be an economic alternative to expensive imported mined minerals. The Bob Gustafson farm, near Gutches Grove, ESAP Contact MN, uses a corn, oats and legume hay rotation. Mark ^umwinkle In this demonstration, we are applying rock Animals are not raised on this farm so fertility 651-282-6204 fines to perennial forages and corn at three farm from manure is limited and nutrient levels have sites that are low in fertility due to many years declined over the years. Soil potassium levels of cropping with minimal inputs. Rock fines are low. A small amount of inorganic fertiliZer Keywords were applied only in 1999 and soil fertility and is used as a starter for corn. Bob is interested crop response are being measured from 1999 in improving his corn yields, using a long-termorganic farming, rock through 2001. Initial analysis of rock fines from approach to fertility. In 1999, rock fines were fines, soil fertility several local sources show that they contain an broadcast and incorporated to a depth of six to appreciable amount of potassium. However, eight inches and then planted to corn. soil and plant analyses in 1999 and 2000 donJt show the potassium becoming available to the C and R GraZers farm is a 240 acre dairy near crop. Monitoring will continue one more year. Eagle Bend operated by Craig Williams and Randy Pitcher. A grass/legume mix is raised Project Description for graZing and hay. Turkey manure is used to All three farmers in this project are looking for a long-term supply of nutrients to sustain crop production. They had all heard of rock dust in the organic literature. However, tests to support the use of this material as a nutrient source are lacking. These farms are ideal for this study because they are all low in fertility. Lime truck spreading rock fines The 147 acre Phil ArnoldGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 62. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Rosen —— 63 improve fertility but quantities needed for the farm are not particles have a larger surface area, increasing nutrient always available. Soil test potassium levels are very low. release from the minerals. Extractable calcium and In 1999, rock fines were top-dressed on a field recently magnesium were relatively high in all rock fines sources. planted to grass and clover. Extractable potassium was highest in the Granite Falls and Cold Spring granites. Phosphorus was low in all samples, !G>#$.5#"-(0N#,.%"< At each site, three different sources suggesting that the rock fines would have little impact on of rock fines were applied at two rates (1x and 2x) with a improving phosphorus nutrition. Trace elements were lime spreader. The 2x rate was obtained by simply driving present in low concentrations in all samples (see Table 2, over the same plot twice. These six treatments along with phosphorus and some trace element data not shown). a no-input control were applied and replicated three times on the Gustafson and the C and R GraZers farms. The plots are 30J wide Table 1. Particle Size Distribution of Rock Fines by Source by 100J long. On the Arnold farm, the /7?C. 5>;01. D72=?0 R.H36< RD>34 RD6;: plots are 300J long and not replicated. Granite—Granite Falls 10 80 10 ?#(,+$#5#"-,< Soil samples were Granite—St. Cloud 3 19 78 collected in the spring of 1999 to Granite—Cold Spring 19 69 12 determine the initial soil test levels at Basalt—Dresser, WI 2 8 90 the 0-6 and 6-12” depths. Samples are being collected from each plot in the Table 2. Chemical Properties of Rock Fines by Source fall of each year at the same depths to determine changes in nutrient status. GQ HVH H6 ]A ]; 50 H2 Samples are being analyZed for all major KF0WL KGGFN KGGFN KGGFN KGGFN KGGFN KGGFN and minor essential plant nutrients /7?C. 5>;01. D72=?0 ""AN except nitrogen. Plant tissue samples Granite—Granite Falls 9.0 5.9 2,888 146 251 37 37 6 are taken at each crop harvest and Granite—St. Cloud 8.6 1.4 1,343 49 71 17 14 1 analyZed for the same elements. Crop Granite—Cold Spring 8.8 9.9 2,510 525 153 14 239 7 yield is being measured as total above ground biomass weight for the forages Basalt—Dresser, WI 9.4 1.2 6,333 30 60 6 10 5 and as grain and stover weight for corn. Results from a potassium extraction study (Table 3) indicate If soil test nutrient levels, plant tissue nutrient levels, or that over time, the granite rock fines have the potential to biomass yields increase with rock fines application, then supply potassium. The basalt rock fines may also supply we can conclude the rock fines may have a beneficial use. some potassium but higher application rates would be The second and third year of the project focus on monitoring required. Rock fines would need to be applied at rates of the long-term effects of the rock fines applied in 1999. 15 to 20 T/A to meet potassium needs for two to three years, assuming all of the potassium from the concentrated The sources of rock fines used in this study include: nitric acid extraction is available. j Basalt from Dresser, Wisconsin O.#0)<$ For all sites, rock fines did not significantly affect j Granite from Meridian luarry in St. Cloud hay or corn yields in 1999 or 2000 (Tables 4-6). These j Granite from Meridian luarry in Granite Falls results clearly show that the effects of rock fines on crop j Granite from Cold Spring luarry in St. Cloud yields will not be realiZed in the short term. Because of the slow release nature, monitoring will continue for one Results more year. C45>4,.-.4"4;E428B."#,<%%Results from the physical *4.01"(0&,.,<% Overall, the effects of rock fines on soil (texture) and chemical (nutrient) analysis of the rock fines chemical properties were minimal. Dresser basalt and Cold show that they vary from a sand to a silt texture (Table 1). Spring granite tended to increase soil copper levels. Those rock fines sources that have a finer particle siZe also have more available nutrients. For example, the 6.,,+# 1"(0&,.,< Granite rock fines at the higher Granite Falls and Cold Spring granites have relatively high application rate tended to increase plant tissue levels of silt and clay. They also have the highest overall molybdenum. Molybdenum is an essential trace element levels of nutrients. This is to be expected. The smaller needed for plant growth. It is involved with nitrogenGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 63. 64 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Rosen metabolism within the plant and in Table 3. Pounds of Potassium per Ton in Rock Fines Based on nitrogen fixation reactions in legumes. Two Extractants Molybdenum levels higher than 10 ppm *;0. J7=F63. +FF7;>2F H7;?0;4=640:. J>4=>? can cause molybdenosis in ruminant +?04640 +?>:! animals if copper levels are low. In this /7?C. 5>;01. D72=?0 974611>2F. K3EL)NX study, molybdenum levels were below Granite—Granite Falls 0.29 11.9 10 ppm and copper levels were in the Granite—St. Cloud 0.10 10.2 adequate range so this should not be a Granite—Cold Spring 1.10 8.6 problem. Basalt—Dresser, WI 0.06 2.0 1 Estimate of availability in first year. While not significant, tissue potassium 2 Estimate of availability over three to four years. levels tended to be higher in the rock 3 To convert to K2O, multiply by 1.2. fines treated plots than in the control. Despite the fact we could not detect a Table 4. Phil Arnold Farm: Rock Fines Effect on Alfalfa Yield change in soil potassium, we are (6-9-00) encouraged to see corn ear leaf samples higher in potassium in these plots. )=064F0;4 S>03:.I=<.]6440= /7?C. 5>;01. D72=?0 /640. K47;1L+N K47;1L+N Management Tips Control 0 2.1 Basalt—Dresser (1x) 17 1.7 1. Lime spreader calibration will vary Basalt—Dresser (2x) 33 2.1 with rock fines texture and moisture Granite—St.Cloud (1x) 29 2.3 content. Granite—St.Cloud (2x) 59 1.9 Granite—Cold Spring (1x) 8 1.8 2. Apply rock fines when soil is least Granite—Cold Spring (2x) 16 2.1 susceptible to compaction. Cooperators Table 5. Bob Gustafson Farm: Rock Fines Effect on Corn Stover and Grain (9-26-00) A*#%c51B Aggregate and Ready Mix )=064F0;4 Association Committee Chair, St. Cloud, MN /7?C. 5>;01. D72=?0 /640. K47;1L+N D47P0=K47;1L+N ^=6>;KE2L+N <3-.%:5#*./%b%U*0%`"927=9*#B Todd Control 0 1.9 100 County, Long Prairie, MN Basalt—Dresser (1x) 8 1.8 87 )57-6%@-..-7+9B Todd County, Eagle Basalt—Dresser (2x) 16 1.6 96 Granite—St.Cloud (1x) 21 2.4 113 Bend, MN Granite—St.Cloud (2x) 41 1.8 109 Granite—Cold Spring (1x) 14 1.8 101 Project Location Granite—Cold Spring (2x) 28 1.8 97 From Sauk Centre, take Hwy 71, 15 miles to Cty Rd 10. Turn left and go 4 Table 6. C&R Grazers Farm: Rock Fines Effect on Hay miles to Gutches Grove. Turn left on Yield (2000 Season Total from Four Cuttings) Cty Rd 11 and go s mile. Take a left on the gravel road at the church and the )=064F0;4 S>03:.I=<.]6440= first right to the Phil Arnold farm. /7?C. 5>;01. D72=?0 /640. K47;1L+N K47;1L+N Control 0 3.5 Other Resources Granite-Granite Falls (1x) 21 3.1 Granite-Granite Falls (2x) 41 2.8 Barker, A. c., T. A. OJBrien, and J. Granite—St.Cloud (1x) 19 3.2 Campe. 1998. 8*-.% 5$+-#$57.-]72-*# Granite—St.Cloud (2x) 39 3.2 =*5%9"927-#70.$%;5*,%,5*/";2-*#E%% pp. Granite—Cold Spring (1x) 14 2.9 405-413. In S. Brown, J. S. Angle, and Granite—Cold Spring (2x) 29 .34 L. Jacobs (eds.). Beneficial co- utiliZation of agricultural, municipal and industrial by-products. bluwer Academic Publishers.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 64. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Scaife —— 65 RotationalEstablishing a Rotational Grazing System in a Semi- Frostwooded Ecosystem: Frost Seeding vs. Impaction Land WoodedSeeding on CRP Land and Wooded Hillsides Using Sheep Project Summary machinery driven tillage was not an option. JimJs Principal initial questions were, “How well do certain Investigator Much of Jim ScaifeJs land was in the pasture species germinate when planted by frost Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and he seeding or animal impact with sheep instead of James Scaife was interested in turning that land into quality RR 2, Box 93 tillage|” and “Can we turn poor quality forest pasture for sheep. Land coming out of CRP is into productive semi-wooded pasture using Rushford, MN often highly erodible due to steep slopes and, sheep to control the growth of unwanted trees|” 55971 while it may have a good grass cover, there may The answers to these questions were crucial for 507-864-2896 be a substantial amount of weeds. Jim wanted determining the best way to use the land and to Fillmore County to avoid tilling with its potential for soil erosion give him insight into the relative effectiveness and destruction of the existing grass cover. He Project of seeding procedures and species on CRP fields looked at alternative methods of improving this and the shaded hillsides of the farm. Jim felt Duration land for sheep graZing. Frost seeding was that this study would provide information on the 1998 to 2001 compared to impaction seeding using sheep to alternative uses for poor quality woodland that press several types of legume seeds into existing abounds in the state. It should also provide ESAP Contact grass. Several acres of poor quality forest insight into the larger questions of the relationship dominated by weedy tree species were also too between woodlands and livestock and the Mary Hanks steep for tillage so similar seeding methods were 651-296-1277 relationship between shaded areas and the tried on these wooded hillsides to turn them into establishment of forage species. productive semi-wooded pasture. Keywords In the first year of the project (1998), Jim Alice graZing white Project Description concentrated on testing seeding methods in two clover, birdsfoot Jim ScaifeJs farm includes 154 acres located in former CRP fields to judge the effectiveness of trefoil, CRP land, different methods of planting three common the bluff country of southeast Minnesota. Sixty forages, frost pasture improving species - red clover, Alice acres are steep, wooded hillsides which are seeding, impaction graZing white clover, and birdsfoot trefoil. Prior overgrown with non-productive tree species seeding, ladino to planting, Jim heavily graZed the former CRP clover, red clover, including box elder, prickly ash, birch, and misshapen elms. Another 54 acres are tillable fields with his sheep in the fall of 1997. In the sheep, wooded ground that has been in CRP. The remaining spring of 1998, he divided the two fields in half pastures acreage is steep and grassy, some of which is using temporary fencing. One-half of each field old pasture. Jim turned the entire farm into paddocks for a rotational graZing system that he hoped will support 150 ewes and 300 lambs. He currently has 80 ewes that produce about 160 lambs each spring. Jim had two areas that he wanted to improve for sheep graZing - the former CRP land and the poor quality wooded hillsides. Ewes eating box elder regrowth On much of this land, GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 65. 66 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Scaifewas frost seeded and the other half was impaction seeded. per acre. Jim calculated that for his flock of 80 ewes, theHe then divided each half of each field into three sections. siZe of the area should be .25 acre. The remainder of theJim then broadcast his forage seed using one species (red area was the frost seeding trial. The spring was unusuallyclover, Alice graZing white clover, or birdsfoot trefoil) in warm with plenty of rain but there were only two frostseach section of each half. Additionally, Jim compared after seeding. However, there was still frost in the groundgermination rates and stands in areas where seed impaction that provided a certain amount of heaving of the soil towas done with different stocking rates. After 82 days, Jim plant the seeds. Throughout the spring and summer of 1999,did vegetative transects to count the seedlings of each the sheep were graZed in the area to attack the regrowthforage in each plot. from the tree stumps and keep the area open to sun.Jim turned his attention to the wooded hillside during the Beginning with the 2000 season, the former CRP and hillsidesummer of 1998 and into 1999. This hillside faces north- areas seeded in 1998 and 1999 were graZed the way Jimnorthwest and was so full of non-productive trees that the expected to use them in the future. His primary questioncanopy allowed little light to hit the ground, resulting in this year was how much graZing could he get from the shady,much bare ground. Jim divided the 4.7 acre field into four hillside paddocks. Due to the slope and position of thesesections to represent various combinations of shade and pastures, graZing was begun on May 16 to allow the forageground cover and to accommodate impaction and frost to get off to a good start before the trees had full leaf cover.seeding trials. He kept track of the graZing periods and graZing days on these paddocks compared to paddocks with full sun andDuring the summer of 1998, Jim did timber stand less slope. GraZing was halted in early autumn to allowimprovement by removing much of the non-productive tree the pasture to regenerate before the end of the growingcover and thinning other species. He designed this area to season. Jim is also watching for regrowth of the box elderserve as the boundary between field and deep forest so he stumps in the paddocks.saved, with appropriate spacing, a variety of tree speciesincluding oak, maple, birch, cedar, elm, ash, apple, cherry, Resultsplum, poplar and dogwood. He hopes that this diversitywill be a favorable environment for birds and wildlife while The main method of evaluation of seed germination in bothallowing enough light penetration to establish a ground the CRP seeding and the wooded hillside planting wascover of forage species. vegetative transects. Jim used a 1J wire square which was laid on the ground and two people counted the seedlingsFollowing the thinning, Jim fenced the entire 4.7 acres with within the square. Five samples were randomly selectedfour strands of temporary electric wire then graZed the area and counted for each treatment. Jim knew the number ofwith the sheep flock to nibble away the regrowth from the seeds that were planted in each section and was thereforestumps and to reduce the grass growth in areas where there able to determine the percent of seed germination.was some grass. Then, in early April 1999, Jim seededthis area of the hillside with a mixture of red clover, In the CRP seeding, the red clover had the best germinationbirdsfoot trefoil and ladino white clover. The Alice graZing rate followed by the Alice graZing white clover and thenwhite clover that was tried last year was replaced with the birdsfoot trefoil in most treatments (Table 1). Becauseladino white clover because its poor germination would of the success of the red clover in this trial, Jim mixed themake it difficult to compete well with the red clover now legume seeds together in 1999 instead of seeding onethat the forage species are mixed together rather than planted legume per plot so there was an even distribution of speciesalone as they were in 1998 on the former CRP fields. across the entire field. Mixing seeds together spread out the red clover that comes in the thickest but also posed theImmediately after seeding, the sheep greatest threat of sheep bloat.were fed hay for eight days in a .25 acre Table 1. Forage Seed Germination Rates in Former CRP 1998 ,impaction area that had been fenced offfrom the rest of the seeded hillside area. 90=?0;4. ^0=F>;64>7;. 7O . 57=6A0. DG0?>01Jim reduced the impaction seeding sites +3>?0.^=6T>;Ato .25 acre based on visits with other )=064F0;4 /0:. H37P0= B>=:1O774. )=0O7>3 U@>40. H37P0=producers and his 1998 results on the Frost Seeding (1.5 A) 30 10 11CRP. There seems to be a significant Impaction (1.5 A) 31 4 33improvement in seed germination at Frost Seeding (1.135 A) 40 9 13stocking rates of about 300 adult sheep Impaction (1.135 A) 36 12 12GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 66. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Scaife —— 67 On the wooded hillside plantings in the 1999 trial, the forage seedlings were up Table 2. Forage Seed Germination Rates in Woodland Areas, by May 14 and the box elder stumps 1999 had sprouted small branches and leaves. 57=6A0. DG0?>01. KR. ^0=F>;64>7;N The fencing around the impaction area )=064F0;4 /0:. H37P0= B>=:1O774. )=0O7>3 ,6:>;7. H37P0= was removed and the sheep were put in Frost Seeding to graZe the whole area. The graZing Grassy/No Shade 29 8 43 No Grass/Medium Shade 69 26 50 was intended to reduce the regrowth of Some Grass/Heavy Shade 38 13 30 the trees but not damage the new No Grass/Heavy Shade 48 24 33 seeding. Though there were hundreds Impaction Seeding of tree stumps that were sprouting new No Grass/Lt.-Med. Shade 62 56 62 growth, the sheep ate every leaf in just Grassy/Lt.-Med. Shade 45 9 58 30 hours and were pulled out of the area. This was repeated in mid-June, mid-July and the third week in August. The sheep Table 3. Grazing Periods and Total Grazing Days, Woodland were only allowed to graZe until the Paddocks vs. Full Sun Paddocks, 2000 regrowth of the trees was eaten, 96::7?C. )<G0 generally one and one-half to two days. U77:36;:. Q>331>:0 5233. D2;%. ,>4430. D37G0 Due to the steepness of the slope, Jim Number of Grazing Periods 3 5 wanted to have as much plant cover on Avg. Duration of Grazing 4.7 days 5.4 days the ground as possible going into the Total Days Grazed 14 days 27 days winter. Therefore, the field was not graZed after August even though the tree stumps did sprout again. Jim observed some differences in forage grass growth under shaded conditions. He planted some brome and As in the CRP, red clover had the best germination rates orchardgrass along with the legume seed each year. The under most conditions and whether frost seeded or impacted orchardgrass became well established in areas of substantial on the wooded hillsides (Table 2). Ladino white clover shade. However, the shade retarded the development of was a close second. All forage species generally seed heads that kept the grass in a vegetative state and germinated best with less existing ground cover and under therefore more palatable to the sheep. The shade worked light to medium shade. Ladino white clover competed better under grassy conditions than the other two species. Animal impact dramatically improved germination for the birdsfoot trefoil especially with little existing ground cover. Red clover and white clover germination improved under grassy conditions with animal impact. The main evaluation of the project in 2000 was the number of days graZed and the recovery period needed for the wooded hillside pastures. The seed had germinated but how much graZing could Jim expect in these areas with reduced sunlight| The duration of each graZing period was about the same for the wooded hillsides as for the full sun/little slope paddocksd however, the number of times graZed, and therefore, the total days graZed, was about half (Table 3). This difference, Jim believes, was due to his desire to keep the slope well covered with vegetation in the early spring and late fall } times when he chose not to graZe the hillside paddocks. By the end of September, there was plenty of regrowth that could have been graZed but he thought it best to leave the vegetation on the pasture through the winter. Jim discusses pasture quality with Craig SheafferGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 67. 68 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Scaifeto JimJs benefit, keeping the orchardgrass palatable Cooperatorsthroughout the season. )57-6%83$7==$5B%University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MNJim also monitored the regrowth of the box elder stumps. A*#%P75V.*?-2]B%Total Management Concepts,After a year of graZing, he estimated that about 30m of the Fountain City, Wisconsinstumps showed some regrowth. However, none of the a-;375/%Z$99B%Land Stewardship Project, Lewiston, MNregrowth was more than 1J tall which was well within thereach of the sheep. He observed that these young trees Project Locationwere the favorite food of the sheep, usually eaten within From Rushford, MN go east on MN Hwy 16 approximately24 hours of entering the paddock. One interesting, but 1 mile. Turn right onto Rushford cillage {23 and go 1/8probably not surprising observation, was that only the mile, then turn right onto Rushford cillage {8 and go 3/4stumps that were in full sun showed any regrowthd the mile. The farm is on the left with a gray house and redstumps in the shaded areas died after one season of graZing. outbuildings.Management Tips Other Resources1. Impaction seeding, on a large scale, is awkward because :65*=*5$9251% Z*2$9E United States Department ofyou need a large number of sheep per acre to be effective. Agriculture. National Agroforestry Center. East Campus,Adjust the impaction area to the number of sheep for the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0822,best results. 402-437-5178.2. GraZe both open and woodland pastures as early as 21 ^-7?7237% 8"927-#70.$% @**/9% )**,$572-C$E Rt. 4, Boxdays after planting. When the sheep graZe on the established 94, Winona, MN 55987-9418, 507-643-6367.grasses and regrowth from tree stumps, they reduce thecompetition for light and nutrients enabling the newer P-##$9*27%U$22$5%*5$929%P767]-#$E Minnesota Forestryseedlings to get the needed light and nutrients. Association, P. O. Box 432, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, 218-326-0403.3. Limit the graZing period in newly seeded woodland areasto just long enough to strip the leaves but not long enough P-##$9*27%*5$92%82$?75/93-,%<5*657+E MN Departmentto damage forage seedlings. of Natural Resources, Tom broll, Cooperative Forest Management Specialist. 500 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN4. Land need not be exclusively pasture or exclusively 55155-4031, 651-296-5970.woodland. It can be both if managed carefully. Website: Woodland management technical and financial assistance for5. All graZed land cannot handle the same amount of landowners.graZing in any given season. Shaded areas should not begraZed as heavily as areas in full sun. This makes the [#-C$59-21% *=% P-##$9*27% 4W2$#9-*#% 8$5C-;$% I% *5$92rotation more complicated but adds graZing capacity over P7#76$+$#2E Melvin Baughman, Professor. 1530 N.the course of the season. Cleveland Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, 612-624-0734. email: Information line: 612-624-3020. Works with private landowners and natural resource professionals that advise private landowners on private woodland management.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 68. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Sovell —— 69 ForageIncreased Forage Production Through Control Water Runoff Recyclingof Water Runoff and Nutrient Recycling Project Summary we could improve the forage production and Principal carrying capacity of our tired old permanent Our group of seven Coteau Ridge livestock pastures. We realiZed that, to accomplish this, Investigators farmers have rehabilitated 431 acres of we would have to better utiliZe available rainfall, James Sovell permanent pasture using a pasture renovator that reduce soil and nutrient losses, and get more Route 1, Box 133 we designed and built. The machine was legumes established. Richard and Joe RollingIvanhoe, MN 56142 developed with three purposes in mind. We want came up with an idea for a furrow seeding 507-694-1486 to increase the amount of water infiltrating into machine. Arnold Huuschild of Dutchman Repair and the soil, reduce the erosive loss of soil and designed and built our first prototype and the baren Sovell nutrients, and diversify the forage plant species, Rolling-Dutchman pasture renovator was born. Route 1, Box 130 adding more legumes and warm season grasses.Ivanhoe, MN 56142 The new pasture renovator achieves these goals The Rolling-Dutchman is a field cultivator that 507-694-1466 by ripping the sod on the contour, creating has been modified to seed and fertiliZe a contour Lincoln County shallow furrows every 40” for water capture ripped sod furrow. This machine differs from a and seed establishment. typical no-till drill. Every 40”, a three inch deep Project and three inch wide furrow is opened by a Duration From 1996 through 1999, despite unusually cultivator tine. The soil and sod is piled in a difficult weather (including severe winter ice ridge adjacent to and on the downhill side of the 1999 to 2002 storms, hail, multiple late season killing frosts furrow, resulting in six inches of vertical and now drought), the new method has shown roughness to impede water movement. Seed ESAP Contact strong promise. Using the pasture renovator, we boxes are mounted above each chisel point. Mark ^umwinkle have succeeded in establishing warm season Seed and fertiliZer are dropped directly into the 651-282-6204 grasses, legumes and chicory. We have furrow. The machine is capable of seeding a succeeded in capturing more water for forage wide variety of grasses and legumes at any production. We have documented a reduction desirable rate. The cultivator tines create a Keywords of runoff and the loss of nutrient recycling, soil and phosphorus using pasture renovation, rainfall simulation. The runoff 2000 growing season was the third drought year in a row. We were unable to perform rain simulations due to the excessively dry conditions and the persistence of cracks at the soil surface. Further attempts at pasture renovation are also being delayed until the drought breaks. Monitoring of runoff will resume in 2001. Project Description Our group of livestock producers from within our Coteau Ridge Sustainable David Drietz used the pasture renovator to Farming Association was reestablish native grasses on steep slopes brainstorming ideas on how GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 69. 70 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Sovellspace for seeds to establish without competition from the Resultsadjacent sod. Runoff concentrates in the furrow, providingextra water for the seedlings. Furrowing and seeding is M:#$(00,##)0."%#,-(/0.,75#"-(")>(,-+$#>#$;4$5("2#Eaccomplished in one pass without opening the entire field Excellent stands of grasses and legumes have beento potential erosion. established in the ripped furrows on most of the farms. This includes the difficult-to-establish native warm seasonSeven farms have seeded a variety of legumes and warm grasses. They have become well established, showingseason grasses. The choice of legume and grass species increased vigor in the second and third year after seeding.was determined by the specific needs of each farm. David Some cool season grasses and legumes planted in the springDrietZ used native grasses (big bluestem and buffalo grass) of 1995 made their first appearance in the summer of 1997.with birdsfoot trefoil for a legume. The remaining six The chicory, red clover and white clover were the easiestfarmers used a combination of graZing alfalfa, red, white to establish in the existing sod.and alsike clover, and chicory. In 1999, baren Sovell addedseedings of kura clover and birdsfoot trefoil on her farm Problems that we have encountered with standusing the Rolling-Dutchman. Although kura clover is establishment are to be expected with any system.notoriously difficult to establish, it is equally notorious However, we have had more than our share of seedlingfor its ability to persist, once established. We want to give devastation by weather events in the past three yearskura clover a chance to prove itself in our particularly including a summer drought followed by winter ice stormharsh climate on the ridge. injury in 1996, a killing frost in the spring of 1997, a devastating hail storm in June of 1997, and a drought andThe furrows are ripped on the contour so they create a grasshopper infestation through the summers of 1998 andcollection site for water. This reduces runoff and provides 1999. The harsh weather eliminated good stands ofwater where most needed - to the developing seedlings (an birdsfoot trefoil and reduced stands of all other legumes.important feature in our normally dry region of the state). Legume stands throughout the region were equally affectedThe furrows also capture and retain nutrients from surface by the ice storm. The warm season grasses were affectedapplied manure. It is hoped that eventually the strong minimally. In spite of the weather setbacks, severalvertical architecture of the warm season grasses will capture pastures renovated during the first two years of the projectsnow and provide water for the following growing season. are showing greatly improved productivity. The Rolling- Dutchman accomplishes extensive tillage without exposureThe effect of the furrows on water movement is being tested to erosion. The improvements we are seeing are as if theusing a Purdue-type rainfall simulator. Three foot wide pasture were “freed up” by primary tillage. Improvementand 24J long (running down slope) runoff plots are subjected will be even more pronounced when adequate rains returnto a 2.4”/hr simulated rainfall. The plots are surrounded to our region.with a tin border to contain all water running off the plot.The runoff water is collected at the low end. A timed grab Q+$(204:#$,##)."%E The 1999 kura clover seeding onsample of water is taken every five minutes, allowing us the baren Sovell farm germinated and grew well until itto calculate the flow rate of the runoff. The water samples was desiccated in the absence of rainfall in August. Weare saved and later analyZed in the laboratory received .2” of rain in August and .6” from Septemberfor sediment and phosphorus concentration.bnowing the runoff flow rate and concentrationof pollutants allows us to calculate the amountlost at any point in time as the storm eventprogresses.The ripped and seeded pasture is beingcompared to non-renovated pasture. This isaccomplished simply by hydraulically lifting therenovator to provide an unripped control plotimmediately adjacent to the renovated ground.The success of the new seedings is beingevaluated through a series of monthly pasturewalks. Karen displays a good stand of kura clover and birdsfoot trefoil on her farmGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 70. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Sovell —— 71 through December. Subsequent kura clover seedings have survived on heavy Figure 1. Effect of Ripped Furrows on Runoff from soils with a high water holding capacity. Simulated 2.4”/Hour Rainfall at Sovell Farm We have only had success establishing kura clover using conventional seedbed preparation. This species will not develop a stand using the Rolling- Dutchman. It lacks the seedling vigor necessary to compete with the existing sod. E(.";(00,.5+0(-#)$+"4;;(")#$4,.4"E We have been able to show the effect of the ripped furrows on water runoff using the rainfall simulator in 1998 and 1999. Figure 1, shows the rate of runoff over time as a 2.4”/hr storm occurs on both ripped and unripped pasture. We learned that the furrows are capable of Table 1. Sediment and Phosphorus Deposition After One storing runoff water but they are not Hour Simulated Rainfall on August 18, 1999 increasing water infiltration beyond that )=064F0;4 D0:>F0;4 9@71G@7=21 of the adjacent soil. Notice that the 3EL+ unripped pasture began running off after only five minutes of rain. There was no Ripped Pasture 224 0.24 Unripped Pasture 638 0.57 runoff in the ripped pasture until 25 minutes into the event. But the upward slope of both curves as we farm here on the Coteau Ridge. is similar and they both level off at around 35m of the applied rainfall (similar steady state runoff and infiltration). This finding shows that the ripped furrows will help early Management Tips in a storm but become less effective in a major storm event. 1. Enlist the help of a soil conservation professional to site lines of equal elevation. It is difficult to keep the During the rain simulations, we could easily observe the Rolling-Dutchman on the contour without such guidance water repellent (hydrophobic) tendency of the dry surface unless there is an existing terrace to follow. soil in all plots. The drier the soil, the more hydrophobic it becomes. Just when water is most needed on the farm, it 2. Existing forages must be managed to reduce competition is being least accepted at the soil surface. This precious until the new seeding becomes well established. Controlled first moisture can rapidly move over land instead of sinking graZing seems to be the best way to suppress existing forages in. We are looking at reducing graZing pressure to see if and weeds. an increase in stubble will help hold the water in place long enough to break the water repellency of the dry soil. Cooperators Just as the furrows help capture water, they also assist in A7C-/%A5-$2]B Farmer, Porter, MN the conservation of soil and nutrients. We measured a !7+$9%<591+"9B Farmer, Ivanhoe, MN dramatic reduction in both sediment and phosphorus loss a-;375/%7#/%!*$%a*..-#6B Farmers, Ivanhoe, MN due to the presence of the furrows (Table 1). The pasture P-V$%7#/%P751%^7#9*#B Farmers, Hendricks, MN renovation reduced sediment loss by 65m and phosphorus a*6$5%@-9#-$?9V-B Farmer, Ivanhoe, MN loss by 58m. We are achieving increased productivity P75V%e"+?-#V.$B Rainfall simulation, MDA, St. Paul, MN and improving the water quality of the adjacent surface water system in addition to keeping resources on the farm Project Location where they will be used for long-term productivity. From Ivanhoe, go 6 miles east on MN Hwy 19. Turn north We would recommend this new renovation system to other on Cty Rd 8 and go 2 miles. Turn west on Cty Rd 110 for farmers, especially if they are on hilly terrain. We plan to t mile. The Jim Sovell farm is on the south side of the continue using and improving the Rolling-Dutchman as long road. Contact Jim for directions to the cooperating farms.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 71. 72 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Thompson Low ow-cost Inter-seedingA Low-cost Mechanism for Inter-seeding CornCover Crops in Cor n Project Summary agriculture. The millions of acres of winter Principal fallow that ring the globe pose a threat to air and The main goal of this project is to offer the corn water quality and the flora and fauna of the world. Investigator and soybean farmer an affordable alternative to Immediately measurable environmental Tony Thompson the traditional two crop rotation. Rather than problems directly attributable to cultivated Willow Lake Farm advocating the production of a questionably monoculture include: Box 128, viable third cash crop, we are investigating the 339 - 11th St. concurrent inter-seeding of companion cover j increased sediment and nutrient loads inWindom, MN 56101 crops that are complimentary to the existing streams, rivers, and lakes, resulting in 507-831-3483 grains in the rotation. We hope that the addition eutrophicationdCottonwood County of a cover crop will allow us to take advantage j loss of biodiversityd of a fall and spring window for plant growth and j invasion of exotic weeds, pathogens and Project biological cycling. We are investigating the use other pestsd Duration of a pendulum seeder in combination with our j fragmentation of the landscape, threatening final spring cultivation or after soybean harvest migration and persistence of natural plant 1999 to 2002 to establish the cover crops. We are testing the and animal communitiesd and, viability and compatibility of several cover crop j rapid mineraliZation (organic matter ESAP Contact species including five cover crop species in corn breakdown) of the soil and the resulting Mark ^umwinkle and five cover crop species in beans. release of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. 651-282-6204 In 1999, the pendulum seeder was successfully Cover cropping offers the possibility to begin to front mounted and engaged as a cover crop reverse all these trends. We hope to manage Keywords establishment tool. Unfortunately, drought Willow Lake FarmJs soil, water, and nutrients conditions prevailed from early July through fall. for our agronomic benefit while at the same time biodiversity, cover Reasonable stands of several inter-seeded creating global environmental benefits. In 1991, crops, inter-seeding, species were unable to survive into the fall so we made a conversion from mulch-till to ridge- landscape ecology, nutrient cycling, soil no legitimate season long comparisons could be till and have seen improvements in weed control, erosion made. Due to the drought conditions in the fall water infiltration, reduced compaction, worker of 2000, no results are reported for last year safety and overall quality of life. The next step and the project will be extended until 2002. is to sequester mobile nitrogen and herbicides attached to soil particles. Our fields are Project Description vulnerable to erosion and leaching in fall and We hope to diversify the two crop corn and soybean monoculture using the winter fallow period for cover crops. Why expend the effort| Almost all of the native landscapes of the world are covered by perennial living vegetation. A blanket of prairie once covered the grassland plant communities around the globe. These have been aggressively A close-up of the pendelum seeder in action converted to cultivatedGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 72. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Thompson —— 73 spring when evapotranspiration is low and the moisture in cover crops of rye and oats, which may have been too the soil profile is often at or above field capacity. Our aggressive had we used them as inter-seeded crops. investigation of cover cropping to fill this void is being pursued by: From our initial experience in 1999, the two cover crops we would most recommend are mammoth red clover and j determining the feasibility of modifying a pendulum nitro alfalfa. They were the easiest to establish and showed seeder driven hydraulically and used in concert with the most vigor. They seemed to tolerate the heat better our cultivatord than the other cover crop species. The annual ryegrass j comparing companion cover crops for performance in germinated and grew quite well, but was more easily killed the corn-soybean rotation (cover crop productivity and in the dry weather. The hairy vetch may yet be a good how they affect grain yields)d and, option but our stand was sparse so we are considering j the effect of the cover crops on pest, disease and weed seeding the vetch at a higher rate next year. Unfortunately, cycles. hairy vetch seed is expensive and may prohibit this practice on a larger scale. Results The late planting in 1999 due to the late arrival of the seeder HIII< % With design assistance from the Department of resulted in elongated cover crop seedlings. This was due Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Table 1. 1999 Inter-seeded Cover Crop Establishment in Minnesota, we successfully front Corn on July 15 at the Thompson Farm (planted mounted the pendulum seeder. It was July 1) H7P0=. H=7G 97G2364>7; 936;4. Q0>A@4 used hydraulically to broadcast our K100:3>;A1LO4!N K>;?@01N cover crop seed. The pendulum action Mammoth Red Clover 38 1 disperses seeds of varying density more Nitro Alfalfa 35 2 dependably than a traditional cyclone Annual Ryegrass quite sparse 3.5 or endgate seeder. This advantage Hairy Vetch 1.5 7 (elongated) comes into play as we investigate a Buckwheat 8 3 diversity of cover crop species. Front mounting allows us to seed, cultivate and incorporate in to excessive competition for light, particularly from the one pass. For convenience, the seeder is quickly attached corn. In the future, we plan to push our second cultivation and removed from a tractor set up for cultivation. We also and seeding to the earliest date possible. The fall-planted plan to use the pendulum seeder to plant native plant CRP oats and rye in soybeans were extensively eaten by geese. filter strips on the farm. The seeder will better distribute We look forward to a repetition of these cover crop trials the fluffy seeds found in the mix. We hope to share this under more normal summer rainfall conditions. equipment with neighboring farmers to minimiZe the cost. Management Tips We planted cover crops into 1.7 acre corn and soybean plots. We had planned on seeding during our second 1. Choose a seeder that can perform multiple tasks (beyond cultivation but the new pendulum seeder arrived late from inter-seeding) in your neighborhood. the dealer. We borrowed a similar seeder from the Fish and Wildlife Service and got the job done in the corn on 2. Push your second cultivation to the earliest possible July 1 but were unable to incorporate the seed due to an date when inter-seeding cover crops. imminent rain storm. This did not seem to affect the stand which germinated quite well. The soybeans were inter- Cooperators seeded on July 27. A5E% <7".% <*52$5B Department of Agronomy and Plant The cover crops in the corn plots included mammoth red Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN clover, nitro alfalfa, annual ryegrass, hairy vetch, and A5E% !*#7237#% )37,.-#B Department of Biosystems and buckwheat. Cover crops inter-seeded in the soybeans Agricultural Engineering, St. Paul, MN were mammoth red clover, nitro alfalfa, annual ryegrass, and curly dock. We added curly dock to the list because, Project Location unlike many recommended cover crop species, it is native to Southwest Minnesota. We hoped that curly dock might From Bingham Lake, go south 3.5 miles on Cty Rd 2 to the be easy to control. After soybean harvest, we planted Willow Lake Farm (sign on the left).GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 73. 74 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Volkmann DairyManaging Dairy Manure Nutrients in Recyclinga Recycling Compost Program Project Summary potassium (N, P and b). We know we have to Principal manage the new larger dairy in a way that allows We are attempting to refine the use of manure us to maintain soil fertility without excess Investigators nutrients and purchased bedding on our dairy nutrient loading. Norman and Sallie farm by running manure solids through a colkmann windrowed compost. We have shown that a In order to facilitate manure nutrient cycling and 3215 - 343rd Avenue controlled hot compost process will destroy efficient use of bedding, we added a conveyor Janesville, MN enough pathogens, especially those that cause screen solid/liquid separator to handle the 56048 mastitis, to render the finished compost useable manure and effluent from our freestall barn flush 507-234-5846 as bedding for our dairy cows. In addition, system. The manure solids are collected for Waseca County compost is being land-applied on the farm or compost and the liquid is stored in a lagoon to sold for horticultural purposes. We are testing be recycled as flush water. The lagoon is drawn Project the plant nutrient availability of the compost to down as fertiliZer semiannually. Six and one- Duration determine its suitability as a fertiliZer and to see half million gallons is contract applied to our if the composting process will help stabiliZe soil own and neighborsJ fields annually. 1998 to 2000 test nutrient levels on an already nutrient rich farm. The compost is allowed to process for two weeks ESAP Contact at the separation site and then moved to Mark ^umwinkle Project Description windrows. The windrows are 6-8J high in the 651-282-6204 center and 10-15J wide. Each windrow contains Our dairy farm consists of a 550 cow milking 600 cubic yards of solids. The windrows are herd with a double-12 milking parlor. The herd turned weekly for six to eight weeks and then Keywords is milked three times daily. In 1996, we finished used as bedding. Five parts of finished compost construction of the new free stall dairy facility. composting, manure is mixed with two parts of hardwood shavings We use the home farm for calves, dairy heifer management, to be recycled as bedding for the lactating herd replacement, and gestating dry cows. We raise nutrient cycling and heifer replacements. Excess compost is 700 acres of corn silage (plus some high moisture land-applied and is currently being evaluated corn) and 500 acres of alfalfa haylage. Our soil for horticultural and domestic household septic is predominantly Webster clay-loam. mound use. Our overall philosophy is to optimiZe our forage In order to achieve our goals, we are tracking production, primarily using manure nutrients and the flow of N, P, and b from the crops, through a minimum of purchased fertiliZer. Because of our work in the past with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, we are aware of the environmental and water quality concerns in this high water table watershed. There is a long history of dairy farming in our immediate neighborhood. These farms, over time, tend to develop soils high in organic matter (z4.5m) Hugh Chester-Jones discusses nutrient cycling through and rich in nitrogen, windrowed compost on the Volkmann farm phosphorus andGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 74. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Volkmann —— 75 the cows, the flush system, solids separator, liquid effluent in a savings of o550/month in hardwood shavings cost (a return, lagoon, compost, recycled bedding, and soil. This 37m reduction). will provide a whole farm nutrient profile, enabling us to know where nutrients are building up or being lost. Composting reduced the total volume of solids by two thirds. This increased the overall efficiency of the waste We are also field testing our compost as a fertiliZer source handling system. A summary of compost composition for corn. We are comparing nutrient availability from through each phase of composting is shown in Table 1. compost to commercial nitrogen and raw manure. Each The concentration of the nutrients increased as the heating year, field siZe strips of corn were fertiliZed with the and microbial decomposition reduced the compost volume. following treatments: Composting lowered the amount of ammonia nitrogen relative to the amount of organic nitrogen. The ratio of j compost (45 tons/A) organic to ammonia nitrogen increased from 2.4:1 when j compost (30 tons/A) freshly separated to 4.8:1 in the mature compost. In 1998, j raw, scraped manure (45 tons/A) the moisture content of the compost remained above an j urea (150 lb N/A) ideal upper limit of 65m. In 1999, additional carbon was j control (no fertility added beyond that of the added to lower the moisture content and improve the quality starter) of the compost. In 1998, the above treatments were applied in early spring. In 1999 and 2000, more compost (and phosphorus) was After observing a delayed nitrogen availability from the moved off the farm for a value added return. Compost compost treatments in the spring of 1998, we decided to was sold to Shady Oaks Nursery in Waseca and Hill-top apply the 1999 and 2000 compost and manure fertility in Florists in Mankato. By the third year of the project we the fall. We then added a single spring application compost had established a consistent procedure for production of treatment to compare to the fall applications. All plots, high quality compost. Random compost samples taken in including the controls, received 50 lb/A of 10-34-0 starter 2000 were consistent with the 1999 composition profiles fertiliZer. The 45 tons/A compost rate was the maximum so we no longer focused on improvements to compost amount of material that could be reasonably incorporated management. into the soil. Midseason nitrogen availability was monitored using a Table 1. 1999 Nutrient Analysis of Separated Dairy Manure chlorophyll meter on June 12 (c4 corn Solids by Phase of Compost Process growth stage) and June 25 (c6 corn 9!*& !* *=A6;>?.J +FF7;>6.J growth stage). Silage yield and N, P, 9@610 3EL47; and b content were measured at harvest. 1: Freshly Separated 3.3 1.4 1.9 2.6 We monitored the temperature of the 2: After 2 Week Storage 3.6 1.4 2.3 2.6 on Concrete Pad compost piles, both at the dewatering pad where the solids are stockpiled for 3: After Composting in 11.8 2.4 6.1 11.9 Windrows two weeks, and in the turned windrows. The goal is to maintain a minimum 130°F temperature for C45>4,-B#$-.0.-&."C4$"< In 1998, the compost fertility at least two weeks to eliminate pathogens. demonstration plots provided unexpected results (Table 2). Initial soil analysis of organic matter and P and b Results levels (not shown) confirmed that all plots were nutrient rich. However, the 30 ton/A compost treatment produced C45>4,-."%(")3(-74%#"E#)+2-.4"< One of the major very poor silage yields. We observed that corn plants in achievements so far has been the success of the turned, both compost treatments had very yellow leaves at the windrowed compost as a means of reducing pathogens. beginning of the growing season, indicating that N was not Although composting occurred on the dewatering pad, stack readily available. This was verified by low chlorophyll temperatures were not consistent and did not attain suitable meter readings in these plots. Plants in the 45 ton/A peaks for reduction of pathogens. However, windrowed compost plot did turn green later in the season but leaves compost temperatures during the growing season showed in the lower compost rate remained yellow. Evidently, the peaks of 150°F and maintenance of 130°F or greater for at compost caused an immobiliZation of soil nitrogen. least two weeks. Our clinical cases of mastitis have Because of this, we added the compost for the 1999 and declined significantly since we implemented the compost 2000 corn crop in the fall to reduce the immobiliZation windrow system. The use of the compost bedding resulted effect.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 75. 76 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • VolkmannAll fall applied compost plots producedgood forage yields in 1999 and 2000. Table 2. Corn Silage Yield and Nutrients RemovedThe 30 ton/A compost treatment that had S>03: J 9 yielded poorly when applied in the )=064F0;4 K:=<. 47;1L+N K3EL+N K3EL+N K3EL+Nspring of 1998 gave adequate yields --#when fall applied for the following two Control 8.3 198 44 181growing seasons. The lowest yields in 45 tons/A compost 8.3 216 45 2212000 were found in the spring applied 30 tons/A compost 1.7 38 10 3045 ton/A compost treatment, confirming 45 tons/A raw manure 9.4 250 51 271 150 lb/A urea 5.8 143 30 124the slow release nature of the compostfertility. --- Control 7.0 128 46 103 45 tons/A compost 8.4 202 44 126We observed a dramatic reduction in (spring)available soil phosphorus and 45 tons/A compost (fall) 8.8 190 56 141potassium in the compost treatments 30 tons/A compost (fall) 7.6 166 58 128compared to the raw manure treatment 45 tons/A raw manure 8.2 167 48 128(Table 3). In the fall of 2000, available 150 lb/A urea 9.3 195 48 106soil phosphorus in the three compost !""" Control 6.7 130 40 98plots averaged 56 ppm while the manure 45 tons/A compostplot contained 145 ppm. The raw (spring) 6.0 49 98 146manure increased available phosphorus 45 tons/A compost (fall) 7.5 152 53 104in spite of the fact that the total amount 30 tons/A compost (fall) 7.5 164 57 111of phosphorus added from the raw 45 tons/A raw manure 9.2 190 55 201manure was less than that from the 150 lb/A urea 7.6 151 46 128compost. This result is an indicationthat we may be beginning to achieve our Table 3. Spring 1999 and Fall 2000 Soil Analysisgoal of helping to reduce phosphorusavailability through the composting *=A6;>?. ]6440= 9 process. )=064F0;4 KRN KGGFN KGGFN --- !""" --- !""" --- !"""=740# B($5 P+-$.#"- C&20."%< We Control 5.3 8.1 80 68 390 281completed a nutrient profile in 1998. 45 tons/A compost 5.6 10.5 62 65 356 354We accounted for 62m of the total (spring)nutrient outflow from the lactating barn 45 tons/A compost (fall) 6.7 10.4 66 64 390 316 30 tons/A compost 6.4 8.8 64 40 397 210(550 cows) in the compost. The 45 tons/A raw manure 5.2 6.6 149 145 689 401remaining 38m of the N, P, and b were 150 lb/A urea 6.0 8.9 91 67 473 223recycled to the lagoon storage. Thescreen separator accumulates 25 cubicyards of solids daily with a typical Table 4. Daily Nutrient Flow on Volkmann Farmcomposition of 74.5m moisture, 0.42m ]6_7=. J24=>0;41. K3EL?78L:6<NN, 0.05m P, and 0.14m b. D72=?0 J 9We calculated the output of major Feed input (54 lb dry matter) 1.50 0.27 0.69nutrients in the cow manure (Table 4) Milk output (68 lb) 0.32 0.07 0.11by monitoring daily feed input and milk Manure (feed - milk) 1.18 0.20 0.58output per cow per day. The manurenutrients are estimated by subtractingoutputs from inputs or nutrients in milk from nutrients in E(.";(00 *.5+0(-#) E+"4;;< Additions of manure orfeed. We also calculated the quantity of nutrients stored compost can change soil structure and affect waterin animal weight gain (0.2 lb/cow/day) but this was movement through the soil profile. We decided to apply ainsignificant. simulated storm event to the corn silage plots to see if the compost is having an effect on rainfall runoff and associated sediment and phosphorus loss. We found that both the compost and the raw manure helped with water infiltrationGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 76. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Volkmann —— 77 and reduced runoff when rainfall was Figure 1. Volkmann Runoff in Compost Study applied to the corn ground in mid- September shortly after silage harvest (Figure 1). A similar trend in sediment and phosphorus reduction was measured in the runoff water collected from the rainfall plots (Table 5). The raw manure treatment had extensive weed pressure. These weeds acted in a manner similar to residue to protect the soil and allow for a water infiltration rate even higher than the compost treatment. In summary, after three years of composting manure solids, the project shows promise across several aspects of the system. We are achieving the Table 5. Sediment and Phosphorus Deposition from desired compost temperatures and Simulated Rainfall in Mid-September, 1999 seeing a reduction in mastitis carried in 9@71G@7=21 D0:>F0;4 the bedding. Corn silage yields using )=064F0;4 3EL+ on-farm fertility are matching yields 30 tons/A compost 67 0.16 using purchased urea. Available soil 45 tons/A raw manure no runoff no runoff phosphorus appears to be lower when 150 lb/A urea 406 0.39 compost is used compared to when raw manure is used for corn silage fertility. Runoff, sediment and phosphorus losses are reduced by the compost as Cooperators well. A$##-9% U"9;3B% Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca, MN Management Tips !"56$#%<$2$59B Waseca County Extension, Waseca, MN Q*?$..%U"9+7#B Extension Educator, Waseca, MN 1. The composting process must be systematic to ensure P75.7%@72f$B NRCS, Waseca, MN that raw and finished compost are not mixed or mistakenly )*5$1%a$-==B%Crop Consultant, Hutchinson, MN substituted. This ensures a maximum reduction in A7C$%<=755B%Extension Educator, Le Center, MN pathogens. ^"63% )3$92$5I!*#$9B Southern Research and Outreach Center,,Waseca, MN 2. Test your compost on a small area to determine nutrient availability. Spring applied compost may have a delayed nitrogen release, especially in a wet year. Fall compost Project Location application makes nitrogen more available in the following From Waseca, take Hwy 14 west to Janesville. Turn left spring. at the traffic light in Janesville and go south on Cty Rd 3 to the homestead on the left and dairy on the right. 3. Maintain compost temperatures above 1300F for two weeks to kill pathogens.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 77. 78 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • WheelerReducing Chemical Usage by Using CornSoy Oil on Corn and Soybean Project Summary time-consuming, but the savings generated allow Principal money to be used for other purposes. Carrying Don Wheeler has a 240 acre farm on which he out this project, that is, setting up replicated Investigator grows corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and alfalfa experiments on farm, is also time-consuming. Donald Wheeler in rotation. He uses a ridge-till system with 38” Don has spent more hours planning and on field RR 2, Box 32 rows. He raises long-horn beef cattle (20 head), operationsd Duane has helped with planting andBalaton, MN 56115 which he rotationally graZes, and hogs (10 sows). harvestingd and Rose has helped to set up plots, 507-734-5433 According to the soil survey, his fields contain keep records of inputs and field activities, and Lyon County the following soils: Barnes loam, Svea loam, with the field day. The positive aspect of this Flom Clay loam, and Barnes Buse loam. In extra work is that the family is more aware of Project addition to equipment commonly used on farms, field conditions and have better records. Duration he has a rotary hoe, Buffalo planter, and Hiniker cultivator. His farm is situated on rolling Don has set up two replicated field trials, one 1998 to 2000 topography on the east side of the Coteau Ridge. for corn and the other for soybeans, in This is a family-operated farm, with Don, Rose, collaboration with EliZabeth Dyck, agronomist, ESAP Contact and Duane contributing their knowledge and and Jodie Getting, assistant scientist, of the Jean Ciborowski labor. University of Minnesota Southwest Research and 651-297-3217 Outreach Center (SWROC). To test their theory Don wants to reduce chemical rates and show that soy oil encapsulation can allow reduced people it can be done. He undertook this project rates of herbicide applications, they developed Keywords to test and document soy oil encapsulation of four herbicide treatments for both the corn and herbicides for other farmers. A major problem soybean trials: a full rate treatment, a reduced corn, cultivation, for farmers is that input costs are too high. reduced herbicide rate treatment, a reduced rate plus soy oil Reduction of chemicals can substantially reduce encapsulation treatment, and a no herbicide rates, ridge-till, input costs, which is especially important given treatment. They included the full rate treatment soybeans, soy oil the current low prices. as a check to see how the reduced rate strategy was affecting yield loss to weeds. The reduced Project Description rate with no soy oil encapsulation was included to see whether the soy oil actually improves Don has been using soy oil encapsulation with weed control or whether reduced rate by itself reduced rates of herbicides for several years and is sufficient. Don was interested in the no has had good results. He has been able to use herbicide treatment to see how well weed control fewer chemicals while maintaining yield, which has increased the profitability of the farm. If soil oil encapsulation allows reduced rates of herbicides to be used, this method should also benefit the environment. Don also likes the fact that he is substituting a farmer- produced substancensoy oilnfor herbicides produced by chemical companies. This alternative approach Don Wheeler & Elizabeth Dyck at the field day to herbicide use is moreGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 78. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Wheeler —— 79 could be maintained with cultivation alone. The actual herbicides and rates Table 1. Herbicide Treatments for Corn and Soybean Trials used are listed in Table 1. D7<E06;. Q0=E>?>:01. ` Q0=E>?>:0. )=064F0;4 H7=;.Q0=E>?>:01.`./6401 /6401 The trials were set up following the Full rate Accent Gold ...... 2.9 oz/A Poast Plus ........... 24 oz/A model of the Practical Farmers of Iowa, Clarity .................. 4.0 oz/A COCd ................................ 32 oz/A i.e., the treatments were repeated as NISa .......................... 0.25% V/Vb 28% N ................ 64 oz/A many times as the field siZe allowed 28% N ............. 2.5% V/V using narrow, long plots to allow for the Reduced rate Accent ............. 0.125 oz/A Poast Plus ........... 16 oz/A naturally occurring variability in soil Clarity .................. 2.0 oz/A COC .................... 32 oz/A and topography that exists in any farm 2,4-D Amine ...... 2.0 oz/A 28% N ................ 64 oz/A field. Two fields are used in these Atrazine ............... 24 oz/A experiments. One field allows for plots NIS ................. 0.25% V/V 8 rows wide by 802J long, with each 28% N ............. 2.5% V/V treatment replicated four times. The Reduced rate plus soy oil Accent + Poast Plus ........... 16 oz/A second field is big enough for six Soycapc .................... 0.125 oz/A Soycap ................. 16 oz/A repetitions of each treatment, with each Clarity + 28% N ................ 64 oz/A plot 8 rows wide by 809J long. The Soycap ................. 2.0 oz/A corn and soybean experiments have 2,4-D Amine + been rotated between these fields over Soycap ................. 2.0 oz/A Atrazine + the three-year duration of the project. Soycap .................. 24 oz/A For example, the corn trial in 1998 was 28% N ............. 2.5% V/V on the field with four replications. In 1999, the corn trial moved to the field No herbicide --- --- with six replications. In 2000, the corn a Nonionic surfactant trial was again held on the field with b Volume for volume four replications. c Soycap is a registered trademark of Mitech corporation, which describes this product as “93% once refined degummed soybean oil with 7% high quality emulsifiers.” Soycap was applied at 25 oz/A for atrazine and 3 oz/A for other compounds. In 1998, herbicide treatments were d Crop oil concentrate randomly assigned to plots using a randomiZed complete block design, i.e., Figure 1. Treatment Layout for Field With Four Replications each treatment was repeated within each block or subunit of the field (Figure 1). Each plot has continued to receive the same treatment it was assigned at the start of the experiment. For example, a plot that received full rate of the herbicides in 1998, received a full rate of herbicide in 1999 and in the 2000 season. This allowed assessment of how the treatments affect weed pressure over time. Treatment Key: 1 = Full rate of herbicide Because of the field siZe and number 2 = Reduced rate of herbicide 3 = Reduced rate + soy oil encapsulation of treatments, the plots were laid out 4 = No herbicide right next to one another. To minimiZe the effect of drift from plot to plot, only the inner four rows Soil samples were taken at the onset of the experiment. of each plot were used for measurements and yield Results are reported in Table 2. In the soy oil treatments, assessments. It was therefore important that these inner each herbicide was mixed separately with soy oil before four rows be planted as one pass. This was accomplished being added to the tank. The rule of thumb is to mix an by planting the last two rows of the border area together equal or slightly greater volume of soy oil with the amount with the first two rows of the first plot. of herbicide. See Table 1 for exact amounts of soy oil used with each herbicide. Student interns from SWROC determined weed weight at midseason in all plots. iieldGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 79. 80 —— Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Wheelerwas determined through the use of aweigh wagon supplied by SWROC. Table 2. Soil Test Results *=A6;>? 5>03: GQ B=6<a9. KGGFN . KGGFN ]6440=. KRNResults Six replications 7.1 15 162 5.8Midseason weed weights, yields, and Four replications 6.4 18 151 4.8costs per treatment for the 2000 seasonare shown in Tables 3 and 4. Thesetables show the actual numbers Table 3. Midseason Weed Weights, Yields, and Costs percollected plus a statistical analysis done Treatment in the Corn Trial in 2000of the numbers by the SWROC. The U00:1. KALF!N S>03:. KE2L+Nstatistical analysis allowed fordetermination of whether a difference Herbicide treatment Grass Broadleaf Range Average Cost ($/A)cof say 2 bu/A between treatments is Full rate 0.02a 0.49a 73-76 75 a $38.15“real” (i.e., due to the treatments Reduced rate 0.32a 2.64a 61-81 72 a $21.32themselves) or whether it likely resulted Reduced rate + soy oil 0.00a 2.94a 71-84 78 a $22.52from differences between areas of the No herbicide 2.37 b 8.09a 59-64 61 b $13.94field (due to soil, topography, etc.). a Weed weights were determined by collecting the aboveground portion of all weeds within a 10’ by 3.83’ area centered on the inner two corn rows of each plot at fourThe low corn and soybean yields in locations within each plot. The weeds were then dried and weighed. The weights2000 are the result of two severe hail recorded in the above table are calculated as grams per square meter.storms, which occurred on May 18 and b Within each column, numbers followed by the same letter do not differ significantly according to analysis of variance and LSD mean separation test.July 28. Despite the damage caused c Costs are a sum of herbicide and cultivation costs for each treatment. Herbicideby the hail, treatment differences costs were estimated from those given in the University of Minnesota Extensionoccurred in corn yield. The yield of Service Publication “2000 Cultural & Chemical Weed Control in Field Crops” (BU-the no herbicide treatment was 3157-S). Cultivation costs were estimated using “Minnesota Farm Machinery Economicsignificantly lower than that in the Cost Estimates for 2000” (University of Minnesota Extension Service Publicationherbicide treatments, which may be FO-6696).attributed to the significantly greatergrass (primarily foxtail) pressure in the Table 4. Midseason Weed Weights, Yields, and Costs perno herbicide treatment (Table 3). No Treatment in the Soybean Trial in 2000differences in yield occurred between Grassa Broadleafsoybean treatments, but, as in the corn Herbicide treatment (g/m2) (g/m2) Range Average Cost ($/A)ctrial, grass biomass accumulation at Full rate 2.35 a 1.40a 21-23 22a $20.69midseason was significantly greater in Reduced rate 5.62a 8.33a 15-23 20a $17.45the no herbicide treatment when Reduced rate + soy oil 3.72a 23.90a 18-24 21a $17.19compared to the three herbicide No herbicide 86.21b 4.63a 18-24 19a $11.52treatments (Table 4). As in previous a Weed weights were determined by collecting the aboveground portion of all weedsyears, broadleaf weeds were patchily within a 10’ by 3.83’ area centered over the inner two soybean rows of each plot atdistributed throughout both experiments four locations within each plot. The weeds were then dried and weighed. Theand no significant differences were weights recorded in the above table are calculated as grams per square meter.found between treatments. b Within each column, numbers followed by the same letter do not differ significantly according to analysis of variance and LSD mean separation test. c Costs are a sum of herbicide and cultivation costs for each treatment. HerbicideFor the third year in a row, no differences costs were estimated from those given in the University of Minnesota Extensionin yield or weed pressure have shown Service Publication “2000 Cultural & Chemical Weed Control in Field Crops” (BU-up between the full rate, reduced rate, 3157-S). Cultivation costs were estimated using “Minnesota Farm Machineryand reduced rate plus soy oil treatments Economic Cost Estimates for 2000” (University of Minnesota Extension Servicein the experiments on DonJs farm. Publication FO-6696).Moreover, experiments conducted in especially in terms of corn production. DonJs experimental2000 on the SWROC using the same treatments showed results support his contention that yield can be maintainednsimilar results: corn and soybean yields did not differ and costs can be reducednusing reduced herbicide rates.between the three herbicide treatments (data not shown). However, given the fact that the reduced herbicide rateEquivalent yields using reduced herbicide rates translate alone worked as well as the soy oil treatment, theseinto higher net profitability for the reduced rate treatments, experiments donJt show an advantage to using soy oilGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 80. Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility • Wheeler —— 81 encapsulation. Nevertheless, because he has had success )*2$7"%a-/6$%8"927-#70.$%75+-#6%:99*;-72-*# with it for many years, Don will continue to encapsulate A7.$%d++*/2B Top-Profit Ag reduced rates of herbicides with soy oil on his farm. U$221%Q$C$59$/6$B%U$221%)37#/.$5B%b%4923$5%`5*$#$?$6B Helped at field day For those interested in trying reduced herbicide rates, with )7231% )3"5;3-..B% )35-92-#7% c*..+$5B% _75-% 4#927/B% F$/ or without soy oil, a couple of important points need to be 4#927/B% b% F-+% 8$C;-V, Summer Interns, Southwest kept in mind. First, using less than the label rate means Research and Outreach Center. that any weed problems that may develop will not be the responsibility of the herbicide manufacturer. Second, Project Location reduced herbicide rates are likely to be more effective if applied when weeds are small. Third, reduced rates are Go 2 miles west of Balaton on Hwy 14. Then turn north not likely to work as effectively without cultivation. Don and go 1 mile. Turn west t mile. Farm is on the south is an experienced cultivator who regularly scouts his fields side of the road. for weed flushes and the soil conditions that optimiZe the effectiveness of cultivation. This integrated approach of Other Resources reduced herbicide rates plus timely cultivation is saving Bowman, Greg (Ed.). 1997. 82$$.%-#%23$%=-$./H%:%=75+$5X9 Don money while maintaining his farmJs productivity. 6"-/$%2*%?$$/%+7#76$+$#2%2**.9E Sustainable Agriculture Network, Hills Building, University of cermont, Burlington, Management Tips cT 05405-0082. 802-656-0471. 1. The need for timely spraying and doing your own spraying is important. Cramer, Craig. )*#25*..-#6%?$$/9%?-23%=$?$5%;3$+-;7.9E Available to order at: Rodale Institute: 800-832-6285 or 2. All that is needed to try this approach to weed Rodale web site: management is a decent sprayer and a cultivator. However, as with any new practice, it makes sense to first try this on a limited basis and then expand if it works for you. 3. This project has taught us the need to monitor weather, soil conditions, and indicator plants (e.g., the appearance and siZe of weeds and wildflowers) very closely. 4. Good record-keeping is essential. Cooperators 4.-]70$23%A1;VB%!*/-$%`$22-#6B%Q7P*-#$%Z-;V$.B b%4+-.1%87$6$5B Southwest Research and Outreach Center Don’s soybean plot with reduced herbicide treatmentGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 81. Fruits and Vegetables • Abazs —— 83Integrating Livestock Profitably Into Fr Vegetablea Fruit and Vegetable Operation Project Summary needed to pickaxe. We will evaluate the Principal effectiveness of this clearing method in At Round River Farm we primarily produce subsequent years to see if weeds and brush have Investigators organic fruits and vegetables in the hills of Lake been adequately controlled. David and Lise SuperiorJs North Shore. Our family-run “micro- AbaZs farm” is the only commercial fruit and vegetable The second project is to irrigate the orchard and Round River Farm farm within a 5,000 square mile area. The farm greenhouse with greywater from the farmhouse. 5879 Nikolai Road is powered by solar and wind energy. We use Using different greywater distribution designsFinland, MN 55603 an intensive cropping system of green manures, and applications we will evaluate the systems. 218-353-7736 crop rotations and companion planting on our Also, we are testing the water quality of the Lake County sandy loam soils. We came up with the farmJs greywater by testing the groundwater under two name, Round River Farm, from a writing of apple trees to see if the greywater is adding Project Aldo Leopold: “The current is the stream of pollutants to the groundwater. Duration energy which flows out of the soil, into plants, thence into animals, thence back into the soil, The third aspect of the project is establishing 1999 to 2001 in a never-ending circuit of life.” We have set an orchard in an existing pasture. We are forth to create a lifestyle and agriculture system designing different tree protection enclosures ESAP Contact that is as cyclical and natural as LeopoldJs Round and will compare the effectiveness of these Wayne Monsen River. enclosures while graZing with sheep and goats. 651-282-2261 Project Description Results Keywords We view Round River Farm as one big In the summer of 1999 we wanted to see how experiment to explore the practical possibilitiesestablishing trees in much land three hogs could clear. We made a of finding true sustainability in this harsh short- pastures, greywater pigpen with four 16J hog panels, four 12J x 2” x seasoned environment. This project will help irrigation, North 4” boards, one piece of s” plywood, eight U- us investigate and demonstrate innovative, Shore fruit and bolts and four little bags of metal pipe strapping. sustainable techniques. Our soil is sandy, vegetable We wanted to design the pen so that it was lacking in nutrients, droughty, very shallow andproduction, pigs for light enough for one person to move but heavy abounds with boulders, building stones and land clearing enough that the pigs could not move it. The gravel. The land, however, holds much promise total cost for the materials for the pen was just and we want to show that you can have a under o100. profitable and sustainable farm on marginal land. In this project, we want to focus on three aspects of the farm. The first is to use pigs to turn brush land into cropland. With so many rocks it is impossible to mechanically till the soil. We have been using pick- axes to clear the land but this is extremely slow. We are going to demonstrate how the use of hogs to browse and root will David demonstrating greywater equipment site reduce the amount of time GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 82. 84 —— Fruits and Vegetables • AbazsWe purchased three 30 lb pigs to rotate through the field. functioned as a hinged door. Metal posts were used toThe pigs were moved to a new plot of ground each day. In secure the panel.addition to the pigs rooting for grubs, roots, and brush, wefed them three scoops of cracked corn everyday. The pigs We had devastating results with the tree protectors. Wewere never medicated and were healthy all summer. We did not believe that goats would be able to reach throughthink this was because they moved to new ground each the 6” square openings on the panels and reach the We followed the pigs with our pickaxes and the pigs They pushed and tried every angle and many of the treesseemed to cut our workload in half. After we pickaxed were damaged. We tried securing the panels to the groundand cleared rocks, the land was rototilled and planted to a to limit movement of the panel and wrapping trees withcover crop. feed sacks or chicken wire. The feed sacks were chewed up and we had plastic shreds all over the field. The chickenWe estimate that it took us 200 hours to pickaxe 4,000 sq wire worked the best and we plan to use this on all of ourft without using pigs. Using the pigs it took us 300 hours trees in 2001. The sheep were not as hard on the trees asto pickaxe 12,000 sq ft. On a per square foot basis it cut the goats.our labor in half. At the end of the season the pigs werebutchered and provided meat for three families, something We continued using the greywater irrigation system toa bulldoZer cannotw irrigate the orchard. The redesigned water filtration provided clean water and trouble free irrigation in the dripThe second project in 1999 was the orchard and greenhouse lines all season long.greywater irrigation system. We view the use of greywateras a “waste to resource” that can really add to the Management Tipssustainability of a farm. We experimented with two differentdistribution designs and applications. Several drip irrigation 1. Using hogs to root and till small areas really reduceslines were installed in the orchard and one line in the labor, especially in rocky areas.greenhouse. Both final designs worked well and equallydistributed the greywater with each 30-gallon pumping 2. Use a good filter system to ensure that greywater flowscycle. We irrigated much of the orchard throughout the through drip irrigation systems.summer. The filtration system to clean the greywater wasredesigned to provide cleaner greywater for trouble free 3. iou can reduce or eliminate purchased inputs of fertiliZerirrigation. for trees irrigated with greywater.Also in 1999, we installed lysimeters (instruments to testthe ground water) under two apple trees. This will allowus to collect water to see if pollutants are in the soil. Wewill test groundwater samples in 2001 to see if pollutantshave been transported to the groundwater under the treesirrigated with greywater.In 2000, we began to incorporate orchards into an existingpasture. We are field-testing several tree protection fencingideas for goats and sheep. Combining orchards andpastures should increase production in a small area. Treesin the pasture should reduce disease and pest problems inthe orchard because the animals will remove all un-harvested fruit. Livestock graZing amongst the orchardalso provides nutrient needs to the trees from the manureand help reduce mowing time.Ten apple trees were planted with protection fenceenclosures of various styles. The fence protectors weremade of 16J rigid cattle panels cut into 12J and 4J sections.The 12J section was bent slightly so it would bend around Apple trees doing well withthe tree and the 4J section was attached to the panel and greywater irrigationGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 83. Fruits and Vegetables • Abazs —— 85 4. Newly planted trees in pastures need to be protected and bear to the right. Farm is located at the end of Nikolai by both an outside ridged barrier and a tight woven wire, Rd. Park in the valley by Sawmill Creek and walk up the like chicken wire, tree wrap to protect them from goats. half-mile rocky road to the farm. 5. Crops can grow on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Other Resources 6. There are excellent markets for fresh produce along the d79-9% A$9-6#E% Ecological design consulting for water, North Shore. wastewater, and solar systems. Available at: Cooperators F3$% 4;*.*6-;7.% 4#6-#$$5-#6% `5*",E Designers and Q7V$%)*"#21%4W2$#9-*# engineers of alternative/advanced wastewater and 8"927-#70.$%75+-#6%:99*;-72-*#%*=%Z*523$792%P-##$9*27 resource-conservation solutions. Available at: Project Location 81+U-*8192$+E% A kit that is a reliable, cost-effective and Take Hwy 61 north from Duluth to Hwy 1. Turn left on simple way to make a resource out of wastewater. Hwy 1 and go to Finland. In Finland, take a right on Cty Available at: Rd 6 (Little Marais Rd) and go 2.8 miles to Nikolai RdGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 84. 86 —— Fruits and Vegetables • AdelmannValue Adding to Small Far ms Through Adding Far arms ExcessProcessing Excess Production Project Summary time for garlic season. During July and August, Principal midsummer vegetables make up the bulk of Jeff and Mary AdelmannJs farm has 25 acres sales. Late crops like pumpkin, squash, Investigators devoted to growing organic vegetables, garlic, ornamental corn, corn shocks, dried fall Jeffrey A. and Mary and herbs. The farmJs proximity to the Twin decorations and precut Christmas trees finish Adelmann Cities allows Jeff and Mary to direct market their their year. 24149 Chippendale produce from both the St. Paul FarmersJ Market Avenue W. and their roadside stand. Many vegetable crops grown in MinnesotaJs Farmington, MN short summers reach peak production times that 55024 A problem for the Adelmanns is that their peak coincide with other farmersJ harvest. This large 651-463-2504 production times coincide with other farmersJ amount of produce simultaneously reaching the harvests. This creates a market overabundance market forces growers to compete by lowering Project and forces all market farmers to drop their prices. prices, sometimes to prices which do not reflect Duration Jeff and MaryJs challenge is to sell excess crops the costs of production. Even the highest quality at a profitable price. produce returns low prices which, in turn, leaving 1999 to 2001 some of the usable crop in the field unharvested. The goal of the AdelmannJs project is to add ESAP Contact value and shelf life to their unsold crop while Jeff Adelmann realiZed that his highly perishable Mary Hanks taking advantage of the off-season markets. To crops, such as tomatoes and peppers, seldom 651-296-1277 do this, Jeff and Mary are using an existing find a home if not sold shortly after harvest.Author: Mary Routh greenhouse to dry their excess produce of Wind and heat stress the produce at open markets tomatoes, peppers, herbs and garlic. Not only that are sometimes in the middle of parking lots. are the Adelmanns taking advantage of the Transporting the produce can also take its toll. Keywords greenhouseJs “wasted” solar heat but also off- season greenhouse space. By drying a portion of his unsold produce, Jeff dried food, excess produce, could reduce waste plus avoid the necessity of greenhouse, Project Description selling his crop at prices he cannot afford. And, processing, solar The AdelmannJs business consists of growing by drying flavorful heirloom varieties that have drying, value added customer appeal, Jeff could also create a new organic vegetables and garlic on 25 acres of tillable land. In ten greenhouses they propagate product that would extend the length of his sales and grow over 2,000 varieties of plants, primarily into other seasons. He wanted to process his herbs and other useful plants. The field is new product within his existing business by planted with tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, gourds, ornamental corn varieties, and herbs. Over 100 varieties of heirloom garlic are planted for July harvest. Market season for the Adelmanns begins in mid- April with plant sales at both their roadside market and through the St. Paul market system. After July, plant sales fall off in Jeff shows visitors heirloom tomatoes in greenhouseGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 85. Fruits and Vegetables • Adelmann —— 87 utiliZing off-season greenhouse space and “wasted” solar inside the greenhouse. Jeff expressed frustration that he heat during harvest season. could not get juicy tomatoes to dry fast enough during the day: “It was like taking two steps forward during hot days The project began with the production of 3,000 heirloom and taking one step backwards at night.” The results of tomato transplants from seeds collected in 1999. Five the drying experiments are: hundred of each of the following varieties were planted: Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, Nebraska Wedding, Great Trial 1: Sixty pounds of tomatoes were bought wholesale White, Black brim, and Mr. Stripey. These were since local produce was not yet ready. The tomatoes were transplanted to a one acre field in late June. sliced thin and placed on trays covered with waxed paper. The fruit dried but the heat in the greenhouse melted the A small greenhouse (45J x 12J) was converted into both a wax onto the pieces which made it difficult to separate. drying room and a work area. The south side was converted The total batch had to be discarded. into a large solar dryer by removing the greenhouse benches and replacing them with used convenience store shelves. Trial 2: About 90 lb of tomatoes were sliced at different Recycled 3J x 12J rubber coated bread racks spanned the thicknesses or cut into quarters and placed on freeZer paper shelves. The racks supported twenty 14” x 24” aluminum this time. Thin slices dried quickly but attached to the trays. The trays were recycled PiZZa Hut pans with holes paper. Thicker slices began to get moldy before drying in the bottom, ideal for air circulation. North side benches was finished. The total batch had to be discarded. were left for workspace. Trial 3: Fifty to 60 lb of mixed, heirloom variety tomatoes Produce was placed on the paper-lined trays to avoid were cut into larger pieces and placed on freeZer paper contact with the aluminum surface. Black nylon landscape lined trays. The greenhouse dryer was used for three days fabric covered the trays. Besides promoting heat to remove juice moisture. After driving off the “cutting” absorption, the black cloth also blocked sunlight from moisture, the pieces were then placed in a smaller household bleaching the product. The landscape fabric was draped dehydrator for finishing. The yield was 2.5 lb. over the benches like a tent to promote optimum air flow. Over the summer the Adelmanns successfully dried Three drying trials were run in 2000. Tomatoes from a multiple batches of various herbs, peppers, and hardneck wholesale distributor were dried in June. The second trial garlic. None were lost to mold. The herbs dried thoroughly in August experimented with remaining greenhouse grown in two to three days with little loss of color or essential tomatoes and the September trial dried heirloom tomatoes oils. The peppers dried in about the same time and were from the field. During and between tomato trials, any extra finished in smaller dehydrators before storage. space was used to dry bell peppers, habenero and other hot varieties of peppers. Garlic and small batches of herbs luality standards for the finished product were based on such as catnip, basil, bay leaf, and tarragon were also texture, color, and taste. The Adelmanns aimed for a trialed. crispy, dry texture in all of their dried vegetables. Jeff explained that thicker pieces of dried produce tend to share Greenhouse temperatures would reach 110 to 120°F during the day so a squirrel cage fan was left on continuously to circulate this hot air until all product was dry. At the end of the drying process, the product was examined. Moldy product was completely discarded. Product with good color, texture, and taste was considered satisfactory. Results Drying time for tomatoes averaged about five to seven days depending on humidity and cloudiness. There were problems with dried product rehydrating. During the night the falling ambient temperature created humid conditions Tomato production in the fieldGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 86. 88 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Adelmannmoisture with smaller pieces when instorage. A crispy dry product is less Table 1: Yield of Dried Vegetablesapt to spoil while the moisture is 9=7:2?0 +F72;4. 92=?@610: +F72;4. I=>0:. 9=7:2?4distributing throughout the jar. All K3E1N 9>?C0:. K3E1N KG>;41Nfinished material was placed in brown Beans, lima 7 1 1/4 2glass containers and sealed. Beans, snap 6 1/2 2 1/2 Beets 15 1 1/2 3-5In order to be successful with drying Broccoli 12 1 3/8 3-5tomatoes and other juicy vegetables, the Carrots 15 1 1/4 2-4Adelmanns realiZe that they need to Celery 12 3/4 3 1/2-4aggressively control temperatures Corn 18 2 1/2 4-4 1/2 Greens 3 1/4 5 1/2during cloudy days and at night. Onions 12 1 1/2 4 1/2Although the greenhouse dryer did very Peas 8 3/4 1well with peppers and herbs, an outside Pumpkin 11 3/4 3 1/2heat source will be necessary to Squash 10 3/4 5continue with tomatoes. Jeff foresees Tomatoes 14 1/2 2 1/2-3adding an electric or propane heater next Source: Philips, Drying Foods at Home,year to keep just above nighttime University of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension Serviceambient temperatures.Pastry cloth will be tried next year as a tray liner. Its Cooperatorsporous weave should be more conducive to air flow and, a$##$%8*0$56B Herb producer, Lakeville, MNhopefully, it will not stick to the produce. <7".%a$/%4.VB Processor, St. Paul, MN !7;V%`$52$#B St. Paul Farmers Market, St. Paul, MNFinally, the Adelmanns pointed out that the value of dried !-+%`*./$#B St. Paul Growers Association, St. Paul, MNfood to the grower is primarily in added shelf life. Driedtomatoes available commercially sell for about o1/oZ. It Project Locationtakes about 25 lb of fresh fruit to make one pound of driedtomato. Retail prices for in-season tomatoes have been The farm is 2s miles south of Farmington on the southwestaround o.50-75/lb and more for specialty types. Using corner of the intersection of 240th Street and State Hwy 3.these figures, 25 lb of fresh tomatoes sells for o12.50.Sixteen ounces of dried tomatoes sells for o16 or a 28m Other Resourcesincrease in value. Less handling time is necessary to makethis margin work for the grower. bendall, P., and L. Allen. 2001. A51-#6% C$6$270.$9E )*.*57/*%4W2$#9-*#%<"0.-;72-*#%Z*E%OEMJ. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Resource Center, 115Management Tips General Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523,1. Be sure to close up the greenhouse at night to keep the 877-692-9358. Available at:warm air in and cool air out. beep track of your time to make sure drying is worthwhile. berr, Barbara. 1998. :% 5$C-$?% *=% 9*.75% =**/% /51-#6ELess handling time is necessary for the grower to make a profit. Available at: a workspace nearby so that time is not wasted duringhandling. Miller, R. A. 1985. F3$%,*2$#2-7.%*=%3$509%79%7%;793%;5*,E Acres USA, P.O. Box 9547, bansas City, MO 64133.3. Rent or share a state approved kitchen for initial processingof produce such as washing or slicing. This saves the cost of Philips, Marjorie. A51-#6% =**/9% 72% 3*+$E Cooperativebuilding a commercial kitchen. Extension Service, University of Arkansas, 2301 S. University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204, 501-671-2000.4. Work with your stateJs Department of Health licensingrequirements on selling your final dried product.5. Examine dried foods at grocery stores to get a good ideaof quality standards, appearance, and trends. Find out whatthe customer wants.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 87. Fruits and Vegetables • Bailey —— 89Evaluating the Benefits of Compost MarketTeas to the Small Market Grower Project Summary small grain, alfalfa, corn, soybeans and rye. Forty Principal acres are rotationally graZed with beef cattle. We are attempting to provide locally relevant Forty acres of woodland are managed for mature Investigators information about the potential benefits of timber harvest, wood fuel, and recreational Pat Bailey compost tea. All four farms involved in this enjoyment. There are four acres of certified Weaver Gardens project have experienced disease problems in organic vegetable production with local RR 1, Box 588 our horticultural crops. There is an expanding marketing through a CSA and a farmers market. Altura, MN 55910 interest in the use of compost tea as a means The Warthesens also raise free range chickens. 507-767-3225 of preventing or minimiZing disease problems, especially fungal diseases. Whitewater Gardens consists of 120 acres of Sandy DietZWhitewater Gardens rolling fields and woods on the bluffs above We are making and applying compost tea as a Whitewater State Park. Sandy DeitZ raises five RR 1, Box 250 foliar spray to grapes, ornamental flowers, and Altura, MN 55910 acres of organic fresh market vegetables that vegetables. The extent of foliar disease is then are sold at farmersJ markets, restaurants, directly 507-932-5225 monitored visually to determine the effect of the from the farm, and through a small CSA. In tea. In our first year of compost tea addition, there are 50 acres of organic field crops Marge Warthesen experimentation, we have some evidence of a including a rotation of hay and food grade Many Hands Farm reduction of foliar diseases on Zinnias and RR 1, Box 125 soybeans and corn. Theilman, MN grapes. Besides the specific results of our field 55945 studies, we want to make people aware of the Weaver Gardens is a 50 acre homestead in the 507-534-3047 wealth of new work being done by researchers, blufflands, with considerable relief on the gardeners, landscapers, and farmers who are property. On the lower, gently sloping land near Peggy Backup investigating compost tea around the country. the valley floor, Pat Bailey and family operate a Bluffland Cellars one acre market garden focusing on cut flower 101 B, Cty. Rd. 81 Project Description production with secondary vegetable crops. Six Wabasha, MN 75+% /$9;5-,2-*#9E At Bluffland cineyards, acres of old pasture are undergoing restoration 55981 Peggy Backup farms five acres of wine grapes to native prairie with plans to include prairie and 651-565-3794 Wabasha County representing over three doZen varieties. These planted woodland flowers for cut flower sales. include cinifera grapes grown in California and Europe which need winter protection. The All of our operations have had foliar disease Project vineyard is located on a heavy alluvial silty clay problems including crown gall on grapes, leaf Duration blight on cut flowers, and powdery mildew on soil facing Garvin Brook, a well known trout 2000 to 2002 stream. In the Midwest, it is very unusual to ESAP Contact choose a wet site with heavy soil for a vineyard. Mark ^umwinkle This provides some 651-282-6204 advantages in terms of productivity and flavorful Keywords wines, but brings greater disease and excessive compost tea, foliar growth. diseases, organic production On the 160 acre Many Hands Farm, Marge Warthesen and family Marge, Peggy, and Sandy raise 80 acres of field in Peggy’s vineyard crops with a rotation of GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 88. 90 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Baileypeas. We read about various growers using compost tea Resultsas a means of preventing or minimiZing disease problemsand providing fertility so we became interested in exploring Making compost tea is not difficult. In fact, it is a pleasantthis practice. Compost tea can add beneficial microbial chore. We found it interesting to watch the changes thatlife to the leaves of crops and to the soil. To focus on soil occurred as the tea became stronger. The teas wereand plant surface ecology rather than just on soil nutrients typically brewed within two to five days dependingand fungicides is an innovative approach. If growers find primarily on temperature. As the tea is being brewed, thethat compost tea can be substituted for fungicides and other liquid starts foaming. Once a scum (a sticky foam)pesticides, we feel that this would have enormous benefits. develops and the smell of the molasses additive is gone,Not only would chemical use be reduced, compost tea then the brew is considered ready for spraying. The teamay restore a healthy microbial community once pesticides should be sprayed within 12 hours to avoid the developmenthave been used or may jump-start a site initially being put of anaerobic bacteria.into production. Compost and compost tea can be producedon the farm, reducing the need for off-farm inputs. We used four types of compost for the tea. Two commercial composts were used to see whether weOne aspect of the project is to utiliZe highly specialiZed wanted to make similar composts in following years. Onelaboratory services that provide information to growers was a mixture of peat, other forest products, and manure.on the microbial condition of their soil, compost, and leaves. The other was a vermicompost or red worm compost. TheWe want to ascertain how useful this type of analysis is in two on-farm composts were primarily manure with bedding.guiding the production and use of compost tea. We had planned to send both compost and compost teaSome of us have used no fungicides and have relied on in for microbial analysis. However, after talking to adisease resistant varieties, plant rotation, fall cleanup, and consultant, we found that because of the highly changingbuilding soil health in our attempt to minimiZe disease nature of the tea over time, a more meaningful evaluationproblems. But we would like to further reduce our losses of tea quality can be made by sending in leaves (sprayedto plant diseases. Peggy has been using expensive and not sprayed) from the crops being treated. For the firstfungicides on her grapes and would like to reduce her year, we sent in samples of each of the composts. We arereliance on them. She has found that baking soda provides using this information to guide our compost making forrelief from late season downy mildew. She hopes that next year. We plan to do leaf assays next year to helpcompost tea will provide early and midseason disease make changes in tea recipes.control. The vineyard is affected by crown gall, a bacterialdisease that has no known cure. It is hoped that perhapscompost tea may improve the vinesJ resistance to crowngall or boost its ability to recover from the infection.Our original three year plan for this project was to:1. Gather information about the use of compost tea through a diversity of sources.2. Design and build a compost tea brewer.3. UtiliZe our own compost in making compost tea.4. Develop, evaluate, and revise tea recipes using laboratory analysis of microbial species composition.5. Test the effectiveness of the teas to suppress diseases on various crops.Our first year plans were altered somewhat due to ourstruggle to obtain equipment and not knowing exactly howto use the microbial analyses for making changes to thecompost and compost tea recipes. Just prior to thebeginning of this project, reasonably priced commercialbrewing equipment became available and we purchasedthree units, eliminating the need to fabricate our own. Brewing compost teaGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 89. Fruits and Vegetables • Bailey —— 91 We used two commercial additives when brewing the tea. and assessed for disease in the same fashion as the Zinnias. The additives included kelp, blackstrap molasses, guano The sprayed sunflowers generally had lower disease levels and lignin. One solution was for a fungal dominated tea but the difference was not significant. and the other for a bacterial dominated tea. We used a sticker-spreader for tea application. Spraying tea with a The pea and cucumber plots did not produce meaningful backpack sprayer proved to be laborious as 15 gallons data. The peas froZe out in the fall, and the cucumber took three to four hours. plants intertwined between treatments and effects could not be separated out by plot. Several separate research projects were undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the tea. We tested the tea We have learned that compost tea is easy to make and on grapes, Zinnias, sunflowers, peas, and cucumbers. We early results show a positive effect on foliar diseases. We did not start spraying routinely until mid-July and were have much to learn about what constitutes a good compost not able to do control trials on tomatoes, summer squash, for making tea. We look forward to incorporating laboratory and potatoes since disease problems were established. analysis of compost, treated foliage, and soil with our observed field results. `57,$9E% One-half acre of two-year old Frontenac vines was used to compare the following treatments: Management Tips j Compost tea (fungal tea on the soil and bacterial tea 1. Compost tea is only as good as the compost that is on the leaves) applied three times used to make it. Make the tea with the end crop in mind. j Commercial fertiliZer Grapes, berries, and trees should be treated with fungal j Standard treatment (commercial fertiliZer plus tea. Most row crops should be treated with bacterial tea. pesticide/fungicide spray) j Standard treatment plus compost tea 2. Spray the tea soon after it is ready to avoid the j Control (no inputs) development of anaerobic organisms. The grapes were assessed by evaluating hardening off, a 3. Preventative spraying is preferable to troubleshooting form of maturity and preparation for winter. Hardening when a disease problem has already become obvious. off is an observed color change in the bark, turning it into a rich cinnamon brown. Poorly hardened wood appears Cooperators blotchy or black and dies back during the winter. All a"99$..%F"5#$5B%Wabasha, MN treatments had increased hardening off compared to the F*+%P*99-$5B Wabasha County Solid Waste & Recycling, control but only the standard treatment plus compost tea Wabasha, MN showed a significant increase in hardening off. Next year )75.%a*9$#B University of Minnesota Extension, we will be able to better assess treatment effects by St. Paul, MN measuring vine growth and yield on these same plots. <$2$5% ^$+927/B University of Minnesota Horticulture Research Center, Excelsior, MN e-##-79E$ Benary Giant Zinnias were planted on July 2, A"7#$%U7W2$5B%Rochester, MN 2000. The foliage was sprayed with a bacterial tea three Q7551%837=$5, Agro-b Corporation, Minneapolis, MN times through the growing season. Sprayed Zinnias were compared to an unsprayed control by visually assessing the extent of disease infection. Random Zinnia plants Project Location from each plot were evaluated on four occasions during Weaver Gardens is located on the north side of State Hwy the summer. A leaf blight (presumably Alternaria) became 74, ~ mile W. of U.S. Hwy 61, the last residence in Weaver established in midsummer. For three of the four evaluation going west. Contact Pat Bailey for directions to other sites. dates, the treated plants had a statistically lower level of disease infection than those that were not sprayed. This Other Resources effect was more pronounced later in the year, suggesting that the compost tea spray was able to arrest progress of Ingham, Elaine, and Michael Alms. 1999. )*+,*92%2$7 the disease even after symptoms appeared. +7#"7.E% Available at 8"#=.*?$59E%%Sunrich orange hybrid pollenless sunflowers An extensive bibliography is available by contacting Pat were planted on July 3, 2000. The foliage was sprayed Bailey at 507-767-3225 or Mark ^umwinkle at with compost tea three times through the growing season 651-282-6204.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 90. 92 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Friend and Peteler WeedSustainable Weed Control in Vineyarda Commercial Vineyard Project Summary commercial wool mulch which cost o1.14/ft Principal including shippingd 3) flame weedingd and, 4) On our small farm, we rotationally graZe our weeder geese. Investigators commercial ewe flock and direct-market ourCatherine Friend and lamb to consumers. Four years ago, we planted one acre of wine grapes to diversify our farm. Results Melissa Peteler Rising Moon Farm Our goal was, and is, to grow the grapes with as 1) Black Poly Fabric Mulch: We used a flame 42400 - 145th few pesticides as possible. We currently sell weeder to remove last yearJs weed residue, then Avenue Way our grapes on contract to a Minnesota winery. applied the black poly fabric mulch in the spring ^umbrota, MN with the help of neighbors, friends, and family. 55992 Project Description This job was much more labor intensive than 507-732-7574 we expected, taking two people one hour Effective weed control in a commercial-scale progress 100J. We attached the mulch to the Goodhue County vineyard is difficult without chemicals or soil with six-inch ground staples every 12-18”. massive amounts of labor. While we maintain a The black fabric mulch could be stretched for a Project grass cover between rows by mowing, weed tight fit over the soil, providing a low, clean edge Duration control ?-23-# the row poses a greater challenge. for the mower so we could mow right up to the cines are planted four feet apart along a two- 2000 edge of the black mulch. wire trellis. The lowest wire is at three feet, a barrier to mowing. The space between and ESAP Contact The black fabric mulch suppressed weeds around the vines becomes overrun with weeds. successfully. Only a few weeds worked their Jean Ciborowski WeJve tried both hand mowing and weed way through the small openings in the mulch 651-297-3217 whacking, and found both too labor-intensive. around the vines. A few clever thistles learned if they leaned way over the mulch the mower The vineyard is an important part of our long- couldnJt reach them. But otherwise, this section Keywords term plans for the farm. The peak labor was free of weeds. requirements of pruning and harvest are during black poly fabric the “down” times for our sheep operation, so mulch, grapes, 2) Weeder Geese: We purchased 12 day-old the two systems fit well together. The weeding vineyard geese, six Emden and six Toulouse, and raised labor, however, creates great pressure because them in a heated pen. We fenced off one-fourth it comes during our busy spring and summer of the vineyard using a combination of an existing activities: lambing 60 ewes on pasture and five-wire electric fence on two sides, woven rotationally graZing 180 animals. We are seeking a weed control method that fits our sustainable farm, i.e., one that doesnJt harm the environment, that is economically feasible, and that maintains our quality of life. We divided our vineyard, which has eleven 400J rows, into four equal sections to test the following four methods: 1) black poly fabric mulch which cost o.19/ft Grapes growing in the vineyard including shippingd 2)GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 91. Fruits and Vegetables • Friend and Peteler —— 93 electric poultry fencing, and garden fence. We built a 4Jx8J, Management Tips three-sided shelter out of 2x4s and plywood, and moved the geese in after they feathered out, at about 12 weeks. 1. Wool Mulch: Install in new vineyards only after tilling the soil completely. Or, use a Weed Badger to lightly till The geese were spotty weeders, eating some areas down the soil around established vines prior to application. For to the soil but leaving others. They consistently made a best results use two layers of mulch. mudhole next to their water source no matter where we moved it. We mowed this section once during the summer. 2. Geese: Consider moving them into the vineyard for As the geese grew, they became tall enough to play with only part of the day to avoid nuisance damage. Moving and eat the vinesJ lower leaves and eventually began the geese daily increases a vineyardJs labor requirements. stripping bark from a few vines. This killed five vines. We removed the geese from the vineyard, banishing them 3. Flame Weeding: Flame the entire area every week to to the pasture. In the late fall eight geese were butchered keep weeds down. A mechanical means of flaming, and sold. including a vehicle to carry the propane tank, would be best. 3) Flame Weeding: We purchased a 40-pound propane tank, a two-wheeled cart, and a hand propane torch. When 4. Black Poly Fabric Mulch: While the initial labor the weeds were small in the early spring, the flame weeding requirement is high, once applied this mulch requires no could be done fairly easily. But if the weeds in a row grew maintenance and suppresses all weeds. Rodents do not longer than five or six inches, the labor and fuel costs to nest under this mulch. flame grew too high. Flaming only kills the above ground portion of the weeds so the roots remain viable and the Project Location weeds re-grow. Because the labor required for this method Call or email for directions. competed with the labor requirements of our sheep operation, we discontinued flame weeding by midsummer. Other Resources 4) Wool Mulch: We used a flame weeder to prepare the P-##$9*27% `57,$% `5*?$59% :99*;-72-*#E John Marshall, ground then applied the commercial wool mulch in the early Secretary. 35680 Highway 61 Blvd., Lake City, MN spring. It stretched out of shape too easily so we could not 55041. Email: pull it tight. Instead we laid it as flat as possible and This is a membership organiZation and publishes the stapled it into place with six-inch ground staples every 12- quarterly newsletter Z*2$9%=5*+%23$%Z*523 with information 18”. The edges curled and stretched, catching easily in about grape production. Information available at: http:// the mower blade, forcing us to leave a fringe of weeds on either side of the wool mulch rows. The wool mulch became the favorite nesting grounds of mice and pocket Pirog, R. 2000. `57,$% 4W,$;272-*#9H% % :% **/% 8192$+ gophers and it soon grew lumpy with nests or piles of soil <$59,$;2-C$% *#% a$/$C$.*,-#6% 23$% >*?7% `57,$% >#/"9251E dug by these pests. Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, 209 Curtiss Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1050, We learned by midsummer that wool mulch might be more 515-294-1854. appropriate to use in new vineyards where the soil can be entirely tilled and prepared before planting the vines. Ours is an established vineyard with two to four year old plants and we didnJt own the expensive equipment necessary to lightly till the soil around established plants. As a result, the wool mulch failed to provide an adequate weed barrier. We have been told that it will work when applied to soil that has been totally worked up, and that for best results, two layers should be used. This makes it a very expensive option. The original plan was to study these four non-chemical methods. In only three months, we learned which method is likely to work the bestd the black poly fabric mulch.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 92. 94 —— Fruits and Vegetables • HooverBio-based Weed Control in Strawberries Using SheepBio-based Weed StrawberriesWool Mulch, Canola Mulch & Canola Green Manure Project Summary and weeds continue to be the number one reason Principal why yields decline and strawberry fields are Strawberry producers in Minnesota, and removed from production. Investigator elsewhere, have lost or are soon to lose many Dr. Emily Hoover of the chemical weed control options which they Strawberry growers in Minnesota currently apply University of previously depended upon, i.e. Dacthal, methyl herbicides up to three times in the establishment Minnesota bromide, etc. Over reliance upon a small year - at planting, in mid to late June, and in late Department of number of herbicides may be expected in the autumn, before winter mulch is applied. Horticultural near future. This could result in additional Strawberry producers have lost or are soon to Science problems, both agricultural and legal, for lose many of the chemical weed control options 1970 Folwell producers. As a consequence of these actions upon which they have depended. (Dacthal and Avenue and possibilities, producers of many methyl bromide are two examples of productsSt. Paul, MN 55108 horticultural crops are now desperate for 612-624-6220 no longer labeled for use on strawberries.) Over- management systems that include viable reliance upon a small number of herbicides may Ramsey County alternatives for weed control. Our experiment be expected in the near future. This can result with strawberries may serve as a model that in additional problems, both agricultural and Project has relevance to a number of other high value legal, for producers. Duration fruit and vegetable crops such as broccoli, 1999 to 2001 cabbage, leeks, melons, tomatoes, and Zucchini, Midwestern strawberry producers also typically to name a few. rototill and/or hand hoe two or more times ESAP Contact during the growing season. A lack of herbicide Our objective is to find new ways for strawberry options is likely to lead to increased tillage. Jean Ciborowski growers to control weeds and reduce herbicide 651-297-3217 use in strawberry production using two Our project examines biologically based approaches. The first involves research and methods of weed management using strawberry Keywords demonstration of combined biological, cultural, as a model system. We evaluated weed control and mechanical weed control, which is itself during strawberry establishment as affected by canola green an example of integrated weed management. biologically and locally produced mulches - non- manure, canola The second involves the substitution of a mulch, mulch, sheep woven woolen mats (from locally reared sheep) renewable resource-based fumigant/herbicide/ and spring sown canola. The effects of these wool mulch, mulch for weed management in strawberries, strawberry two types of mulches on weed control and a crop directly consumed by the public. strawberry production were studied Project Description Lack of effective weed control is the major limiting factor in strawberry production. With few herbicides labeled for use in this perennial crop, weeds are controlled using manual labor, cultivation, and one or two herbicide applications. However, these practices do not provide long term, Bio-based weed control in strawberries effective weed control,GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 93. Fruits and Vegetables • Hoover —— 95 independently, and in tandem, integrating weed management wool mulch treatments, the transplants were inserted through for producers. 3” long slits cut through the fabric. In the standard herbicide treatment, Dacthal WP was applied immediately following Research was conducted at two locations, the West Central transplanting at a rate of 12 lb/A and incorporated with an Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris, MN overhead sprinkler. Strawberry transplants were visually and Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake, MN. inspected and dead plants were replaced one week after the transplanting date. For the standard herbicide treatment, The following treatments, each replicated three times and a second application of Dacthal was made at a rate of 12 arranged in a randomiZed complete block design, were lb/A on August 4, 1999 and Devrinol was applied at a rate established at both study locations: of 8 lb/A on November 5, 1999. Strawberry plants were mulched with a 5” layer of wheat straw on November 10, !)#&;#*$%/S !)#&;#*$>#3-).9./* 1999. 1. Wool mulch, single-ply, centered on crop row 2. Wool mulch, double-ply, centered on crop row Weed counts were determined in 6-25 x 40 cm (10” x 15”) 3. Canola mulch created by glyphosate application in quadrants within each plot on July 13, 1999 and August mid-May 16, 1999 in Morris and on July 26, 1999 and August 25, 4. Canola green manure created by disking to 100 mm 1999 at White Bear Lake. Three quadrants were centered (4”) in mid-May on the strawberry row and the remainder were centered 5. Canola green manure created by glyphosate application between the rows. Within the quadrants, weeds were and disking separated into two groups - grass and broadleaf weeds. 6. Wool mulch centered on rows and canola mulch between rows Strawberry plant growth was monitored by counting the 7. Wool mulch centered on rows and canola mulch within number of rooted daughter plants in each of the and between rows aforementioned quadrants in each plot. Daughter plant 8. Standard herbicide treatments for Midwest strawberry counts were made on the same days as weed counts as production well as on September 15 and October 13 for Morris and 9. Weed-free check (hand weeded) September 22 and October 20 at White Bear Lake. 10. Weedy check At the Morris site, temperature at the soil surface and at a The wool mulch material was a single-ply landscape fabric, 6” depth was monitored for each treatment (one replication) 0.9 cm (3/8”) thick and 61 cm (24”) wide, and was using thermocouple temperature probes. Soil water fabricated from low-quality wool. Wool fabric was placed potential was measured using Watermark sensors installed on the soil surface and held down with 6” long landscape at a 6” depth below the row and between the row. stakes. Canola (Brassica napus cv) was the •Dwarf EssexJ variety. Strawberry plants were •GlooscapJ variety. iield data was collected in June of 2000 from the middle Supplemental irrigation was supplied with a surface placed 8J of the center row of each plot, eight times throughout the drip irrigation system. Each strawberry row had a drip month of June at Morris, and on June 13 and June 21 at line manufactured by Netafim placed beneath the wool White Bear Lake. Berries were weighed for total yield per mulch where appropriate. treatment and average berry weights were calculated based on twenty-berry samples. Site preparation was done with a field cultivator on April 19, 1999 at Morris and April 26, 1999 at White Bear Results Lake. Canola was seeded for appropriate treatments on April 20, 1999 at Morris and April 27, 1999 at White >&&$5*&743.3$L$K##+$A/*)/7V$>&(6"#)$=7&*$@//.*6V Bear Lake. Canola seed was seeded with a Gandy drop &*+$:/.7$8/.3()#$&*+$!#;9#)&()# Wool mulch, both seeder at a rate of 10 lb/A (25 plants ft2) and manually single-ply and two-ply, was an effective barrier to weeds raked into the soil. Glyphosate was used to kill canola for within the strawberry rows at both locations. Adding the appropriate treatments on June 8, 1999 at Morris and June canola to the wool mulch, both between rows and broadcast, 15, 1999 at White Bear Lake. All treatments, except decreased the number of weeds in the entire plot. treatment 3, were disked on June 9, 1999 at Morris and June 16, 1999 at White Bear Lake and strawberry plugs Disking canola, both as a green manure or sprayed with were immediately transplanted on those days. Transplants glyphosate, did not provide as good weed control as when were hand planted with 18” between plants in a row and 4J it was left on the soil surface. Canola that was sprayed between the rows. There were three rows per plot. For with glyphosate and disked gave better weed control thanGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 94. 96 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Hooverthe canola that was disked green. The canola that was control was achieved, the best plant stands were in thesprayed with glyphosate and left as a mulch gave good 1-ply wool, weed-free, and wool with canola within theweed control and seemed to have residual activity as late row August. Canola mulch controlled weeds better at Morristhan at White Bear Lake. At both Morris and White Bear Lake, the two highest yielding treatments were weed-free (plots hand-weededThe four treatments that included wool had the highest throughout establishment season) and 1-ply wool mulch.number of daughter plants when compared to all the other At Morris, all the treatments that included wool were highertreatments except the weed-free plot. Wool mulch with yielding than any of the other treatments, while at Whitecanola broadcasted had the most daughter plants out of all Bear Lake, the standard herbicide and the 2-ply wool werethe treatments that included wool, and wool mulch with the next highest yielders.canola between the rows had statistically fewer daughtersthan the other wool treatments. The canola treatments Berry siZe was not significantly different among treatmentswithout wool mulch did not produce many daughter plants at either location (Table 1).and were not statistically different fromthe weedy check. Table 1. Yield Data: Bio-based Weed Control in Strawberries, 2000Soil surface temperatures were affected U@>40. B06=. ,6C0%. ]>;;01746 ]7==>1%. ]>;;01746by the wool mulch treatments, but not Berry Weight Berry Weightby any of the canola treatments when Treatment (g) % Stand Lb/A (g) % Stand Lb/Acompared to the weed free check plots. 1 7.93 60 4,104 7.56 97 9,722For the wool mulch treatments, soil 2 8.87 38 3,278 6.93 90 6,407surface maximum temperatures were 3 8.52 37 2,345 7.48 67 3,676consistently lower and minimum 4 5.91 13 1,173 7.13 60 3,514temperatures consistently higher than 5 15.24 23 1,706 6.20 47 2,444those without wool. Total temperature 6 7.45 23 1,066 6.62 83 7,971variation on a daily basis was least for 7 6.38 37 959 7.05 97 7,346the wool mulch treatments. At the 6” 8 7.82 53 3,784 6.85 80 6,129soil depth, soil temperatures were not 9 7.62 63 5,170 7.78 93 8,679different for any of the experimental 10 8.15 22 1,039 8.22 53 4,479treatments. Two of these treatments, because they are the simplest,Differences in soil moisture (measured as water potential) appear to be worth pursuing. Canola mulch kept weedwere observed among the treatments, but the importance seeds from germinating for as long as the standard herbicideof these differences was minimal since all plots were treatment, up to eight weeks. Canola fits nicely intoirrigated to adequate moisture levels. The soil beneath standard strawberry production systems since mostthe strawberry row generally dried faster (higher potential) growers plant a cover crop of some kind before plantingfor treatments with the most strawberry growth. Although strawberries. Canola substitutes one-for-one for pre-it is expected that the mulched treatments would slow emergent herbicide and pre-plant cover crop and isevaporation at the soil surface, the evapotranspiration was inexpensive, costing a few dollars per acre.high for these treatments because of greater strawberryplant growth. Although yields in the canola-mulched plots were somewhat lower than in the herbicide-treated plots, the>&&$5*&743.3$L$:&*+V$Z.#7+V$&*+$1#))4$:.J# At White differences were not statistically significant. FurtherBear Lake, the plots became quite weedy in the spring of research into using canola mulch as a weed control strategy2000 because the canola had not been completely killed in will include trying to refine the management of thissome of the treatments. The surviving plants went to seed, technique. In the fall of 2000, we began a larger-scaleand canola became the primary weed in the plots. Canola study on three strawberry farms using fall-planted, ratherwill grow 3J tall and form a large bush, so in this planting, than spring-planted, canola to see if we could improve onthe strawberry plants were not able to fill in the rows as these preliminary results.well as they did in Morris. The plant stands in the varioustreatments at White Bear Lake were not significantly Single-ply wool mulch kept weeds in check throughoutdifferent from each other. At Morris, where better weed the establishment season. It allowed many daughter plantsGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 95. Fruits and Vegetables • Hoover —— 97 to root. It kept the soil cooler in summer and warmer in 3. Wool mulch was also very effective in controlling fall, perhaps enhancing plant health. iields were higher weeds. than for standard herbicide, although they were not statistically different from standard herbicide. Much less 4. Strawberry daughter plants rooted prolifically through hand weeding was required in these plots since the only the wool mulch and plants appeared vigorous and healthy place weeds could emerge was through the same hole in when compared to the standard herbicide treatment. which the strawberry plant was growing. 5. The persistence of the wool and the economics of wool The wool mulch presents some challenges, however. It utiliZation will be critical in determining whether this cost about o2,000 per acre at the time of planting. Planting approach will have any commercial application. also requires extra time and effort to cut holes in the mulch, to apply it, and to anchor it in the soil. The persistence of Cooperators the wool, while it means that weed control is continued into the next season, also presents a problem to typical 82$C$% <*,,$B% Z$-.% ^7#9$#% b% U-..% ^$7/, West Central strawberry-growing systems: many growers use rototillers Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN to narrow the rows of plants, and the wool fabric can become 57#V%*5;$..7, USDA-ARS, Morris, MN tangled in the tines of the tiller. U-..%!7;*09*#B Pine Tree Apple Orchard, White Bear Lake, MN So, unlike canola, the wool doesnJt fit as easily into standard !-..%P7;_$#]-$%b%71$%<5*,9*+, University of Minnesota, Minnesota strawberry production systems and it would St. Paul, MN require a substantial cash outlay. However, the increased yields and great reduction in hand labor could make it worth Project Location growersJ efforts to develop a management system utiliZing The West Central Research and Outreach Center is located wool mulch. on Hwy 329 just east of Morris, MN. Pine Tree Apple Orchard is located on Apple Orchard Road, off of Hwy 96 Management Tips north of White Bear Lake, MN. 1. The use of canola, planted several weeks prior to strawberry transplanting, was shown to have varying Other Resources degrees of weed suppression depending on how the canola Pritts, M., and D. Handley. 1998. 8257?0$551%<5*/";2-*# was managed. `"-/$E Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service, col. 88. 2. When canola was killed with glyphosate and strawberries transplanted through the canola mulch, Propsom, F., E. Hoover, and S. Galatowitsch. 2000. @$$/ effective weed control was observed for more than eight 9$$/07#V9%-#%$9270.-93$/%9257?0$551%=-$./9E In review for weeks. Incorporating canola decreased the effectiveness. submission to Weed Science. There was measurable weed control for these incorporated treatments, but not at a level acceptable for commercial production. Thus, the use of canola, when properly managed as a biological control of weeds, is very promising for the strawberry establishment year.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 96. 98 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Midwest Food Connection FoodMidwest Food Connection: arms FarChildren Monitor on Farms Project Summary is occurring in the field. Perhaps the children, Principal coming to a farm in groups of 40 or 50, could Midwest Food Connection (MFC) is a non- provide the necessary eyes and hands to examine Investigator profit organiZation started in 1993 by two Twin many plants on one day, or take enough soil Uli boester Cities natural food co-ops. Its mission is to readings to give the farmers a range of data. Midwest Food educate children in grades b-6 about food and Connection sustainable agriculture. While most of The farms on which this project took place are2105 Lyndale Ave. S. agricultural education takes place in the not typical of Minnesota farms. They are Minneapolis, MN classroom, Midwest Food Connection wanted primarily vegetable operations. They are well 55405 to pilot an approach for involving children in suited and profitable in the “urban fringe” 612-871-0317, ext. the on-going work on sustainable farms. Fourth environment in which they are located because 345 through sixth grade children from urban they have matched their type of production, go to visit and participate in activities at farms product mix, and marketing methods with Hennepin County on the metropolitan edge. At these farms, consumer desire to “know the farmer” and their children helped the farmers with simple, demand for fresh, locally grown organic Project practical research. During these visits, children vegetables. These farmers are used to having Duration monitored insects and soil quality while they frequent visitors and their operations are “visitor learned firsthand about the complexity of friendly.” 1998 to 2000 ecological interactions in food production and the simple joys of picking and eating food During the course of the project, the following ESAP Contact directly from the land. partnerships and activities occurred: Jean Ciborowski 651-297-3217 Project Description a$/%)75/-#7.%75+ Midwest Food Connection wanted to undertake Mahtomedi, Minnesota n A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm that Keywords this project to explore the role children could play in furthering the development of produces organic vegetables, fruit and flowers hands-on sustainable agricultural practices. For several for several hundred subscribers/members. agricultural years MFC had been leading trips with school 8;3**.% <752#$59H education, j 1998: Two fifth grade classes from Galtier children in grades kindergarten to six to organic integrated pest Science Magnet School, St. Paul, MN. farms near the Twin Cities. During these field management, kids j 1999: Mixed age children from Linwood trips, children participated in planting and on farms Ar School, St. Paul, MN. harvesting, depending on the season, and explored the farm through a variety of structured activities. With this project, they asked the questions: Would it be possible to give children an even more precise role of exploration on the farm| When growers do monitoring on the farm, they often need a large number of readings to give them an extensive or Children testing water percolation at Red Cardinal Farm complete picture of whatGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 97. Fruits and Vegetables • Midwest Food Connection —— 99 :;2-C-2-$9H Results j Studied how cover crops affect weed production. j Gathered baseline data on total number and diversity What was clearly learned by the children on the three farms of insectsd total number and diversity of plantsd number was that food is grown on a real farm and it is the result of of earthwormsd and water infiltration rates to examine a complex set of interactions in a particular ecosystem their effects on soil quality. that includes at least soil, plants, insects, and humans. They began to have an appreciation for the value of biological a-C$50$#/% 75+ diversity and how complex the process of bringing food to Delano, Minnesota n A CSA farm that grows vegetables their tables is. Especially instructive were all activities and a small quantity of grains. that brought the children directly in contact with the plants 8;3**.%<752#$59H and soil that grow food. j 1998: Third and fourth grade classes from Armatage School, Minneapolis, MN. As to the usefulness of having children participate in on- j 1999: Third and fifth grade classes from Wenonah farm experiments, opinions differ. Certainly children School, Minneapolis, MN. learned from the monitoring and data collecting they did :;2-C-21H on the farm. But planting, harvesting, working with j Tested the effect that planting buckwheat next to mechanical farm machinery safely, and simply digging for cabbage beds had on keeping parasitic wasps (Cotesia worms may be as instructive for them. Uli believes that as glomerata) nearby. (Cotesia glomerata wasps lay their a science lesson in experimentation, doing a project on a eggs on cabbage worms where they hatch, kill the worm, farm is an excellent option for students. But for learning and thereby control the pest population.) about food and farming, participating in day-to-day tasks on the farm is more helpful than long periods of monitoring. Z72"57.%^75C$92%75+ Lake Elmo, Minnesota n A CSA farm operation uniquely On a discouraging note, it has been hard to connect with a placed in a new housing development. broad range of farmers and teachers. In the end, it seems 8;3**.% <752#$5H that a small niche of farmers as well as teachers are j 2000: Two fourth grade classes from Phalen Lake interested in pursuing work with children on farms. This School, St. Paul, MN. is understandable, as the primary occupation of farmers is :;2-C-2-$9H to grow food, not to educate children, while agricultural j AnalyZed soil from five different plots: one with bare education is not a priority for the majority of elementary soil, the other four growing oats, rye, raspberries, and school teachers. Further efforts could concentrate on flowers, respectively. locating gatherings of farmers and/or teachers who fit this j Counted earthworms in soil samples from each plot, niche or on creating a network of farmers, educators, and and made observations of other life. other organiZations that want to involve children in sustainable agriculture. These efforts could include Activities were chosen based on the needs of the farmers exchange of addresses, email chat rooms, and local and the perceived interests of the children who conferences featuring student and adult presenters. participated. Before trips to the farms took place, a teacher from the Midwest Food Connection taught in- class lessons focused on developing a broad understanding of sustainable agriculture but also providing details on soil fertility and insect behavior to match the monitoring studies that the students would be working. After each trip, the children also learned how to compile and interpret the data that they collected on the farms. Children working with rye cover cropsGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 98. 100 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Midwest Food ConnectionMinnesota Food Connection published a 24-page manual, Z72"57.%^75C$92%75+B%Lake Elmo, MN4#C-5*#+$#27.%4/";72-*#%*#%23$%75+H%`-C-#6%)3-./5$# :#/1%`7$52#$5B Land School of Lake Country Montessori,7%a*.$%-#%8"927-#70.$%:65-;".2"5$. This no-cost manual Dunn County, Wisconsinincludes summaries of their work, ideas for on-farm F-+%a$$9$B Hennepin County Conservation Districtmonitoring projects for children, and guidelines for P$.-#/7% ^**V$5B Minnesota Institute for SustainableorganiZing the farm/school partnership. Agriculture, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN P-V$%F3*.$B Galtier Science & Technology Magnet,Management Tips St. Paul, MN 8"$%U57]$.B Linwood Ar School, St. Paul, MN1. A successful farmer/teacher collaboration should have 8"$%c*62B Phalen Lake School, St. Paul, MNthese qualities: 45-;%8-9.$5B Armatage School, Minneapolis, MNj Farms should be no more than 30 to 45 minutes away ^$723$5%P;>#2*93B Wenonah School, Minneapolis, MN from the school.j The farmer(s) and teacher(s) involved should have Project Location similar interests, i.e. environmental awareness, natural foods, sustainable agriculture, etc. Contact Midwest Food Connection for farm locations.j At least one partner should act as the point person, ensuring that the outing is organiZed and well planned Other Resources to make the most of the time available. )*++"#-21% 8",,*52$/% :65-;".2"5$% Z72-*#7.% :99*;-72-*#j May and/or September are the best months to do this S)8:Z:TE University of MA Extension, Amherst, MA, project. 01003. Main information number: 413-545-0111 Web site: Each field trip should have at least two components:j A harvesting or planting activity through which the )*5#$..% [#-C$59-21% @*5./% @-/$% @$0% 9-2$E Available at: students have direct contact with food production (plants or animals). This guide provides photographs and descriptions ofj Participation in an on-farm research project in which biological control agents of insect, disease and weed pests students have prepared for in advance. in North America.Cooperators >#9$;29%*#%@*5./%@-/$%@$0E Available at:`5$6%a$1#*./9B Riverbend Farm, Delano, MN"5#%b%P$6%:#/$59*#B Red Cardinal Farm, Mahtomedi, MNGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 99. Fruits and Vegetables • Reding —— 101Viability of Wine Quality Grapes as an WineAlternative Family Far armAlternative Crop for the Family Far m Project Summary planted on approximately two-thirds of an acre. Principal Bluebell, a popular table and juice grape is winter Our family farm encompasses about 500 acres hardy to -35°F. Foch, a red wine quality grape is Investigator that have been farmed by our family for the winter hardy to below -20°F. Frontenac, a red Donald Reding better part of 100 years. This same family farm, wine quality grape is winter hardy to -35° F and38577 State Hwy 68 at one time, had livestock on it as well. two white wine varieties, St. Pepin and La Crosse,Morgan, MN 65266 Currently, only the outbuildings from having are less winter hardy and may need some winter 507-249-3462 livestock remain. The entire acreage, while protection.Fieldstonecineyards having some rolling terrain, is basically flat. The labor that is needed for the current farming Prior to planting, 4” x 8J posts were placed 24J www.Fieldstone operation is supplied by one of my sons and apart to form 15 rows. These posts were pushed myself. Redwood County 2J in the ground with a payloader, leaving 6J exposed. We installed two trellises of 12.5 gauge The current market price of grain is severely high tensile wire at the 36” height and to the top Project depressed. Looking at an alternative crop like of the posts at the 6J height. The wires were Duration grapes, especially one that has potential to sell attached to 36” earth anchors at the end of each at a markedly higher price per unit than row. On top of the posts and under the trellis 2000 to 2002 traditional crops, was an avenue that we wanted wire we added a 4” x 4” piece of steel-belted to explore. By legitimiZing alternative crops, rubber conveyor belt to prevent the wire from ESAP Contact the family farm has more reason to stay intact splitting the post when tightened by the weight of Wayne Monsen and, more importantly, is able to survive the grapes. 651-282-2261 financially. Long-term, alternative crops would allow family farms to be less dependent on After digging a hole that was 8” to 10” deep and markets that they canJt control and participate approximately 12” in diameter, the nursery stock Keywords more in different markets where there is a profit was placed in it with the root system fanned out. margin that they can control. After covering the root system up, the plant was alternative crop,grape varieties, grow watered and then a grow tube was placed over tubes, growth rates, The intent of this project is to establish that it. The grow tubes were tied to the lower trellis trellis grapes can be grown as an alternative crop in line with twine. Twine was then tied from the southwestern Minnesota and take advantage of lower trellis line to the upper trellis line to allow more heat degree-days than other parts of the vine to follow this line up as it grows. As the Minnesota. We started a vineyard in 2000 as vines continued their upward push, the vines an alternative crop. We are tracking the amount of labor needed for grape production compared to traditional crops, growth rates, survivability, and weather. We plan to market grapes either as table grapes or wine direct to consumers. Project Description In May, 2000, 256 nursery stock vines of five different winter hardy Grapes planted and trellis completed grape varieties were GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 100. 102 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Redingwere “wrapped” either around the twine or the trellis line We think the soil was compacted around some of the vinesto help direct their growth upward on the trellis. which somewhat stunted their growth. While pushing in the trellis posts with a payloader, the posts were pushed inBetween the time that the vines were planted and they went across the rows instead of straddling the row and completingdormant in early October, the vineyard was tilled one row before moving on to the next. Ultimately, theapproximately four times. In between the rows a disk was vines grew although at a slower rate than those vines thatused and in between vines a hand hoe was used. At the were not planted in compacted soil. In the future, we willend of August, all of the grow tubes were taken off of the straddle the row we are planting.vines to allow for proper hardening of the canes prior towinter. The last activity prior to winter was to make sure In subsequent years, we will install the bottom trellis linethat all of the double trunks were tied together and that all equal to the height of the grow tubes so that the growof the vines were tied to the trellis system to help them tubes can be fastened with duct tape to the trellis line. Inbetter survive winter. Next year we plan to plant a cover our test site, the grow tubes are 30” high while the bottomcrop between the rows. This will help keep beneficial trellis line was set at 36” off of the ground. We attachedinsects in the vineyard. the grow tubes to the trellis line with twine and semi- submerged the bottom of the grow tube in the soil. TwoThe ultimate goal of the project, yield and return per acre, days into planting, we experienced sustained 25-mph windsis going to be better evaluated when a harvest can be taken for the better part of a day. Since there were three growfrom the test plot in the third year. In the meantime, plant tubes in between posts, all three of the grow tubes hadgrowth and health, mean temperatures throughout the year, dislodged from the soil and had slid down the trellis line toand precipitation can be evaluated. Second year analysis the post. Having the trellis line equal to the height of thewill include a petiole analysis to determine if the vines are grow tube and having the grow tube attached with ductreceiving the right nutrient balance and inputs. tape probably would have prevented this from happening. Because of this situation, we also learned to moreResults thoroughly bury the bottom of the grow tube in the soil when placing it over the nursery stock.The amount of time that has been spent the first year inmanaging the alternative crop, in many ways, wasnJt any We did not water the vines in 2000 even though wemore time than what was spent in the management of experienced a drier than normal year. Through interactiontraditional crop production. Admittedly, grapes require with our collaborators, monitoring precipitation amountslabor input at different times during the year than what and visually inspecting the vines, we did not feel thattraditional crops do. However, in the final tally, the total watering was necessary. This did not seem to adverselyhours, in my opinion, arenJt any more or less. affect the growth of the vines.Comparatively speaking, the amount of pesticide that wasintroduced to the vineyard was less than what was appliedto a similar siZe plot of traditional crops. Other than 1.5oZ of Sevin, no other chemical was applied. Wedid not apply fertiliZer because the soil testswere high in nitrogen.Plant growth and overall health was in one word- GREATw - throughout the year. We had atotal of 2,845 growing degrees days in 2000with enough moisture. Many of the vines grewwith such vigor that substantial double trunksformed. The nursery stock that was planted inthe spring was approximately 1/8” in diameterand 6” long. When the vines went dormant inearly October, some of the trunks measurednearly 1” in diameter and had grown 6J up tothe top of the trellis and, in some cases, 4JhoriZontally in both directions. Don, left, discussing grapes in vineyardGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 101. Fruits and Vegetables • Reding —— 103 Management Tips 4.-]70$23%A1;VB Agronomist, University of Minnesota & Southwest State University 1. Nurseries that carry grape varieties are a great source U$23%:#/$59*#B%Redwood Falls Chamber of Commerce. of information. :#23*#1%:$..$#B Linganore Winecellars, Mt. Airy, Maryland a*0-#%<752;3B Northern cineyards, Inc., Stillwater, MN 2. Make sure that the soil is not compacted prior to planting `751%7#/%_75-%P*567#B Windwater cineyard & Nursery the nursery stock. Lonsdale, MN 3. Straddle the row with the tractor while installing trellis posts. This prevents compacting the soil on adjacent rows. Project Location Take Hwy 68 west from Morgan for 4.8 miles. Farm is 4. Install the bottom trellis line at the same height as the on the north side of the highway. top of the grow tube. This allows the grow tube to be fastened to the trellis and gives it added support. Other Resources 5. Bury the bottom of the grow tube in the soil when placing ^-92*5-;7.% A727% a$25-$C7.% 7#/% ).-+72$% 8"++75-$9E it over the nursery stock. Climate information specific to any location in Minnesota to help with planning a vineyard. Available at: 6. Install the anchors after the wooden posts are in place so they line up with the rows. P-##$9*27%`57,$%`5*?$59%:99*;-72-*#E John Marshall, 7. Set up your markets for your harvest well in advance Secretary. 35680 Highway 61 Blvd., Lake City, MN of harvesting your first grapes. 55041. Email: This is a membership organiZation and publishes the quarterly 8. Installation of trellis posts in the fall of the prior year newsletter Notes from the North with information about will aid in spring planting. grape production. Cooperators Pirog, R. 2000. `57,$% 4W,$;272-*#9H% :% **/% 8192$+ <$59,$;2-C$% *#% a$/$C$.*,-#6% 23$% >*?7% `57,$% >#/"9251E )37/%a$/-#6B son Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, 209 Curtiss )375.-$%7#/%P-;3$..$%g"792, son-in-law & daughter Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1050, @71#$%^7#9$#B%Redwood County Extension Educator 515-294-1854. !*3#%7#/%U750%P75937..B%Great River cineyards, Lake City, MNGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 102. 104 —— Fruits and Vegetables • RiehleCover Crops and Living Mulch forStrawberrStrawber r y Establishment Project Summary vegetables. The rest of the farm is in hay for Principal rotation. Strawberries are an important crop for One of our biggest challenges as strawberry us because they bring customers when nursery Investigator growers is weed control in the establishment sales are slacking off and before most fruits and Joe Riehle year. It is likely that soon there will be no vegetables are available. HCR 7, Box 38 herbicides labeled for use in strawberries. In Aitkin, MN 56431 the future, Minnesota strawberry growers will Annual weeds are a problem in strawberry 218-927-2521 need to rely extensively on cultural practices establishment because the new strawberry plants Aitkin County for weed control rather than herbicides. We are grow slowly. Strawberries are commonly attempting to replace the herbicides currently planted one and one-half feet apart in the row. Project used in strawberry establishment with the The object is to eventually establish a solid Duration following techniques: matted row of plants. However, the closing in 1998 to 2001 of the row will not occur until August if planting j cover cropping in the year prior to strawberry occurs in early May. Until the runners fill in the establishment row, the soil must be kept weed free to accept ESAP Contact j delaying strawberry seedling planting until new runners. Mechanical cultivation works only Mark ^umwinkle after the spring weed flush between the rows, not in the row where runners 651-282-6204 are allowed to root. Hand hoeing between plants In 1998, the first year of the project, we is tedious and very expensive so growers have established two cover crop stands (annual rye relied on herbicides. Keywords and a perennial grass-legume mix) for strawberry planting in 1999. We also documented the effect Our project design combines the results of the cover crops, living of delayed spring strawberry planting on plant mulch, weed following three studies: populations in the fall to help determine an suppression optimum spring planting date. Thus far, we have 1. Research at Cornell University has shown found that delayed planting results in an that cover crops grown in the year prior to unacceptable yield reduction. We are now strawberry establishment can reduce weed focusing on cover cropping during the year prior populations. to strawberry establishment because it is showing promise for weed control. Due to unforeseen 2. Research at Morris, MN has demonstrated circumstances, we were unable to proceed with the tendency of annual weeds to emerge in a cover crop testing in the 2000 growing season so there are no new results reported for 2000. The project will be completed in 2001. Project Description Our 80 acre farm, “Great River Gardens”, produces and retails bedding plants, nursery stock, fruits and vegetables. We have five acres each of blueberries and asparagus, two acres of strawberries and ten acres of a diversity of Recently established strawberry plantingsGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 103. Fruits and Vegetables • Riehle —— 105 spring flush and then be suppressed by higher soil in the preliminary row spacing experiment in 1999. iields temperatures in summer. were to be measured in the main experiment in 2000 but plans were altered due to the crop failure. The main cover 3. Research in Nova Scotia found that strawberry planting crop experiment was duplicated at the University of could be delayed until mid-June with only a slight reduction Minnesota Horticultural Research Center in Chanhassen. in runnering and yield. =##) 24"-$40 ." -7# 2455#$2.(0 ,-$(9/#$$& >0("-."%,< We are trying to reduce weed populations by growing a For our farmJs larger strawberry production plantings, we preplant cover crop. We are testing a delayed killing of made a change from herbicide-based weed control in 1998 the cover crop and delayed planting of the strawberries to cover crops in 1999. In 1998, we planted the strawberries until past the peak of spring weed seed germination. We into ground previously planted to melons in 1997. Dacthal hope this will achieve an adequate stand of strawberries and Devrinol were used for weed control. The 1999 without the need for herbicides or the increased labor of strawberries were planted adjacent to the 1998 planting hoeing. To test our ideas, we have engaged in two replicated but this ground was cover cropped in 1998 using buckwheat experiments and an inclusion of cover crops in our larger in summer and rye in fall and winter. After spraying the commercial plantings. rye with glyphosate on May 20, 1999, weed control was achieved with hand hoeing and rotary tillage. Each year, *-$(9/#$$&)(-#4;>0("-."%#G>#$.5#"-<% A preliminary the strawberry planting was three quarter acres. experiment was designed to measure the effect of plant spacing and planting date on the fall strawberry plant Results population. In 1998 we planted two strawberry cultivars (Winona and bent) using three in-row spacings (four, six *-$(9/#$$& )(-# 4; >0("-."% #G>#$.5#"-< In 1998, the or eight inches) and planted on four dates (May 5, May 20, preliminary experiment provided interesting results. Table June 5, and June 19). The well rooted plants were counted in November. The Table 1. ’98 Row Spacing and Planting Date Effect on Plant results were used to choose the cultivar Population at End of Season and plant spacing for planting the main 936;4>;A 936;41. DG6?0:. cb 936;41. DG6?0:. (b 936;41. DG6?0:. #b cover crop experiment in 1999. I640 ddd. . 97G2364>7;. KG36;41LO4!N. . ddd C4:#$ 2$4> /& ,-$(9/#$$& )(-# 4; May 5 5.8 4.7 4.3 >0("-."% #G>#$.5#"-< The main May 20 3.5 4.2 3.3 experiment is testing three cover June 5 3.8 2.8 2.8 June 19 2.9 2.8 2.2 cropping systems for weed suppression in strawberries: Table 2. ’98 Planting Date and Cultivar Effect on Plant j •RyminJ rye seeded on September 9, Population at End of Season 1998 at 1.5 bu/A, killed with Roundup one week before planting H234>P6= 936;4>;A U>;7;6 0;4 strawberries in 1999. I640 ddd..Population (plants/ft2)..ddd j A perennial mix consisting of •SR 3000J hard fescue (20 lb/A), May 5 4.8 5.1 •ManhattanJ perennial ryegrass (20 May 20 3.2 4.1 lb/A) and •ArlingtonJ red clover (10 June 5 3.5 2.7 lb/A) seeded on June 19, 1998, June 19 3.3 2.1 killed with Roundup one week before planting strawberries in 1999. 1 shows that, as expected, fewer plants were produced j The same above perennial mix but killing only a one with both delayed planting and greater plant spacing. Four foot strip for planting strawberries and leaving a living plants per square foot is considered to be an optimum mulch between the rows. population. Each cover crop system was planted to strawberries on There appeared to be quite a difference in how the two four test dates in 1999 (May 1, May 15, June 1, and June cultivars performed with respect to the planting date (Table 15). We monitored weed populations and the number of 2). Both cultivars showed a drop-off in plants produced daughter plants in 1999. Strawberry yield was measured following the earliest planting date. But Winona did notGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 104. 106 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Riehleseem to be affected after that while bent Table 3. ’98 Row Spacing and Cultivar Effect on Plantdropped off steadily. From these Population at End of Seasonresults, we decided that Winona may H234>P6=be the cultivar most suitable to late 936;4>;A U>;7;6 0;4planting in our cover crop systems. DG6?>;A ddd..Population (plants/ft2) .dddbent was affected by wider plant 4” 4.2 3.8spacing more than Winona (Table 3). 6” 3.3 4.0From this data, it seems that Winona 8” 3.6 2.7planted at an 8” spacing should besufficient to achieve a good population, Table 4. Effect of 1998 Planting Date on 1999 Strawberryeven with delayed planting. Yields --# U>;7;6. e6=>04<. S>03:The above conclusions drawn from 936;4>;A. I640 KR. 7O. ]6<. &. G36;4>;ANplant counts were not confirmed when May 5 100we tested these same plots for May 20 86strawberry yield in the summer of 1999. June 5 75We thought that by increasing planting June 20 67density, we might overcome the loweryields expected from the late planting.Unfortunately, there were only small Table 5. Weeds per Square Foot in Cover Crop Plots in Springdifferences due to differences in row of 1999spacings. The biggest yield differences H7P0= d..936;41.90=.DW26=0.5774..d R. 7Oby far were due to planting dates (Table I640 H=7G ^=61101 B=76:306P01 H7;4=734). Even a two week delay from a May 1 Control 38 13 100normal early May planting resulted in a Rye 18 6 4815 to 30m yield reduction. Further Red Clover, Rye, Fescue 55 14 137delays reduced yields even more. May 15 Control 17 15 100 Rye 12 7 59With strawberries valued at o1/lb for a Red Clover, Rye, Fescue 25 14 124you-pick operation, these yield June 1 Control 4 14 100reductions from a delayed planting of Rye 5 10 85two weeks translate to a o2,000/A loss Red Clover, Rye, Fescue 23 23 254in the first production year. Weconclude that delaying strawberryplanting to achieve better weed control does not seem to heavily by deer. This did not affect the survivability of thebe a viable option. rye.C4:#$ 2$4> /& ,-$(9/#$$& )(-# 4; >0("-."% #G>#$.5#"-< All cover crops survived the winter and grew vigorouslyWe had mixed success establishing the cover crop mix. It in the spring of 1999. A few winter annual weeds (mostlywas seeded on June 19 in Aitkin and on July 3 in shepherds purse and mustards) sprouted in the fall, but theChanhassen. The weather following the Aitkin seeding cover crop treatments successfully prevented annual weedswas cool and wet, resulting in an excellent stand of both from sprouting. This was in contrast to a moderate weedgrass and clover. In contrast, the weather at Chanhassen seedling population in the unplanted control plots.turned hot and dry resulting in slow emergence of the covercrops despite frequent irrigation. The stand at Chanhassen The plots were sprayed with glyphosate and planted oneventually became adequate by early fall after being May 6, May 22 and June 2 at the farm site. We noticed aafflicted by rust. At both sites, the cover crop mix was lack of plant vigor by the time of the second planting andmowed to control annual weeds. determined that many of the roots had been hurt by a botrytis fungal infection. Replacement plants were ordered andThe rye plots were seeded on September 9 in Aitkin and replanted only to incur the same fate. Unfortunately, thison September 14 in Chanhassen. A good stand was ended any opportunity for comparison of yields in theseestablished at both locations but the rye in Aitkin was graZed plots.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 105. Fruits and Vegetables • Riehle —— 107 We were able to obtain weed counts as affected by the 30(",;4$KLLH<% In the spring of 2001, half of the rye plots cover crops and found several interesting results (Table will be rototilled and half will not. The rye will be compared 5). First, the allelopathic properties of the rye were to plots that had no overwintering cover crop. Once the expressed. Second, the ryeJs effect on weed seed strawberries are planted, we will seed a second cover crop germination was more pronounced when the rye was killed over the top (annual ryegrass or oats). When the over- earlier. This result is counterintuitive to the assumption seeded cover crops become competitive, we will kill them that more rye biomass would be more effective at weed with a grass herbicide. suppression. Third, the cover crop mixture treatment appears to have stimulated weed seed germination. In other Management Tips words, the number of weeds in the cover crop mixture was higher than in the control plots. 1. Delayed spring planting of strawberries causes significant yield reduction in Minnesota. =##) 24"-$40 ." -7# 2455#$2.(0 ,-$(9/#$$& >0("-."%,< The three quarter acre stand planted in 1998 and treated 2. Mowing controls annual weeds in the cover crop. with herbicides required over 100 hours of hand hoeing and weeding. We still ended up with a weedy field due to Cooperators a persistence of a winter annual mustard. The three quarter acre stand planted in 1999 into ground cover cropped with 4+-.1% ^**C$5B Fruit Extension Specialist, University of buckwheat and rye had a dramatic reduction in weed Minnesota, St. Paul, MN pressure. There were no weeds for the first three weeks A7C$% @-./"#6B Research Horticulturalist, North Central following planting and we only made one major hand Experiment Station, Grand Rapids, MN weeding requiring 60 hours. This labor input could have a*6$5% U$;V$5B Weed Control Specialist, University of been further reduced if it had been more timely. We have Minnesota, St. Paul, MN since gone through twice with hoes requiring six more hours of labor. Project Location Great River Gardens is located 10s miles northeast of Before planting the strawberries, the one foot tall rye was Aitkin on Hwy 169. Look for the sign on the west side of sprayed with glyphosate on May 20, rototilled on May 27, the road. and planted immediately. The presence of the freshly tilled rye made the setting of the strawberry plants more difficult. Other Resources Although the above two plantings were made in two :,,5*,5-72$%F$;3#*.*61%F57#9=$5%=*5%a"57.%:5$79%S:FFa:T. different years, the weed control effect of the buckwheat Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702, 800-346-9140. and rye cover crop was dramatic. The adjacent 1998 and Web site: 1999 strawberry plantings have the same soil type and had been farmed as one field until the use of the cover crops. <"5/"$%[#-C$59-21E% Cover crop web site: The weed suppression from the cover crops appeared to be as good as we have ever achieved in 12 years of using a pre-emergent herbicide. [#-C$59-21% *=% )7.-=*5#-7% 72% A7C-9E Web site and cover crop database: 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 106. 108 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Seim/Bacon SurfacesSoil Ecology and Managed Soil Surfaces Project Summary Principal raised beds for fertility. The overall high level We are exploring the relationship between of surface organic matter suppresses quack Investigators management of the soil surface and soil biology. grass, increases water retention, and promotes Peter Seim and As important as soil life may be, the actual fertility. Bruce Bacon makeup of that soil life is seldom understood. 7363 - 175th We, at Garden Farme, are asking the question, Our crops at Garden Farme rely on the Ave. NW “what is the biological makeup of our soil|” We decomposition of spoiled hay as their primaryRamsey, MN 55303 foresee that benchmark soil biological test results source of fertility. Because the role of organic 612-753-5099 will provide insight into the performance of crop matter cycling is paramount to production in our Anoka County rotations and surface plant residue cycling. Our operation, we want to explore the relationship long-term goal is to optimiZe soil ecological between surface organic matter and soil biology. Project support services such as nutrient cycling and We have marveled at the gradual disappearance Duration disease suppression to create a more beneficial of surface-applied spoiled hay but we had plant-soil interaction and healthier plants. limited knowledge of specifically which 2000 to 2001 organisms were behind the decomposition Project Description process. In order to find out, we are utiliZing ESAP Contact the services of Elaine Ingham at Soil Food Web Since the mid 1970Js, Bruce Bacon has managed Inc. to test shallow (three inch deep) soil samples Mark ^umwinkle Garden Farme by the permaculture goals of for populations of: 651-282-6204 designing and maintaining agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, j bacteria stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. j fungi Keywords j protoZoa This has meant integrating woodlands, hay living mulch, raised fields, prairie, and wetlands with fruit tree j nematodes beds, sheet mulch, orchard patches, a tree nursery, and three acres soil ecology of gardens, all adhering to organic production We want to know how differences in management standards. The farm is located on the Anoka might affect these populations so three adjacent Sand Plain. The soils are very sandy over raised beds (30J x 30”) are being treated with outwash material. one of the following cover types: j continuous hay mulch The gardens operate using raised beds, sheet j bare soil mulch, aisle composting, and shallow hand j living mulch cultivation for weed control. The sheet mulching entails spreading spoiled hay or straw to a minimum of four to six inches thick, covering the raised beds and walkways in late fall. The aisle composting uses walkways to compost weeds and other organic debris throughout the growing season. At the end of the growing season, Bruce explores the organic matter build-up in the composted material in the soil profile of a sheet composted raised bed walkways is placed on theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 107. Fruits and Vegetables • Seim/Bacon —— 109 The continuous hay mulch received four inches of spoiled spoiled hay and manure. Notice that the oak grove and hay spread evenly. The bare soil received a shallow hand big bluestem prairie both had ciliate numbers within the tillage to minimiZe weed pressure. The living mulch desired range on August 13. consisted of red clover and hairy vetch. All three plots were planted to summer squash in 2000 and will be planted What is it about the oak grove that promotes desirable soil to tomatoes in 2001. The three test beds have similar structure and aeration| The oak grove soil displayed a management histories prior to the establishment of this dramatically higher ratio of active fungal to active bacterial experiment. biomass when compared to the three garden soil plots (Table 1). Fungal hyphae greatly assist in soil aggregation In addition to the three test beds listed, we are analyZing by wrapping around soil particles and binding them soil biology in a nearby oak grove (unmowed grass together. Fungi are encouraged by the presence of cellulose understory) and a bigblue stem prairie. Both of these sites and lignin because fungi are more capable of decomposing have had a long history of minimal disturbance. Soil these food sources than bacteria. The perennial grasses samples were taken in the three raised beds on June 18, in the oak grove understory provide a steady microbial August 13, and October 9 in order to gauge seasonal food supply of root exudates and decaying roots. In the fluctuations. Soil biology was also analyZed in the oak garden, fungi are deterred by surface tillage. Hyphae are grove and big bluestem prairie on August 13. Conventional destroyed and bacteria take over to feed on newly exposed soil chemical analysis was performed in spring and fall to organic matter. assess the status of nutrient availability and to provide a benchmark for assessing changes in fertility. We also dug We are encouraged that there may be a benefit to increasing pits to expose soil profiles at several locations on the farm, the fungal activity in our garden soil. To do so, we might including: do well to mimic aspects of the oak and prairie sites by importing more fungal food and using a minimum of soil j market garden soil mulched for 25 disturbance in our gardening practices. years j unmulched soil adjacent to the Table 1. The Effect of Managed Soil Surfaces and Local market garden Ecology on Selected Soil Organism Populations j the oak grove (August 13, 2000) +?4>P0 +?4>P0 /64>7. 7O We were able to use the profiles to B6?40=>63 52;A63 +?4>P0. 52;A63. 47 investigate organic matter levels and B>7F611 B>7F611 +?4>P0. B6?40=>63 H>3>6401g soil structure as affected by the above )=064F0;4 KfALAN KfALAN B>7F611 K;2FE0=1LAN land use histories. Living Mulch 13.1 10.1 0.77** 680 Bare Earth 11.1 7.7 0.69 487 Results Spoiled Hay Mulch 15.7 11.5 0.74 5,489 Big Bluestem Prairie 5.8 4 1.46 44 After the first year, our inquiry has Oak Grove, yielded much food for thought. The Grass Understory 5.9 30.1 5.13 81 garden plots all had high populations of Desired Range 10-25 10-25 1.00 50-100 ciliates (Table 1), above the desired * A category of protozoa. range suggested by Soil Food Web Inc. ** 1 results in good aggregate structure in cropped soils, 2-5 is good for deciduous trees. These organisms are an indicator of anaerobic conditions. We have assumed that our well As we “break new ground” in the exciting world of soil drained, sandy soil is well aerated. We have also assumed biology, we expect the test results to generate more that the addition of spoiled hay would further aerate the questions than answers. Next year our questions will soil. Now we are learning that this may not be the case. become more refined. Ultimately, we hope to incorporate rotations that adjust the timing, quality and quantity of In the process of exploring the soil profiles, it was observed organic matter to fit subsequent cash crop needs. For that the garden soil had no discernible aggregate example, for crops like tomatoes and squash, we want to development. Aggregation promotes aeration by creating adjust the ratio of active fungi to active bacteria closer to pores for water and air movement. The oak grove soil, in one, a parameter that Elaine Ingham has observed to be contrast, had substantial aggregation. This was true even conducive to soil aggregation and crop health. though the garden soil had a higher level of organic matter than the oak grove soil due to many years of importingGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 108. 110 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Seim/BaconWe, at Garden Farme, would like to conclude with a )75.%a*9$#B University of Minnesota Extension,suggestion. LetJs begin a statewide catalog of our soilJs St. Paul, MNrespective biological communities. If we could make A?71#$%82$#.7#/B Senior Ecologist, Minnesota Departmentconnections between specific soil biology and local of Transportationecological resources like crop selection, soil type, and soilfertility we might all benefit by driving the learning curve Project Locationupward. Go 3 miles west of Anoka on US Hwy 10/169 and turnManagement Tips north on Cty Rd 56 (Ramsey Blvd). Go 3 miles and turn left on Cty Rd 5. Go 1s miles to Cty Rd 63. Turn left1. When testing your soil biology, consider including before the red barn. The Garden Farme driveway is ssamples from locally relevant ecological niches. This may mile on the reveal your soilJs long-term potential. Other Resources2. DonJt expect cut and dried soil biologyrecommendations. Instead, engage in a learning process Lewandowski, Anne (ed.). 1999. 8*-.% 0-*.*61% ,5-+$5Eof questioning and monitoring. USDA NRCS. For ordering information contact Land Care at 888-landcare or email at Landcareuswcs.orgCooperators Mollison, B. C. 1997. <$5+7;".2"5$H%%:%/$9-6#$59%+7#"7.EF3*+79% ^7#9+$1$5B Soil Ecologist, University of Island Press. Washington DC. Available at Minnesota, St. Paul, MN www.islandpress.org4.7-#$%>#637+B Soil Food Web Inc.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 109. Fruits and Vegetables • Wildung —— 111 Burning WeedFlame Burning for Weed Control and StrawberriesRenovation with Strawber ries Project Summary Principal For renovation, strawberry plantings are typically Weed control is a major limiting factor in the mowed, (often with foliage removed for disease Investigator production and longevity of strawberry plantings. control), rototilled, fertiliZed and herbicide is Dr. David Wildung It is expensive and, if weeds are not controlled, applied. Directed flame burning over the top of University of they can greatly reduce yield and the aesthetics the row could reduce or eliminate any one or Minnesota of harvest. Currently, weed control is most often several of the normal cultural practices currently North Central accomplished through the use of herbicides. being used. For renovation, the succulence of Research and Since strawberries are considered a minor use the strawberry leaf may be beneficial because Outreach Center crop by chemical companies, strawberry fast flame burning could be accomplished, fast1861 East Hwy 169 herbicide choices have been greatly reduced, enough to kill the strawberry foliage and weeds Grand Rapids, MN leading to the need to find alternative weed without damaging the strawberry crown, 55744 control systems. In addition, many consumers 218-327-4711 destroying needed organic matter or starting want pesticide free food and strawberry mulch fires in the planting. Itasca County production has one of the highest rates of pesticide residues of conventionally grown fruits Because of the way strawberries grow, crop burn Project and vegetables. Making strawberry production treatments applied during one season will not Duration systems more sustainable will benefit both the affect crop production until the next season. 1999 to 2001 producer and the consumer. Dave WildungJs Therefore, much of what is reported here was project looks at flame burning for weed control started with funds from one grant and completed ESAP Contact in newly established strawberry plantings and or will be completed with ESAP grant money. flame burning at strawberry renovation for weed Jean Ciborowski control and reducing cultural practices in existing The project is being done at each of the three 651-297-3217 plantings. locations described below: Project Description j North Central Research and Outreach Center Keywords (NCROC), Grand Rapids, MN. Strawberry flame burning has two potential areas flame burning, j Lavalier Berry Farm, near Grand Rapids, MN. for success: first for weed control in newly strawberry, weed A commercial strawberry and blueberry pick- established plantings and second for weed control your-own and ready picked fruit farm. There control and reducing cultural practices in are approximately four acres in strawberry renovation of existing plantings. Flame production. cultivation in the growing strawberry row is made difficult due to the extremely succulent leaf habit of the strawberry plant and the often uneven growth of the plant in the row as it produces runners and new daughter plants. However, with protective shields, flame cultivation may be possible especially early in the establishment season when new weed growth is at its greatest and the strawberry plants are at Flame weeder at work in berries their smallest.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 110. 112 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Wildungj Luneyberries Berry Farm, near Grand Rapids, MN. A and during the fruiting season. cigor and leaf spot ratings commercial strawberry pick-your-own and ready picked were on a 1 to 9 rating scale with 9 being most vigorous or fruit farm. The Lunemanns currently have over five no leaf spot. Grass and broadleaf weed control was acres in production. evaluated on a 1 to 9 rating scale with 9 being best and 1 being no weed control. Crop yield and fruit siZe wereTwo propane burners were built by NCROC staff for this taken each year following the burn treatments.project. The first, built in 1997, was used in small plotsituations. It was built on wheels so that it could be pulled F+$"=##)C4"-$40."P#930("-."%,(-PCEMC<$ Burningfrom plot to plot and cost o140 to build. The second can to control weeds in new plantings was not as effective asbe used in larger production situations. It is tractor normal cultivation and hand weeding. The 1999 weedmounted, has two burner heads that can be adjusted up cultivation burns were done on a larger scale, even so,and down or in or out, more controls to regulate the flame, results in 2000 (Table 1) were similar to 1998 and 1999a bar in front of the unit that pushes thick strawberry foliage results. The hand weeded control produced 11,278 lb/Adown for better flame penetration during burn renovation, of berries while burn cultivated plots produced 6,201 anda 30 lb propane tank, and cost o500 to construct. In 2000, 6,894 lb/A (about 60m of the hand weeded control). In thethe second unit was further modified with larger burner 1999-2000 study, leaf scorch from flame burning washeads, three portable 30 lb propane tanks, a better hose significantly less in the burn cultivated plots. Plant standand control system, and a better system for containing heat was also less in burn treatments compared to hand weeding.over the strawberry row. Strawberry fruit siZe, percent early harvest and plant vigor were not affected by burning. During both seasons, theWeed burning in newly established strawberry plantings longer into the season burning was done the betterwas done on NCROC plots in 1997, 1998, and again in production was. The worst of the burn treatments was1999. Burning was done at two to four week intervals as when burn cultivation was discontinued in August. Season-necessary or at a stage when cultivation would normally long burn cultivation resulted in the best yields beingoccur. Burn treatments were compared to standard produced when burn cultivation was used. Burning, whilecultivation and hand weeding. In addition, burn treatments not as effective, was less labor intensive and costly thanwere discontinued after June, July, August, September or hand weeding.October to evaluate weed regrowthpotential and its effect on yields. The Table 1. Burn Weed Control in New Plantings - 2000cultivar •bentJ was used for these Growth and Productionstudies. S>03: 5=2>4 U00:1 D>T0 R e>A7=Field plot burn studies at renovation ,EL ,EL ^FL V6=3< #L R ,06O B=76: )=064F0;4 "h + 5=2>4 Q6=P014 !""" D46;: D?7=?@ ,06P01 ^=61101were begun at NCROC in 1997, twogrower sites were added in 1998 and Hand weed 10.4 11,278 13.5 18 8.9 80 6.8 7.6 8.0 Burn — 6.3 6,894 12.7 15 8.7 71 7.5 7.1 7.5expanded in siZe in 1999. The treatment All Seasonmix varied slightly at each location Burn — 5.7 6,201 12.2 11 8.6 76 7.3 7.3 7.5depending upon each growersJ standard Until 8/15renovation practices. Treatments at LSD 5% 2.4 2,591 NS NS NS NS 0.2 NS NSNCROC compare traditional renovation Kent planted in 1999 and burn cultivated or hand weeded during the 1999 burning and using burning to replace Early Season: 6/30 - 7/6/00 (3 Harvests), Total Season 6/30 - 7/20/00 (7 Harvests)one of the normal renovation practices- mowing, herbicide use, and/or tilling. The cultivar •bentJwas used for studies at NCROC and at one grower site. Burning weeds in new plantings can be challenging. When•GlooscapJ was used at the second growerJs farm. Each the burner is working correctly it is difficult to see thetreatment plot was a single row ten feet long. Standard flame in daylight. Since strawberry plants are so succulent,planting, spacing, fertiliZation, and pest management it is easy to burn and injure the plants. In addition, it takespractices were followed at all locations. several minutes to see burn damage to the strawberry plants so considerable plant injury can occur before flame andResults shields are properly adjusted. As the plants grow, both flame and shields need to be adjusted away from the plantStrawberry vigor, percent plant stand, and leaf spot disease canopy. Strawberry plant and runner growth can be unevenratings were taken in fields before and following burning in the row and burning will quickly kill any strawberryGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 111. Fruits and Vegetables • Wildung —— 113 runner outside the shield. This problem Table 2. Strawberry Burn Renovation, 2000 Yield and was reduced by using a small metal Growth Effects finger in front of the shield that moved the runners into the strawberry row S>03: #L&L"" before the flame could damage them. /0;7P64>7; ,EL ^=6F1L )=064F0;41 "h ,EL+ B0==< R.V6=3< R. D46;: e>A7= It is also impossible to burn weeds that develop within the strawberry plant Burn/Mow/Till/Devrinold 14.1 15,365 12.3 31 71 8.8 canopy itself. These weeds have to be Burn/Till/Devrinole 14.0 15,249 11.5 30 79 8.7 hand weeded out. This factor is Mow/Till/Devrinolf 12.9 14,035 13.9 26 72 8.6 Burn/Mowb 12.7 13,854 13.2 17 81 8.8 probably most responsible for the reduction in total yield and plant stand Burn/Tillc 12.4 13,509 10.8 31 65 8.8 Burn/Mow/Tillg 12.0 13,072 12.7 30 68 8.6 we observed in the burn treatments. Burna 10.3 11,248 10.0 30 74 8.6 LSD 5% NS NS 1.8 9 NS NS F+$" E#"4:(-.4" ." !,-(/0.,7#) 30("-."%,< Burning studies in 1997 Early Season 6/30-7/6/2000 (3 Harvests), Total Season 6/30-7/20/2000 (7 Harvests) Treatments: resulted in a slight increase in aBurned 7/30/99 strawberry plant vigor, no change in bBurned 7/30/99; mowed after burning 8/3/99 plant stand, less leaf spot, larger fruit cBurned 7/30/99; tilled 8/5/99 siZe and greater fruit production than dBurned 7/30/99; mowed after burning 8/3/99; tilled 8/5/99; Devrinol 8/26/99 the control, which was renovated in the eBurned 7/30/99; tilled 8/5/99; Devrinol 8/26/99 traditional way. Given these promising gMowed 8/3/99; tilled 8/5/99; Devrinol 8/26/99 f Burned 7/30/99; mowed after burning 8/3/99; tilled 8/5/99 results, the 1998 burn renovation treatments emphasiZed replacing various steps in the traditional Table 3. Strawberry Burn/Till Renovation, 1999 - 2000 renovation system with burning. Since S>03: #L&L"" grassy weeds were most prominent, /0;7P64>7; ,EL ^=6F1L Poast herbicide was used in )=064F0;41 "h ,EL+ B0==< R.V6=3< R. D46;: e>A7= combination with the renovation Burn/Till/No Devrinol a 9.8 10,645 12.7 20 71 8.8 treatments. Strawberry plant growth and Burn/Till/Devrinolb 9.6 10,409 12.3 27 69 8.7 production in 1999 for all burn Burn/No-till/No Devrinolc 8.1 8,829 11.5 11 75 8.6 treatments was equal to, and in most Burn/No-till/Devrinold 7.3 7,901 11.2 24 57 8.7 treatments was greater than, the LSD 5% No-till NS NS NS 6 NS NS traditional renovation treatment (Mow- Early Season 6/30 - 7/6/00 (3 Harvests), Total Season 6/30 - 7/20/00 (7 Harvests) Till-Poast). No negative effects from Treatments: burn renovation were evident. aBurned 7/30/99; tilled 8/5/99; Broadleaf weed control was equal to or c Burned 7/30/99; tilled 8/5/99; Devrinol 8/26/99; b better than the traditional renovation dBurned 7/30/99; Burned 7/30/99; Devrinol 8/26/99 treatment while grass weed control was significantly better in the treatments where Poast herbicide 2). In a second study conducted in 1999 in which burning was used. was done with and without tilling and with and without the application of Devrinol herbicide the tilled plots were both The 1999 burn renovation treatments were similar to the better than the no-till plots (Table 3). Both burn and till 1998 treatments except that Devrinol was used in place of plots produced over 10,000 lb/A while the no-till plots Poast herbicide. In the fall of 1999, it was observed that produced 8,829 and 7,901 lb/A. In this study use of in the treatments that had not been tilled the strawberry Devrinol herbicide had no effect on final yield. In both of rows seemed to exhibit increased stand over their tilled these studies burning had no negative effect on the growing comparison treatments. The higher stand in the non-tilled plants or yield. No-till plots while exhibiting a slightly plots did not result in greater production in 2000 (Table greater plant stand did not result in an increase in final 2). In fact, the lowest yield was produced in the burn only yield. Use of Devrinol herbicide showed a positive effect treatment that had no-tilling or Devrinol applied (11,248 in one study but not in the other. lb/A). When tilling was done and Devrinol applied, burn treatments were better than the traditional mow/till/Devrinol Because of promising results at NCROC, on-farm studies treatment (15,249 lb/A compared to 14,035 lb/A } Table were initiated at two grower cooperator locations in theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 112. 114 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Wildungsummer of 1998. At each location Table 4. Strawberry Burn Renovation, Lavalier Farm 2000burning replaced one of the traditional !""".S>03: (L![cultural practices the grower used at /0;7P64>7; ,EL D>T0. ^FL R.V6=3< ,06Orenovation. By fall, significant )=064F0;41. K---N "h ,EL+ B0==< Q6=P014 e>A7= R. D46;: DG74reduction in leaf spot was observed in Burn 7.3 7,953 7.7 37 7.1 75 7.8the burn treatments at both locations. Burn/Devrinol 7.2 7,890 8.2 41 6.9 70 7.7At one farm, •GlooscapJ did not show Mow/Devrinol 6.6 7,165 6.9 37 6.7 70 7.8any vigor or stand differences, while at LSD 5% NS NS 0.8 NS NS NS NSthe other farm •bentJ was significantly Cultivar - Glooscap - 3 Replicationsmore vigorous in the burn treatments Treatments: 2, 4-D - 7/13/99, Mowed - 7/21/99, Burned - 7/21/99compared to traditional renovation. Picking Season 7/5 - 7/14/00, 3 Harvests; Early Season 7/5/00 Table 5. Strawberry Burn Renovation, Lunemann Farm 1999-2000 !""".S>03: D>T0 e>A7= ,06O. DG74 R. D46;: !""". U00: /0;7P64>7; ,EL ,EL ^FL R.V6=3< "L!- (L![ "L!- (L![ "L!- (L![ H7;4=73 )=064F0;41 "h + B0==< Q6=P014 --- !""" --- !""" --- !""" ^=61101 B=76:306O 2, 4-D/Mow/Sinbar 23.1 25,174 14.9 13 7.8 9.0 6.3 8.0 76 82 8.0 8.3 Mow 22.2 24,177 15.4 15 7.9 9.0 6.0 7.7 73 86 8.3 8.7 2, 4-D/Burn 21.7 23,587 15.2 22 8.1 9.2 7.0 8.0 77 84 8.7 8.7 Burn 20.8 22,614 15.2 17 8.2 9.1 7.3 8.0 75 80 8.3 8.3 2, 4-D/Mow 20.4 22,246 16.1 14 7.9 9.1 6.3 8.0 73 84 8.3 8.3 Burn/Sinbar 20.4 22,198 13.9 16 7.9 9.1 7.0 8.0 74 82 8.0 8.0 2, 4-D/Burn/Sinbar 20.2 21,999 14.2 22 8.1 9.2 7.3 8.0 73 84 8.3 8.7 Mow/Sinbar 19.7 21,421 14.9 15 7.9 9.0 6.0 8.0 72 75 8.3 8.3 LSD 5% NS NS NS NS NS NS 0.7 NS NS NS NS NS Cultivar – Glooscap – 3 Replications Picking Season 7/03 – 7/21/00, 9 Harvests; Early Season 7/03 – 7/07/00, 3 Harvests Treatments: 2, 4-D - 7/19/00, Mowed - 7/28/99, Burned - 7/28/99 Tilled - 7/28/99, Fertilized - 7/29/99, Sinbar - 7/29/99Weed control was good at both farms on all treatments. larger crop than the traditional mow/Devrinol treatment.During harvest, vigor and stand ratings were equal for all Berry siZe and plant vigor were also slightly better on thetreatments at both farms. Leaf spot ratings, while not burn treatments (Table 4). At LunemannJs, treatmentstatistically significant, were better on all burn treatments combinations included mowed and burned plots with andcompared to traditional renovation at both locations. without 2, 4-D herbicide applied before mowing or burning,Production and berry siZe varied at both locations. At the and mowed and burned plots with and without SinbarLavalier farm, traditional renovation resulted in the best herbicide applied after renovation (Table 5). Fruitproduction while at the Lunemann farm, production was production and fruit siZe at the Lunemann farm were verythe least for the traditional renovation treatment. At both heavy for the season, but no single component of renovationfarms the differences were not significantly different and seemed to result in better production than another. Againburn renovation did not harm the plantings in any way. burning resulted in yields equal to traditional mowingPlant growth and production at the Lunemann farm was renovation. Plants in the burn treatments also showedmuch greater due to a vigorous spring fertility program. slightly greater vigor and significantly less leaf spot than mowed treatments in the fall after renovation (10/29/99 }In 1999, burn renovation treatments were repeated at both Table 5). However, by the beginning of the fruiting seasongrower locations on a larger scale using the tractor mounted (6/27/00) vigor and leaf spot ratings were the same. Weedunit on .16 acre and .33 acre, respectively. By fall, no control in all renovation treatments was similar.growth differences were noted except for reduced leaf spotinfection where burning was used. iield, berry siZe, plant The same situation that makes burning difficult in newvigor, stand and leaf spot are presented for the 2000 fruiting strawberry plantings appears to aid burning for strawberryseason at the Lavalier Farm (Table 4) and the Lunemann renovation. Strawberry foliage and weed growth isFarm (Table 5). At the Lavalier Farm, burning with or especially vulnerable to flaming. Burn renovation is fastwithout an application of Devrinol herbicide produced a to not destroy organic matter or injure strawberry plantGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 113. Fruits and Vegetables • Wildung —— 115 crowns. Initially there was concern about starting straw straw mulch fires } all problems encountered with the first mulch fires. However, these fires were relatively minor unit. While we had our best success when burning on especially with the burner as modified in 2000. Flames clear, hot, windless days with this unit, we were able to are confined to the plant canopy and few mulch fires occur. successfully burn renovate when conditions were cloudy Such fires can be further minimiZed by burning after rain with a heavy dew on the plant canopy. or irrigation, burning when the humidity is high, or in the total management system, tilling to incorporate the straw Management Tips mulch and narrow the row before burning. 1. Flame cultivation is a very different approach for most In all instances, burning at renovation has not been harmful producers so each producer needs to evaluate it on their with fruit production being equal to or greater than own farm. conventional methods of renovation. In some cases there has been an increase in plant vigor and less leaf spot after 2. Small hand burners can be purchased at most hardware burn renovation. Burn renovation appears to reduce leaf stores and offer farmers an opportunity to try burning on a spot and leaf scorch development. The results of 1999- small scale. 2000 renovation studies at NCROC would indicate that tilling at renovation is still critical to obtaining optimum 3. Burning weeds in a new planting can be challenging. production (Tables 2 and 3). Tilling may provide some When the burner is working correctly, it is difficult to see soil aeration or throw some soil around the remaining the flame in daylight. Since strawberry plants are so crowns at renovation. In these studies there did not seem succulent, it is easy to burn and injure the foliage. In to be any significant advantage to using herbicides such as addition, it takes several minutes to see burn damage to Devrinol, 2, 4-D or Sinbar at renovation particularly if the the strawberry plants so considerable strawberry foliage fields had been maintained in good weed free conditions. injury can occur before flame and shields are properly While use of herbicides is an individual growers adjusted. With careful direction of the flame and proper management choice, in some situations, burning at shielding, it can be done effectively. renovation could certainly replace the traditional renovation practices of mowing and herbicide application. 4. Periodic burning for weed control in new plantings does not give as good weed control as hand weeding and !24"45.2,4;F+$"."%< The first tractor mounted liquid cultivation. propane unit used in these studies was built in 1999 at a cost of o500. Modifications to the unit in 2000 added a heat shield to protect the tractor operator and propane tanks, larger burner heads, a heat blanket to confine flame around the strawberry plant canopy, and two optional fuel tanks for more operating range and portability. The cost of these modifications was about o600. This unit, as set up, will do an excellent job of burn renovation and could be built for less than the o1,100 we spent. In 2000 studies, when burn renovating larger areas we were able to travel between .63 to .75 mph including turning time. On three renovation burns of over .2 acre fuel consumption averaged about 150 lb of propane per acre. Propane is sold on a sliding scale based on the number of pounds purchased. The current cost is rapidly increasing and varies depending upon where you live. In our area, the cost for up to 30 lb was o.73/lbd while at 90 lb the cost was o.44/lb. Because of the sliding propane costs and the tendency of smaller tanks (30 lb or less) to heat up excessively, the machine should utiliZe the largest tank practical. With the modifications made in the 2000 unit, we were able to eliminate tank heating and wind blowing the torches out, to confine the heat to the plant canopy allowing for the entire row to be burned in one trip, and practically eliminate undesirable Dave at a field dayGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 114. 116 —— Fruits and Vegetables • Wildung5. Strawberry burn renovation had resulted in no reduction Cooperatorsin fruit production compared to traditional methods ofrenovation (mowing). In most instances, burn renovation 82"752%Q7C7.-$5B Grower, New Hope, MNhas resulted in greater strawberry plant vigor and less leaf P-V$%7#/%)75*.%Q"#$+7##%b%=7+-.1B%Growers,diseases than mowing. Cohasset, MN _$-23% P7##B Research Plot Coordinator, University of6. Burn renovation provides good weed control and could Minnesota } NCROC, Grand Rapids, MNreplace or reduce herbicide use in a traditional renovation :#6$.7%A-#$3752B Junior Laboratory Technician, Universitysystem. of Minnesota } NCROC, Grand Rapids, MN7. Burning at renovation will not replace rototilling. Roto- Project Locationtilling at renovation appears necessary to obtain optimum Contact David Wildung for directions to field plots.production.8. Propane use of about 150 lb/A with tractor field speed Other Resourcesof between .6 to .8 mph was obtained. The economics of .7+$%4#6-#$$5-#6B%>#;E West Hwy 4, P.O. Box 577,burn renovation improve with each use. La Crosse, bS 67548, 800-255-2469.9. The burning unit as modified in 2000 will do an excellent <$2$59*#B% !$7#B% 7#/% :.% 82$5#$5E 8910 Hwy 12, Delano,job of strawberry burn renovation. MN 55328, 612-972-2052. Jean and Al have been using flame weeding for several years and are always very helpful in providing their ideas and encouragement. P-##$9*27%5"-2%7#/%c$6$270.$%`5*?$59%:99*;-72-*#E Ham Lake, MN.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 115. Livestock • Arndt —— 117Working Prairie - Roots of the Roots FuturePast Sustaining the Future Project Summary land coming out of CRP is working so well Principal without much improvement. The forage mixture The “why” of this project is embodied in the of the pastures is mainly bromegrass, timothy, Investigators title. The purpose of the project was to re- and orchardgrass. The pastures are good for John E. and Leila combine two nearly extinct icons of our region, bison because they do not do well if the pasture Arndt bison and native prairie, into a profitable and has a lot of alfalfa. J & L Bison Ranch sustainable rotational pasture livestock operation 5650 41st Ave. NW and to establish a fun agri-tourism business. In 1998, we put the 60 cows on the pastures on Willmar, MN May 1 and they were able to graZe into 56201 Project Description November. Nearly all of the cows calved on 320-235-8465 pasture during May and June. We had an 85m bandiyohi County Bison producers are approached regularly by calving rate and the calves were strong so the email: people who wish to come view their herd. We weaning rate was also very high. We decided to benefit from this desire and “go five cows and added ten heifers to the herd. public” by establishing an agri-tourism business Project along with the bison rotational graZing operation. We sold 22 of the heifer calves to other bison Duration John, a retired schoolteacher, sought the agri- growers. The demand is high and they bring tourism business as an opportunity to educate 1998 to 2000 about o2,000 for a nice looking weaning heifer. the public about AmericaJs oldest food, bison. All of the bull calves are still on the farm. We ESAP Contact are feeding and growing them out to be used as Combining a farming operation and agri-tourism breeding animals and sold to farmers directly or Wayne Monsen fits nicely into our farm. The farm consists of through the American Bison Association. 651-282-2261 200 acres, which are all pasture except for 30 acres. The farm has very heavy clay soils and We made great progress in 1998. Water lines rolling hills. Up until three years ago, the farm were installed to the pastures and the perimeter Keywords was in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). fencing was completed. The corrals, tubs and Most of the crops raised on the 30 acres go to agri-tourism, bison, squeeZe chutes make handling and treating the the 60 bison cow herd. We raise the calves and pasture animals easier. have about 150 head of bison at all times. We establishment, also rent 40 acres of hay ground from a neighbor. prairie, warm and After we weaned the calves in September, thecool season grasses cows stayed on pasture until November. The We want to raise bison to help bring the great amount of grass was limited at that time of the American Bison back from near extinction. The objective is to produce healthy red meat that is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and lower in cholesterol than beef, pork, or skinless chicken. Bison is a natural product raised without hormones. Results R$(@."%< We are still in a great learning phase about how to manage bison in a rotational graZing system. We are pleased that the John and Leila with their bison herdGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 116. 118 —— Livestock • Arndtyear. We need to learn how to manage the pastures better F.,4"F#7(:.4$< Bison like to roam as they eat and it mayin the fall to help extend the graZing further into the winter. be possible that our paddocks are too big. This allows theBison are hardy animals and we need to take advantage of bison too much room to roam and stomp down the grasstheir hardiness by keeping them on pasture longer. before they eat it. We are breaking the paddocks into smaller siZes to see if we can have the bison graZe moreIn 1999, we had an 83m calving rate getting 50 calves efficiently, and help make the pasture available longer infrom 60 cows. This produced an average income of about the fall.o1,000 for each heifer and bull calf. Costs are about o500/animal leaving a profit of o400 to o500/animal. The price Remember always that bison are wild animals. Whilewas a little lower this year for the first time in 12 years. appearing relatively quiet and tractable, bison can be very unpredictable. In addition, bison are very strong and veryWe kept the graZing cows, calves, and six herd bulls in quick. Planning and preparation prior to any work withone group while graZing in 1999. The graZing rotation bison becomes essential. Any degree of crowding andwas every 30 days and we found that early in the summer confinement tends to increase aggression. Two simplethey were not able to keep up with the rapid growth of the rules for bison are:grasses. By June 15, the grass was very mature and lesspalatable than younger grass. There was a lot of waste Rule {1: The faster you run, the faster bison will run.due to trampling. We did cut part of the pasture for hay in Rule {2: The louder you are, the higher the bisonmid-May, but we could have cut even more. will jump.We tried inter-seeding various grass and legume seeds into When winter is over, bison begin to frolic. They kick upthe existing pastures and use the bison to incorporate the their heels and roll in the soil, shedding their thick, shaggyseeds. This seems like a good way to increase forages winter coats. While it may look like theyJre just having awithout tilling and taking the pasture out of production. carefree celebration, they are helping fertiliZe and regenerate their own pastures.We also added 15 acres of cropland to the pasture systemin 1999. On May 21 we used a no-till drill to seed native The physical features of bison contribute to the uniquewarm season grasses, a mixture with 90m big bluestem symbiotic relationship they have with the ground they eatand Indiangrass. We received fairly good moisture to start from. Seeds of grasses caught in the winter coats arewith though it was very dry by fall. Weed control was a deposited in the soil as they roll on the ground to shed theirproblem on this fertile rolling clay ground and we controlled coats. The bison pick up clods of dirt with their sharpit by clipping with a stalk chopper at 8 to 10”. hooves that breaks up the soil and manure. Water can percolate into the soil and be held in the ground more easily,In 2000 we had a calving rate of 89m getting 54 calves ensuring well-watered grasses. Bison break down the dead,from the 60 cows. The prices for the calves continued to uneaten grass by rolling on the ground and kicking it withbe down. Heifer calves brought o400 and bull calves their hooves. When graZing, they leave small tufts of deadbrought o500. iearling heifers brought o700. grass that ensure a long intact root system. Once the deadWe had a very early spring in 2000 and wereable to start graZing on April 10. The pasturesproduced well even with the dry summer. Wekept ahead of the forage by splitting the herdallowing us to have animals on more than onearea at a time. We needed to beginsupplementing hay in the middle of September.The big bluestem and Indiangrass planted in1999 are continuing to establish. The grassesput on a lot of root growth and not much leafgrowth. I harvested one cutting of hay of about~ ton per acre, mainly as a way to controlweeds. I expect the stand to be adequate nextyear so that we can start graZing by the end of John discusses raising bison with a field day participantthe season.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 117. Livestock • Arndt —— 119 grass is broken, it decomposes quickly into the soil. 3. When crowded or confined, bison become aggressive. 1%$.S-4+$.,5< In 1998, we offered farm tours to the public 4. Rotating the pastures on a 30-day schedule breaks up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We charged the parasite cycle and helps the cows breed back and the o2.50/person and asked that the minimum siZe of a group calves to grow faster. be six people. When people came we showed them the animals and told them about how they are raised. We 5. Parasite control in bison is very important. Feeding stressed the benefits of having bison on the land and the grain screenings as a supplement with Safe Guard wormer fact that bison meat is an excellent source of protein. We mixed in gives broad control of parasites. had 163 visitors and took in o5,729 from the tours and the meat sales during these tours. Also, many elementary Cooperators school classes visited the farm free of charge. a*#%)*.$B Big Stone Refuge, Odessa, MN To help us get the visitors out into the pastures, we _1.$%F3*+,9*#B Prairieland Management, Glenwood, MN purchased a used 17-person capacity school bus. This a*0$52% @-..-7+9*#B Mid-Minnesota Development made for excellent viewing and safety for the visitors and Commission, Willmar, MN was the only way insurance was available. Project Location In 1999, we really expanded the agri-tourism efforts. Half of the 900 overall visitors came during the weekend field- Take US Hwy 12 to the western edge of Willmar. Go day open house in June. We also gave numerous tours for north on Cty Rd 5 for 2s miles. Turn west on Cty Rd 92 day cares, senior citiZens groups, nursing homes, tourists, and continue for 1s miles. The farm is on the right. Look as an activity for people staying at a resort, iMCA, for the J and L Bison Ranch sign. convention outings, a mystery tour, schools, teachers from Germany, and an Extravagance Tour from Minneapolis. Other Resources :+$5-;7#% U-9*#% :99*;-72-*#E 4701 Marion, Suite 301, Agri-tourism continued to grow in 2000 and we had more Denver, CO 80216, 303-292-2833. Member association than 1,350 visitors to the farm. In expectation of more promoting production, marketing, and preservation of bison. open house attendees, we rented a full-siZe school bus to use along with our own bus to provide safe access for P-##$9*27% U"==7.*% :99*;-72-*#E 6819 Industrial Road, visitors to view the bison on pasture. Saginaw, MN 55776, 218-729-9669. Web site: Statewide association that promotes Another exciting aspect of our agri-tourism project is an the production and marketing of bison. arrangement we have with the Big Stone Refuge near Odessa, MN. They developed a closed-loop automobile P-##$9*27%`5*?#%d,,*52"#-2-$9 (MGO). 352 Alderman path through a 150 acre grassland for viewing bison and Hall, 1970 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, we supplied them with 30 of our bison for the summer. 612-625-4707. Web site: MGO is a collaborative effort between MDA, AURI, and the U of M With the help of Robert Williamson, from the Mid- to assist Minnesota producers in identifying and evaluating Minnesota Development Commission, we wrote a booklet crop, livestock, farming system, and value-added options on agri-tourism called, “Starting to Get Started in Agri- for their operation and to provide easy access to the Tourism.” This document contains ideas, questions and combined resources of the three organiZations. available resources we think are important to consider as you contemplate agri-tourism along with a short story about Z*523%:+$5-;7#%U-9*#%)**,$572-C$E New Rockford, ND our agri-tourism project. Copies are available on request. 58356, 701-947-2505. A production and marketing cooperative of bison growers. Management Tips 1. iou need to be sincerely interested in bison to learn the [8%-93%7#/%@-./.-=$%8$5C-;$E% 1998. Northern tallgrass traits of the animal. These animals need a different prairie: Habitat preservation area. US Department of the approach to management because they are much stronger. Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, Fort Snelling, MN 55111. 2. Remember that bison are wild animals that are very strong and very quick.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 118. 120 —— Livestock • Carlton County ExtensionPasture Aeration and its Effects on Aeration VarietyProductivity Using a Variety of Inputs Project Summary In 2000, ten different treatments were established Principal in plots in the pastures on the four participating This is a collaborative project of producers, farms. The treatments were designed to show Investigator local, state, and federal agencies, extension the effects of the aerator on the pastures. The Troy SalZer educators, and graZing organiZations in a six treatments were: Carlton County county area in northeast and east central Extension Minnesota to provide educational programs in j Control PO Box 307 pasture management. The focus is on increasing j Aeration with no other treatmentCarlton, MN 55707 pasture productivity without destroying existing j Aeration with manure application 218-384-3511 pasture with the use of a pasture aerator. The j Aeration with lime and fertiliZer aerator will be used to: 1) improve pasture j Aeration with over seeding of red clover Carlton, Chisago, productiond 2) improve animal healthd 3) increase j Aeration with red clover seed, lime, and banabec, Mille farm profitabilityd 4) control weeds and brushd fertiliZerLacs, Pine Counties 5) increase beneficial legume speciesd 6) better j No aeration with manure application utiliZe seeding and fertiliZing pasturesd and, 7) j No aeration with lime and fertiliZer Project provide better wildlife habitat. j No aeration with over seeding of red clover Duration j No aeration with red clover seed, lime, and Four producers who utiliZe pasture as the staple fertiliZer 2000 to 2002 for summer feeding of their livestock are involved. Willis Finifrock from Barnum, raises The siZe of the plots are 20J x 60J for each of the ESAP Contact treatments. The soil amendments in the beef and sheep, Ron Alm of Brook Park, Calvin Harth of Cloverdale, and Richard Erickson of treatments on average were: Wayne Monsen 651-282-2261 Isle all raise beef cattle. The project locations j Lime at 2 tons/A cover a wide variety of soil types and production j Red Clover at 10 lb/A systems. j Potash at 166 lb/A Keywords j Nitrogen at 50 lb/A Project Description j Manure at 20 tons/A aerator, pasture renovation This project will evaluate the use of an aerator Each site was different for the amount of lime, as a low cost way of renovating pastures without potash, and potassium applied. Amendments removing them from production. This machine were determined according to soil test will reduce the cost of operating equipment, recommendations analyZed at the University of decrease the risk of erosion, while improving Minnesota. pastures. Producers might not be able to renovate by traditional means due to the costs and taking pasture out of production. The aerator can be utiliZed on sod and tilled fields for incorporation of manure. This application method decreases the evaporative losses and allows better absorption of the nutrients into the Troy, Carlton County Extension soil, especially on Coordinator shows aerator at a field hillsides.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 119. Livestock • Carlton County Extension —— 121 Just prior to graZing, forage samples are collected and In addition, some of the producers also tried other uses for analyZed for yield, forage quality, forage species, and stand the aerator for pasture renovation. They are comparing its density. Comparisons of the tests will be conducted over use with clearing with a caterpillar, tillage compared to a the three years to observe the trends in the conditions of disk, and spreading manure packs from feeding areas to the pasture. Different pasture analysis techniques will be get the forages growing sooner in spring. All of these will tried to determine which methods the farmers prefer. also lend themselves to further demonstrations to producers during future field days. Results Management Tips The project went as planned in 2000 with the treatments applied late in the spring at all four locations. We were 1. It takes time for the benefits of aeration to show up in able to get all of the lime, fertiliZer, seed and equipment to the pastures. properly apply the treatments. We were also fortunate that we have access to rock or counter weights to allow 2. Pastures respond quickly to applications of fertiliZers the aerator to properly penetrate into the soils. The existing and manure. pastures were quite compacted and dry so there was a tendency for the aerator to not penetrate into the soil as it 3. It may be necessary to add weights to the aerator so it would in normal conditions. Ideally, the aerator would can penetrate hard sod pastures. penetrate eight inches. Cooperators The project has not demonstrated the impact of the aerator at this point. Forage samples were taken from the plots in :$5?71%)*+,7#1 2000 but were not analyZed because changes in the pastures )7.C-#%^7523, Farmer, Cloverdale, MN will not be measurable in the short term. The results will 75+%8$5C-;$%:6$#;1 be compared with the following two years to see if there Q*;7.%)722.$+$#X9%d567#-]72-*#9 are trends in the conditions of the pastures over time. P-##$9*27%*576$%7#/%`5799.7#/9%)*"#;-. Z72"57.%a$9*"5;$9%)*#9$5C72-*#%8$5C-;$ At this time we have not compared the cost benefit ratios Z$+7/f-%a-C$5%U79-#%<5*f$;2 due to our hope that with next yearJs data, there will be a-;375/%45-;V9*#B Farmer, Isle, MN more response to the treatments. The project has shown a*#%:.+B Farmer, Brook Park, MN a dramatic response to fertiliZation with manure and 8*-.%7#/%@72$5%)*#9$5C72-*#%A-925-;29 commercial fertiliZer. This was determined by both visual [#-C$59-21%*=%P-##$9*27%4W2$#9-*#%8$5C-;$ appraisal and dry matter samples. @-..-9%-#-=5*;VB Farmer, Barnum, MN The one aspect of the project that was, and is, a challenge Project Location for the participants is the collection of species data. We used a document designed in Missouri by the Natural Contact Troy SalZer at the Carlton County Extension Office Resources Conservation Service to track forage species. for directions to the farms involved in this project. This process did not work well for the farmers because it was not specific enough for them to use to track the forages Other Resources on their farms. We determined that this documentation Blanchet, b., H. Moechnig, and J. Dejong-Hughes. 2000. process is most effective when one person is tracking the `57]-#6% 9192$+9% ,.7##-#6% 6"-/$E Publication No. BU- forages on numerous farms and compares the results. 07606-S. University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. The project has gone extremely well as far as implementation and cooperation among all of the `"-/$%*5%a"57.%Q-C-#6E 2000. University of Minnesota individuals involved in the project. Although we have not Extension Service Carlton County. 218-384-3511 or seen the response to aeration as dramatically as we would 800-862-3769 ext. 223. have liked, there have been several people that have suggested that aeration takes time and the effects are not P-99*"5-% *576$% P7#76$+$#2% `"-/$E 1998. Natural seen immediately. This was determined by the visual Resource Conservation Service. 573-876-0901. appraisal and the weights that were taken from the plot during the season as raw data and will be compiled and analyZed statistically later.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 120. 122 —— Livestock • DingelsViability of Strip Grazing Corn Inter-seeded Corn Inter-seededwith a Grass/Legume Mixture Project Summary seeding perennial ryegrass and clover with the Principal standing corn at the time of second cultivation. The objectives of this project are to determine However, extremely hot temperatures and very Investigators whether feeding beef cattle in the field by strip little rain in 1999 caused the inter-seeding to die Stephen and Patricia graZing corn is economically feasible and if it except in a few small patches located in the Dingels has an advantage over harvesting corn for grain lowest and poorest drained section of the field. 25212 Liberty and to determine whether inter-seeding a grass/ Avenue legume mixture is feasible to eliminate the As a backup plan to replace the inter-seeding Redwood Falls, MN establishment year for pasture. Stephen and that did not survive, we decided to fall seed a 56283 Patricia DingelsJ three year project demonstrates: small grain on 2.5 acres of the field and then 507-644-5938 spring seed annual ryegrass on the remaining Redwood County j The practice of strip graZing corn will give 7.5 acres of the field. Winter triticale, a cross small and medium siZe farm operations the between wheat and rye, was selected as the fall Project chance to grow and/or finish cattle without seeded small grain because of its greater forage Duration the high start-up costs of a conventional production and palatability as compared to either feedlot. It eliminates both the time and cost winter wheat or winter rye. However, there are 1999 to 2001 of harvesting and hauling grain to cattle in some concerns regarding winter survivability of feedlots. triticale. ESAP Contact j Cattle that strip graZe corn will spread their Mary Hanks manure throughout the field. This cuts out By September 11, 1999 the cattle had graZed 651-296-1277 the time and energy needed to transport and off the south 2.5 acres of corn. The remaining Author: Mary Routh redistribute the manure. Money is also saved corn stubble was disked twice and the triticale because less fertiliZer is needed to replace was seeded with a grain drill. The recommended Keywords field nutrients. Strip graZing can prevent odor seeding rate was 100 lb/A. However, in and water contamination associated with the attempting to adjust the drill, one third of the beef cow-calf pairs, buildup of large manure piles. beef stocker cattle, j The practice of rotational graZing requirescool season grasses, establishing a grass/legume pasture. GraZingfeeder cattle, graZing corn and inter-seeding a grass/legume mixture corn, inter-seeding, during the first year can eliminate the legumes establishment year for the pasture. This is especially beneficial to farmers who rent land on a one year contract. GraZing corn will allow them to graZe rented land without the fear of establishing a longer term pasture only to lose the land to another renter the following year. Project Description The first year of this project involved strip graZing corn with 98 feeder heifers. The description and results from this research in 1999 can be found in Greenbook 2000 at or by contacting MDA. KLLL1%$4"45.212-.:.-.#,< Preparations for Steve examines corn field the second year of our project actually began in after strip grazing fall 1999. In the summer of 1999 we tried inter-GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 121. Livestock • Dingels —— 123 field was seeded at approximately 150 lb/A with the the cows. All of these cows were older cows with very remaining part of the field seeded at 75 lb/A. The seeding few if any productive years remaining. They were conditions were poor due to the prevailing dry weather purchased because of the relative low price and because and the soil was very lumpy and dry at the time of seeding. we planned to early-wean the calves at approximately 90 A total of .6”of precipitation fell from the seeding date days of age. The cows would then be sold as cull cows. through December 15, 1999 in four separate rain or snowfall This strategy allowed for the management of the typical events. Germination and resulting plant vigor were less grass growth curve whereby the fastest grass growing than expected due to the dry conditions. The area that was period during late May, June and early July is then followed seeded at 150 lb/A had a marginal stand while the area by a typically much slower period of grass growth from with lower seeding rate had an unacceptable stand. The August through October. remaining portion of the cornfield was tilled in the fall of 1999 with a v-ripper, which is a common practice in our The cattle were unloaded into a portable corral. During area. the first few hours, the cattle were contained in the corral and trained to the electric fence. Afterwards they were During March 2000, we conducted a soil test on the four turned out to graZe with only a one strand portable electric different soil types within the ten acre field. FertiliZer was fence between paddocks to control them. The field used applied to University of Minnesota recommendations of for our project had a four strand high tensile fence 150-0-0 of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Another constructed around the perimeter in 1999. 50 lb/A of nitrogen in the form of ammonium sulfate was applied August 4, 2000. The 30 cow/calf pairs were rotationally graZed on ten acres from May 20 through August 9, 2000. Each paddock Due to the thin stand of winter triticale, the entire field was graZed ranging from one to five days. The total length was tilled with a field cultivator. FertiliZer was spread and of time to rotate through all paddocks ranged from seven the field was tilled again with a field cultivator just prior to to 20 days depending upon grass regrowth. While graZing, planting. Two varieties of annual ryegrass were seeded the cattle had free choice access to water and trace mineral using an endgate seeder on March 29, 2000. The field salt provided in each paddock. was then dragged with a fixed tooth harrow and packed with a Brillion seeder/packer. Due to the high nutritional qualities of annual ryegrass and the relatively high priced land (o2,000r /A) being used for The two varieties of annual ryegrass selected were both graZing, we had intentionally stocked the pasture at the Italian ryegrasses. Italian ryegrass was selected for their maximum rate deemed possible, if not somewhat high dry matter yields, biennial behavior that usually overstocked. This decision was based on prevents the formation of seed heads the first year and recommendations by experienced graZiers and as reported their excellent feed quality. The two varieties selected in the Stockman Grass/Farmer. This decision was also were Barmultra (a tetraploid) and Bartissimo (a diploid). supported by the economic principle that when, in a year The Barmultra was seeded at 40 lb/A and Bartissimo was like 2000, where the price of purchased inputs (feed) is seeded at 25 lb/A. Even though Italian ryegrass is a biennial, relatively low and the price of output (calves) is relatively it is not expected to survive the severe winters in Minnesota. high, it is advantageous to maximiZe output. In years when input would be relatively higher priced than the output, it Although no herbicides were used in the second year of would be advantageous to optimiZe rather than maximiZe our project, weed control was considered to be excellent output. with very little weed pressure. beep in mind, however, that a weed is only a problem if the livestock will not eat Since the stocking rate was greater than the carrying the weed. capacity of the pasture, additional hay was fed for short periods to allow the grass to regrow to acceptable height KLLL A.:#,-42812-.:.-.#,< On May 20, 2000 four bred before regraZing. This hay was fed in feed bunks in a beef cows were turned out to graZe. Another 26 beef cow/ “sacrifice” paddock. A sacrifice paddock is one used to calf pairs were turned out to graZe with them on May 22. confine animals and which may harm the grass to the extent The average calving date for all 30 calves was May 11. of lowering the stand density and resulting yield. When the graZing period began, the average weight of the Approximately 440 lb of hay per cow were fed during those 26 calves was 171 lb. periods when the grass was being allowed to regrow. The cows purchased for this project are known as short- The calves were vaccinated, castrated, and implanted with term cows. Short-term refers to the age and condition of Ralgro€ on July 6, 2000. Creep feed was provided to theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 122. 124 —— Livestock • Dingelscalves beginning July 14. Consumption was minimal at including hedging, using either futures or options, andfirst but intake had risen to 3 lb/calf/day by the time the forward contracting.calves were weaned on August 9. The creep feed consistedof cracked corn, oats, protein supplement, and mineral. We compared the potential returns of selling the early- weaned calves versus the potential returns of retainingSeveral days prior to August 9, we once again erected the ownership and finishing them in a custom feedlot. Sinceportable corral leaving two sides of the corral open. We we were not able to obtain a feeder cattle price that wouldbegan feeding the daily ration of hay within the corral result in greater profits than retaining ownership, we decidedeveryday thereafter until the final day. On August 9 we to retain ownership. The heavyweight steer calves weighingfed them hay and, as all the cattle came into the corral to over 500 lb will be fed to finish in a custom feedlot. Theeat, we closed up the two sides of the corral which had lightweight steer calves less than 500 lb and the heifersbeen left open. We utiliZed a portable crowding tub, alley, will be fed in our own feedlot. They will be fed a highand chute with a scale to load the cows onto the livestock roughage ration during the winter and turned back out totrailer that transported them to the auction market. The grass in 2001. The steers will be finished for harvest latesame equipment was then used to weigh each calf in 2001, while the heifers will be bred in the summer ofindividually to obtain a weaning weight. 2001 and sold as replacement bred heifers in the fall of 2001.At the time of weaning the calves were contained in theportable corral for three days. This was to prevent them Resultsfrom walking the fence and possibly trying to break throughthe electric fence looking for their mother. They were fed KLLL1%$4"45.2,E If the fall seeded winter triticale had5 lb of creep feed per head per day along with free choice received sufficient moisture for proper stand establishmenthay. After three days they were turned out to graZe the in the fall of 1999, it would have provided early seasonannual ryegrass and were supplemented with a free choice graZing. The thin stand of winter triticale which did establishgrain ration fed from the same creep feeder used prior to in 1999 was able to survive the winter. We do grant thatweaning. A total of 27,700 lb of feed was fed to the early- the winter of 1999-2000 was relatively mild. The paddockweaned calves from August 9 through October 29. The that contained the winter triticale was graZed first in theaverage daily feed intake per head was 11.94 lb/day. rotation. The triticale had produced considerably more dry matter at the beginning of graZing than the spring seededSince the early-weaned calves were being supplemented annual ryegrass. However, after the first rotation, the winterwith feed, they did not need the entire ten acres of pasture. triticale produced only minor regrowth. After the secondAn additional nine yearling beef steers were turned out to rotation it started to senesce. By the third rotation in mid-graZe these acres on September 11. The beginning weight June, it had almost disappeared while the annual ryegrasson these steers was 680 lb. They graZed through October began to produce considerable dry matter.29, 2000. They had access to water and trace mineralsalt. They required no additional feed other than the grass. A few weeks after emergence of the annual ryegrass, it was observed that the best grass growth was in areas thatWe experienced no health problems related tostarting the cattle on grass. Overall health ofthe calves and yearlings during the entire graZingperiod was very good. Since the cows wereolder cows near the end of their productive life,some health problems were expected. All cowshad very little trouble with calving. We losttwo cows during the season to causes unrelatedto graZing.Each year cattle are purchased specifically forthis project. They are either sold at the end ofthe year or ownership of the cattle may beretained as the cattle are finished in a customfeedlot. To reduce the risk of financial loss,we often employ several marketing tools Steve reels up fence to open the next corn stripGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 123. Livestock • Dingels —— 125 had been packed by the tractor wheels in addition to packing Forage analysis of the annual ryegrass began on June 15, with the Brillion packer used at the time of seeding. A 2000 with sampling once a month until October 9. Samples good seed to soil contact is necessary for optimal seedling consisted of the parts of the plant that the cattle were emergence, especially in dry conditions. observed consuming. Each sample consisted of a composite of both the diploid and tetraploid ryegrass from several Based upon recommendations from the seed dealer, we randomly selected sites for each sampling period. A began graZing when the grass reached 6”. However, we complete summary of the forage wet chemistry analysis is would recommend not graZing at this time but to instead found in Table 1. mow the grass to a height of 3”. When the grass reaches 6” the second time, Table 1. Summary of 2000 Forage Analysis you may then begin graZing. Mowing 96=6F040= .........i2;0.& i23<. & +2A214. !& *?47E0=. - allows the seedlings to develop better % Dry Matter 12.7 15.1 13.4 58.6 root systems and encourages the plants % Crude Protein 30.9 28.2 31.8 22.9 to tiller (growth of new shoots). % Acid Detergent Fiber 28.4 26.6 28.7 29.6 Although the plants were not pulled out % Neutral Detergent Fiber 48.5 50.3 47.7 49.3 by the roots when graZed the first time, % NSC 10.8 11.8 10.8 18.1 the seedlings did experience a % TDN 65.0 65.0 66.0 65.0 considerable amount of trauma from NEL (Mcal/Cwt) 65.0 65.0 65.0 65.0 trampling and graZing by the cows. NEM (Mcal/Cwt) 65.0 64.0 65.0 64.0 NEG (Mcal/Cwt) 38.0 37.0 39.0 38.0 Relative Feed Value 123 126 130 124 As mentioned earlier, the seeding rate was higher than most farmers typically seed. Due to wet We attempted to make a comparison of diploid versus conditions during late May and June, the cattle caused tetraploid annual ryegrass by planting both varieties side severe pugging in four of five paddocks. This pugging by side in the pasture. We observed two differences reduced the stand an estimated 20 to 25m. If we had seeded between the varieties: the diploid variety appeared to at a lower rate, the dry matter produced during the remainder withstand trampling better than the tetraploid and the of the growing season would have been reduced. tetraploid was much more rust tolerant than the diploid. The diploid variety became heavily infected with rust in Based on assumed animal dry matter intake, the estimated mid-August. The tetraploid only exhibited a mild infection. amount of dry matter consumed for the entire season was The cattle readily consumed the rust infected ryegrass which 7,505 lb/A. This compares with our projected dry matter would indicate no problem with acceptance and intake. produced of 9,350 lb/A. This year the months of August However, the rust did appear to slightly reduce the dry through November were extremely dry. Due to the extreme matter produced by the diploid variety as compared to the lack of moisture, the growth of grass in that time period tetraploid. was greatly diminished. KLLL A.:#,-428 3#$;4$5("2#< The performance of the The growth pattern of the annual ryegrass was slightly calves while graZing was acceptable. The average starting different than the pattern expected for perennial forages. weight of the 26 calves born at the time graZing began on The annual ryegrass reaches its peak production about one May 22, 2000 was 171 lb. The average weaning weight on month later than the perennial pasture. Comparing the August 9 for all 29 calves, was 276 lb. The average daily growth pattern of our annual ryegrass with that of an gain for all calves during that 79-day period was 1.33 lb/ orchardgrass/clover pasture, annual ryegrass dry matter day. The average weight at the end of graZing on October production peaks in July and declines steadily into the 28, for all calves was 538 lb. The average daily gain for fall. The growth pattern for the orchardgrass/clover pasture this 80-day period was 3.28 lb/day. The average daily is very typical of the pattern found in perennial pastures. gain and ending weights of our early-weaned calves are It peaks in June, declines in July but levels off into the almost identical to calves weaned at the traditional time of fall. The pattern follows very closely with the growth we mid to late October. observed on a perennial ryegrass pasture we have. This may be of significance for a graZier attempting to provide The performance of the yearlings graZed from September a more uniform growth pattern by utiliZing several different 11 through October 29, 2000 was also acceptable. The grass species. beginning weight was 680 lb with an ending weight of 767 lb. This resulted in an average daily gain for that 48-day graZing period of 1.8 lb/day.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 124. 126 —— Livestock • Dingels!24"45.2E#,+0-,< Table 2 is a profitand loss statement for the project. As Table 2. 2000 Profit and Loss Statementindicated, the project was profitable )7463 90=. +?=0 90=. 96>=LQ06:with a net profit of o234.05/A and a net ^=711. Y;?7F0return to labor and management of Cull cow sales (995 lb @ $35.88/cwt) $9,995.08 $999.51 $333.17o314.05/A. We also compared the Calf sales (538 lb @ $111/cwt) $17,318.22 $1,731.82 $577.27profitability of harvesting soybeans vs. Yearling sales (766 lb @ $96/cwt) $6,618.20 $661.82 $735.36 AMTA payment (Freedom to Farm) $261.50 $26.15 $8.72graZing annual ryegrass. GraZing annualryegrass was more profitable than )7463. ^=711. Y;?7F0 $Xc%-XM"" $X%c-MX" $%(&cM&!growing soybeans, with a net return to e6=>6E30. VZG0;101labor and management of o314.05/A Cow/calf pairs (30 @ $625/pair) $18,750.00 $1,875.00 $625.00while soybeans returned on o52.27/A. Yearlings (680 lb @ $97.70/cwt) $5,979.24 $597.92 $664.36 Creep feed/salt/mineral/supplement $1,900.39 $190.04 $63.35 Hay and Crystalyx supplement $707.15 $70.72 $23.57Management Tips Land rent $1,000.00 $100.00 $33.331. Each year a graZier must evaluate Seed cost $415.51 $41.55 $13.85 Fertilizer $501.30 $50.13 $16.71which class of livestock will best fit his/ Vet and medicine $317.55 $31.76 $10.59her operation and goals. We chose to Interest on cattle $553.50 $55.35 $18.45graZe short-term cow/calf pairs in 2000, Custom hire $120.00 $12.00 $4.00a decision based upon the prevailing Insurance $25.00 $2.50 $0.83price structure for cattle and feed at that Day labor (move cattle) $800.00 $80.00 $26.67time. Miscellaneous $482.66 $48.27 $16.09 5>Z0:. VZG0;1012. We believe that the graZing of a Fence and water repay1 $300.20 $30.02 $10.01higher value class of livestock may be )7463. VZG0;101 $X%#&!M&" $X%#&M!& $%&!(M#"most profitable given the high nutritionalquality of annual ryegrass and the high )7463.J04.Y;?7F0 $!%Xc"M&" $!XcM"& $![M[cost of land. Simply put, beef cows eat 1Total cost of fence and water equipment was $274.04/A amortized over 20 years witha lot of grass compared to the value of an opportunity cost of 9%.what they produce. In most years cowsmay be better suited to graZing lessor quality forage on 7. GraZing does work. If you plan to graZe, be sure toland unsuitable for crop farming. study the field trial information, talk with someone who has tried it before, develop a plan, and start small. Then3. Environmental benefits of graZing are numerous. Since have confidence in yourself and your ability to make graZingthere is no need for harvesting of the crop and subsequent a success.hauling, there are significant savings in fuel and less airpollution. Additional Information4. GraZing cattle evenly deposit their manure over the The Dingels have collected additional information for thoseentire field. Manure was tilled under at the conclusion of who wish to pursue cattle graZing. This valuable datathe graZing season to help avoid any possibility of runoff includes performance, health, and profitability of corninto waterways. graZed cattle in the projectJs first year of 1999 and during year two on other land.5. Nutrients are recycled to the soil as graZing cattletypically excrete 60 to 70m of the nutrients consumed. CooperatorsWe estimate that the recycled nutrients from the manure F-+%c7#%A$5%@7.B Beef Enterprise Consultant,left on the field during graZing have a commercial fertiliZer Sanborn, MNvalue of approximately o20.00 to o25.00/A. U*0%_*$3.$5B%Extension Specialist, Lamberton, MN @71#$%^7#9$#B Redwood County Extension,6. A farmer needs to put as much time and management Redwood Falls, MNinto graZing as he/she does to produce the maximum 4"6$#$%7#/%)75*.%`75#375/2, retired farmers,economic yield of any other crop. Clements, MNGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 125. Livestock • Dingels —— 127 Project Location *576$%8192$+9%a$9$75;3%)$#2$5E% Linn County, Missouri. Web site: From Redwood Falls travel 9 miles south on Hwy 71, turn east on Hwy 68 and travel 2 ~ miles. The project is located `*+,$52B%F$551E bnox County Extension Educator. P.O. on the north side of the highway. Box 45, Center, NE 68724, 402-288-4224. Mr. Gompert has assisted several farmers with graZing corn and graZed Other Resources his own cattle on corn. :.0$52%Q$7%8$$/%^*"9$E 1414 West Main, P.O. Box 127, Albert Lea, MN 56007, 800-352-5247. Web site: F3$%82*;V+7#%`5799%75+$5E$$P.O. Box 2300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-2300, 800-748-9808. Monthly publication devoted to graZing. U757#0"56% *576$E Web site: Excellent source for information and seed specially bred University of Wisconsin Extension. 1997. <792"5$9%=*5 for graZing. ,5*=-2H%:%6"-/$%2*%5*272-*#7.%657]-#6E WI No. A3529 or MN No. AG-FO-6145. University of Wisconsin Extension 4.$;25-;%$#;$%A$9-6#E Web site: Service, Madison, WI, 608-262-3346 or University of Excellent Minnesota Extension Distribution Center, 612-625-8173. source on designing an electric fence system. *576$%>#=*5+72-*#%8192$+9E Web site: http://www.forages.css.orst.eduGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 126. 128 —— Livestock • Harmon PastureIncreasing Quality and Quantity of PastureForage with Management Intensive Grazing as Alternative Wooded Landan Alternative to the Grazing of Wooded Land Project Summary planning a management intensive graZing system Principal to improve the quality and quantity of forage on Investigator Many north central Minnesota farms have woods the remaining acres. in or adjacent to their pastureland. Economic Michael Harmon conditions have increased the cutting of private RR 2, Box 348 Mike is also concerned about the availability of woodland and the regeneration is vulnerable to water and predation by timber wolves. The herd Shevlin, MN 56676 graZing. Michael Harmon fenced 80 acres of 218-657-2592 can return to the farmstead for water from his wooded land out of his pasture and is using several of the paddocks but Mike is anticipating Clearwater County management intensive graZing of his beef herd adding tanks and water lines to other nearby to improve the quality and quantity of the forage paddocks as well as to two remote paddocks Project in the remaining pastures to avoid the need to where the cattle are currently watered from farm Duration overgraZe his wooded land. ponds. The farm is surrounded by state forest 1999 to 2001 and has timber wolf habitat to the east. Since Project Description losing a calf in a documented timber wolf kill ESAP Contact Over half of Michael HarmonJs 280 acre farm is ten years ago, Mike has concerns about exposing the herd in the remote paddocks. This Mary Hanks wooded with 100 acres of pasture, 20 tillable year the cattle were harassed by a timber wolf/ 651-296-1277 acres and the remaining land managed for timber German shepherd cross. There was no loss of production. The farm is located in the life but many animals suffered wire cuts. Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. While he Keywords raises crossbred Piedmontese steers and heifers on grass and direct markets lean, low fat beef, Results beef cattle, the main source of family income is logging. management With the help of his two sons, Mike divided his intensive graZing, two large pastures and occasionally pastured organic livestock The pastureland had been divided into two large hay fields into six paddocks in 1999 using a production, paddocks that were overgraZed and suffering combination of single wire electric fence and rotational graZing, from the invasion of undesirable plants that barbed wire. To address his wolf concerns, woodlot protection increased every year. Mike also found that he Mike decided to use the two remote paddocks was feeding hay to the beef herd earlier every last, allowing calves to grow larger and thus year as grass quantities declined. He had been less vulnerable to wolves. graZing cattle on what grass was available in his wooded areas along with the open grass pastures. He noticed that, after cutting timber, the regeneration was especially vulnerable to cattle graZing, resulting in losses to both the economic value of future timber and forest biodiversity. He responded to these observations by fencing 80 acres of woodland to limit cattle access and Cattle grazing in a 30 year old aspen standGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 127. Livestock • Harmon —— 129 During the second year of the project, Mike fenced 40 acres of wooded land Table 1. Harmon Grazing Enterprise and 2000 Gross that included pockets of 15 year old Margin Analysis regenerated aspen. The cattle were allowed to browse this area three times Number of acres in MIG pasture 110 Number of paddocks 6 during the summer for a week each time. He thought that the graZing would Type of livestock beef increase forage quantity during hot, dry Total number of animals 41 Animal units [(total no. of animals x avg. wt.)/1000] 20 months and reduce the competition Number of animal units/A 0.5 among the young trees. However, the Date animals began grazing May 10 graZing caused greater thinning of the Date animals stopped grazing October 26 aspen stems than anticipated and the Total number of days on pasture 166 cattle did not utiliZe the understory Estimated labor/day 1 hour enough to reduce competition. Mike Tons of hay baled from pastures 37 also limited cattle access to the spring fed stock ponds to protect water quality. ^=711. /0P0;20 % Calf crop 96 The average number of days each Market steers sold $3,000 paddock was graZed in 2000 was lowest Beef sold $3,500 in May and October (6.5 and 7 days) Cull cows sold as hamburger $1,200 when cool season grasses were growing )7463.^=711./0P0;20.K633.=0?0>G41N $[%["" fastest, increasing to the maximum in ^=711./0P0;20.G0=.^=6T>;A.+?=0 $[" August and September (12.3 and 18 days) when grass growth had slowed e6=>6E30. K*24a7Oa97?C04N. VZG0;101 because of higher temperatures. ?*$2&(05, @005, ;#()(A Chopped oats and corn $225 Mineral/salts $310 Mike is seeing many positive effects of rotational graZing. Short-term results )7463.92=?@610:.500: $&X& encourage long-term practices such as 96142=0. 6;:. *G0=64>;A. VZG0;101 limited graZing in wooded and riparian Weed control - hand weeding time $100 areas. After just one year, Mike Electricity $5 observed a slowing of the weed invasion Supplies $62 as well as an increase in forage quantity Fuel costs $10 and quality. After the second year, Mike Repair costs $60 observed improved animal health (fewer Livestock hauling $600 parasites) and behavior - the cattle are )7463.96142=0.6;:.*G0=64>;A.VZG0;101 $#X[ more playful. He finds it is easier to locate the herd with the smaller paddock )7463. e6=>6E30. H7141 $%X[! system. e6=>6E30. H7141. G0=. ^=6T>;A. +?=0 $!Mc[ $&#M&X The results of the second year of ^=711.]6=A>;.G0=.^=6T>;A.+?=0 management intensive graZing are summariZed in Table 1. Mike more than doubled his gross margin per graZing acre (gross profit per acre minus variable Management Tips costs per acre) from 1999 to 2000 by increasing his 1. Management intensive graZing is a low cost way to livestock sales in 2000 and keeping his costs low. His expand a farmJs productivity. The benefits are limited gross margin in 1999 was o27.03/Ad it was o58.53/A in only by your degree of involvement. 2000. Mike attributes the increased income to better market prices and direct market sales. The herd was certified 2. Identifying short-term results from your long-term organic in 2000 and Mike anticipates that 2001 sales will strategies will encourage you to make the added investment increase by 30m. of time and money.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 128. 130 —— Livestock • HarmonCooperatorsF$551%Z$##-;3B Clearwater County Extension, Bagley, MNU5";$% )*WB Clearwater County Land Commissioner, Bagley, MNProject LocationSouth of Shevlin 15 miles on Cty 2, or 3 miles north ofLake Itasca. At the Itasca Fire Department, go 1 mile easton Twp Rd 108 then north 2 miles on Twp Rd 138. Theroad narrows and ends at the farm.Other Resources:;5$9%[8:E P. O. Box 91299, Austin, T• 78709,800-355-5313. email:,,5*,5-72$% F$;3#*.*61% F57#9=$5% =*5% a"57.% :5$79S:FFa:TE P. O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702,800-346-9140. Available at: Mike is happy with managementF3$%82*;V+7#%`5799%75+$5E P. O. Box 2300, Ridgeland, intensive grazingMS 39158-2300, 800-748-9808. Monthly publicationdevoted to graZing. or MN Publication No. AG-FO-6145. University of Wisconsin Extension Service, Madison, WI, 608-262-3346University of Wisconsin Extension Service. 1993. <792"5$9 or University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul,=*5%,5*=-2H%%:%6"-/$%2*%5*272-*#7.%657]-#6E WI No. A3529 MN, 612-625-8173.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 129. Livestock • Miller —— 131Low Input Conversion of CRP Land to a LandHigh Profitability Management IntensiveGrazing and Haying System Project Summary Hay storage facilities include a new 62J x 100J Principal hoop building, an 1880-vintage 2-story barn Investigators A growing farm, growing family and growing measuring 30J x 60J that can hold up to 3,500 satisfaction with their way of life have square bales in the mow, and a pole shed lean-toDan and Cara Miller characteriZed Dan and Cara MillerJs graZing and that can accommodate approximately 100 1,200 RR 1, Box 241 haying system. Dan and Cara evaluated new lb round bales. In the former parlor area of the Spring calley, MN grass and legume combinations in a graZing and 55975 old barn, the Millers built a livestock handling haying system as well as evaluated the costs area with scale and chute. Their lean line of 507-346-2261 and benefits of conventional seeding, frost Fillmore County equipment includes a 65-horse gasoline tractor seeding, and drilling. They closely monitored and loader, a discbine, a four bottom 16” livestock performance and profitability under a moldboard plow, an 11J disk, a drag, a digger, Project management intensive graZing system. an eight bale round bale transport, a hayrack, Duration several round bale feeders, and a 6J rough cut 1998 to 2000 Project Description rotary mower. The most frequently used Since the beginning of their project in 1998, Dan equipment is a John Deere 4-wheel •GatorJ that ESAP Contact and Cara Miller have expanded their farm from is used to transport people, water tanks and 120 acres to a 236 acre farm with 206 tillable lightweight step-in posts and reels of polywire. Mary Hanks 651-296-1277 acres. Their Spring calley farm is established on gently rolling, silt-loam soils, with Spring In 1997 the Millers plowed the 40 southern mostAuthor: Greg Booth calley Creek flowing through the northern half acres of the farm and soil tested, fertiliZed, and of the farm. Crops consist of several different limed according to University of Minnesota Keywords combinations of grasses and legumes. These recommendations. Dan seeded 12 lb of alfalfa, crops are graZed by 20 to 56 custom-graZed 5 lb of Palaton reed canarygrass, and 3 bu of beef cattle, dairy Holstein heifers and their own purebred Angus oats per acre. They hayed this ground twice heifers, forage and graZed it once during the summer of 1997. herd of about 40 animals, with the surplus made establishment, They also used a no-till drill on some permanent into hay. forage mixtures, bentucky bluegrass pasture and inter-seeded graZing, livestock handling The graZing system is a good match with their Lincoln smooth brome and Orion orchardgrass. labor supply and, from their perspective, is the In March 1998, Dan frost seeded about 20 acres most environmentally friendly system they could using a combination of 2 lb of Marathon red adopt. Managing and moving the livestock on pasture is a family event that has brought them closer together. They enjoy the green pastures, healthy cattle, trees, birds and the serenity of Spring calley Creek. The Millers received the 1998 Conservation Farmer of the iear award from the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District. Dan speaking at a field day GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 130. 132 —— Livestock • Millerclover, 2 lb of common alsyke clover,and 2 lb of common ladino clover per Table 1. Custom Grazing Results for 1998, 1999, and 2000acre. On April 20, 1998, Dan seeded --# --- !"""three separate plot trials using Q73140>; +P0=6A0..7O .!# +P0=6A0..7O .!# +P0=6A0.7O .c +P0=6A0.7O .!"conventional seeding tools of a plow, Q0>O0=1 3>A@4.6;>F631 @06P<. 6;>F631 6;>F631 6;>F631disk, digger, drag and drill. On March Average Wt Upon17, 1999, Dan frost seeded ten acres Arrival 451 lb 987 lb 861 lb 675 lbwith 2 lb Ladino clover, 2 lb Marathon Average Wt Upon Departure 707 lb 1242 lb 1157 lb 970 lbred clover, and 2 lb of Alice whitegraZing clover. This was not hayed in Grazing Days 160 lb 144 lb 161 lb 162 lb Supplements 2.8 lb corn/day + T.M. salt block T.M. salt T.M. salt block1999 and went right into a light graZing Rumensen block (½ had 2 lbsrotation. In July 2000, the Millers corn/day)purchased an additional 116 acres of Average Gain 255 lb 254 lb 296 lb 295 lbtillable land adjacent to their farm. Dan Average Daily Gain 1.84 lb/day 1.8 lb/day 1.84 lb/day 1.82 lb/dayworked this in the fall of 2000 with afield cultivator, tested the soil, andapplied 3 tons of lime per acre. He did Table 2. Angus Cow/Calf Performance 1998, 1999, andsome additional cultivation after the 2000lime was added and plans to seed it to --# --- !"""10 lb of alfalfa, 8 lb Palaton reed canary Calf Weaning Percentage 92.3% 94% 88%and 2s bu oats per acre. Other fall Average Calf Weight Coming Off Pasture 450 lb 567 lb 591 lb2000 work included fencing Average Cow Weight Gain 146 lb 142 lb 144 lbapproximately half of the new acreageand planning for more cross-fencing forintensive rotational graZing. On the Table 3. Relative Performance of Grasses for Yield andfarmJs original acreage, Dan also kept Qualityrecords on the response of alfalfa to j263>4<Lpotassium fertiliZation in the graZing/ DG0?>01 *P0=633. /6;C>;Ag S>03:g 963646E>3>4<ghaying system. Palaton Reed Canarygrass 1 1 4 Lincoln Smooth Brome 2 4 2Results Orion Orchardgrass 3 2 1 Barcel Tall Fescue 4 3 5On May 15, 1998, 56 Holstein heifers Climax Timothy 5 5 3were delivered to the farm and weighed. *Ranking where 1=best.The Holsteins consisted of 28 head of•lightweightJ heifers and 28 •heavyJ heifers. Thegroups were graZed until mid-October when theywere run through the chute in the barn andweighed again. The lightweight group had beenfed 2.8 lb of ground corn and Rumensen perhead per day in addition to the pasture. The•heavyJ group had been fed only pasture andtrace mineral salt. On May 5, 1999, the Millersreceived a group of 41 heavy Holstein heifersthat graZed for 161 days until October 24, 1999.As in 1998, these heavy heifers were fed onlypasture and trace mineral salt. On May 15,2000, 20 Holstein heifers were received andweighed. This group graZed 162 days with anaverage daily gain of 1.82 lb. The Millersprovided supplements of trace mineral withselenium, and 2 lb of corn to the ten lightestcows. Table 1 shows the data on animal weights Heifers enjoying lush pasturesGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 131. Livestock • Miller —— 133 and average daily weight gains for all three years. Table 4. Miller Gross Margin Analysis 2000 Number of acres in MIG pasture 78 pasture, 27 hay In addition to custom graZing, these Number of paddocks 49 pastures supported the MillersJ own Type of livestock beef & Holstein heifers purebred Angus herd of 30 to 40 Total number of animals 84 animals. They had an average weaned Animal units [(total no. of animals x avg. wt.)/1000] 83 calf percentage 3.8m higher than the Number of animal units/A 1.06 state average, while their mother cows Date animals began grazing May 15 graZing the pasture gained weight and Date animals stopped grazing October 24 body score while continuing to produce Total number of days on pasture 162 milk for their calves. By 2000, the last Estimated labor/day 1 hour year of the project, the Millers had Tons of hay baled from pastures 111 @ $50/ton increased their permanent cattle herd by seven and had good success marketing 9=7:2?4>P>4<. 7O . 96142=0 Average daily gain (lb/head on pasture heifers 1.82 purebred breeding bulls. The 2000 calf % Calf crop 88 crop was 88m, with an average weaning ^=711. 9=7O>4. O=7F. 96142=>;A. +?=01 weight of 591 lb (614 lb when adjusted $4,050 Calves sold - Custom Dairy, Inc. for standard 205 day weaning). Cows Increased value of beef calves $13,900 gained an average of 144 lb during the Increased value of Angus cows, etc. $2,789 graZing season and had a significant )7463.^=711./0P0;20.K633.=0?0>G41N $!(%!#- improvement in body condition (Table ^=711./0P0;20.G0=.^=6T>;A.+?=0 $!&" 2). e6=>6E30. K*24a7Oa97?C04N. VZG0;101 Dan and Cara evaluated different forage Purchased Feed Costs: species and varieties for a graZing and Corn $470 haying system. Their early observations Mineral/salts $50 ranking the grasses for yield, quality/ )7463.92=?@610:.500: $&!" palatability, and overall performance related to the perennial cool season ,>P0147?C%. 96142=0. 6;:. *G0=64>;A. VZG0;101 Fly spray and wormer $261 grasses are shown in Table 3. Forage Weed control $406 analysis of the oat-hay plot planted in Seed $271 1998 had a relative feed value of 80. Fertilizer $1,681 The alfalfa/Palaton reed canarygrass Custom harvesting/baling forage $1,258 hay field planted in 1997 tested with a Electricity $301 relative feed value of 110. Pasture Supplies $100 clippings from the various pasture Fuel costs $200 seedings ranged from a relative feed Repair costs $100 value of 170 to 200. Although the )7463.,>P0147?C%.96142=0.6;:.*G0=64>;A.VZG0;101 $c%&[# Millers had planned on doing more detailed, plot by plot forage analysis, )7463. e6=>6E30. H7141 $&%"-# they decided instead to rely on stocking e6=>6E30. H7141. G0=. ^=6T>;A. +?=0 $c#M&& rates and hay yields to measure the quantity of forage production. ^=711. ]6=A>;. G0=. ^=6T>;A. +?=0 $!"Mc& Even though it has very good forage quality, Dan and Cara canary/alfalfa mix for both haying and graZing. Also, the did not plant perennial ryegrass because of its persistence frost seeded clover paddocks maintained high stocking rates problems and tendency to winterkill. They do think it may throughout the season. Of course the clovers are less have promise if it can overcome these problems. They suitable for haying as they dry slower and generally yield have been disappointed in the annual ryegrass as a nurse less. crop for the alfalfa and the fescue seedlings. Its hay yield was low and it competed too aggressively with the alfalfa Through the summer of 1998 they harvested 266 round seedlings. However, they were very impressed by the reed bales averaging 1,200 lb from 43.4 acres. Assuming aGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 132. 134 —— Livestock • Miller3-cut schedule/year, this equals a 3.7 tons/A yield. In 1999, 10. Custom seeding with a blower is highly efficient, evenin addition to graZing, the Millers used excess forage to when taking into account the additional seed required.make an average of 4.1 tons/A of hay. In late March 2000, Finishing with a culti-packer improves results.Dan broadcast spread 120 lbs urea on 50 acres of reedcanarygrass where the alfalfa was not as prevalent. Mixed Cooperatorswith the fertiliZer was 2 lb red clover and 2 lb Alice whitegraZing clover per acre. On 27 of those acres, the Millers !$551%F$9+$5B%Fillmore County Extension Educator,harvested 148 1,500 lb bales for a total of 111 tons, or Preston, MN4.11 ton/A yield. U5";$%)35-92-7#9*#B Houston County Extension Educator, Caledonia, MNThe economic picture has been one of the MillersJ project ^"63% )3$92$5I!*#$9B University of Minnesota Southernhighlights. Dan and CaraJs record keeping has shown that Research & Outreach Center, Waseca, MMcustom heifer graZing can return about 14m on assets, or F*+%45375/2B Albert Lea Seed House, Albert Lea, MNabout o200 to o250/A on their farm. A more detailed `$*56$%e-++$5+7#B NRCS, Preston, MNanalysis is found in Table 4. <7".%<$2$59*#B University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MNManagement Tips Project Location1. A scale and a chute are indispensable tools to measure One and one-half miles east of Spring calley on Hwy 16whatJs happening with the livestock. Safe animal handling and 1s miles north on gravel road between Hyland Motorsfacilities are a must. An alley and sweep tub are also and the white Amoco fuel storage tanks.useful tools. Other Resources2. Only clovers frost seed well and they must be seeded :.0$52% Q$7% 8$$/% ^*"9$E 1414 W. Main, P.O. Box 127,early. Albert Lea, MN 56007, 800-352-5247. Web site: www.alseed.com3. One inch black plastic water pipe with ball valves onthe surface of the ground work well to provide water to Bartlett, Ben. 1999. @72$5-#6% 9192$+9% =*5% 657]-#6each paddock. Animals should not have to walk more .-C$92*;VE Michigan State University, P.O. Box 168,than 800J to water. Chatham, MI 49816, 906-439-5880.4. Dan recommends permanent perimeter fences of 12.5 `57]$IQ% $+7-.% /-9;"99-*#% 65*",% (graZe-gauge high tensile wire with spring gates and interior There is also an archive of pasttemporary fences of polywire on reels supported with step- discussions at the web site: posts. F3$%82*;V+7#%`5799%75+$5E%P.O. Box 2300, Ridgeland,5. Alfalfa is probably the best legume for haying and MS 39158-2300, 800-748-9808. Monthly publicationperhaps graZing although it requires a soil pH of 6.3 or devoted to graZing.greater, does not frost seed well, and persists three to fiveyears at best. University of Wisconsin Extension Service. >/$#2-=1-#6 ,792"5$% 65799$9E Publication No. A3637. University of6. Move cattle every three days or so. Put cattle on a Wisconsin Extension Publications, 630 Mifflin Street, Roompaddock when the forage is 10” high and remove them 170, Madison, WI 53703, 608-262-3346. A spiral boundwhen it is 5” high. 4” x 8” color pocketbook with information on seed, seedling and mature stages of all the major cool season pasture7. It pays to worm cattle and use Rumensen. grasses, tailored to the north central region.8. Oats is still the best nurse or companion crop DanJs University of Wisconsin Extension Service. 1997. <792"5$9seen. =*5%,5*=-2H%%:%6"-/$%2*%5*272-*#7.%657]-#6E WI No. A3529 or MN No. AG-FO-6145. University of Wisconsin9. An A.T.c. is a useful tool for checking cattle and fence Extension Service, Madison, WI, 608-262-3346 orand moving fencing supplies. University of Minnesota Extension Distribution Center, 612-625-8173.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 133. Livestock • Northwest Minnesota Grazing Group —— 135 Feeding Dairy PastureSupplement Feeding Dair y Cattle on Pasture Automated Feederwith Automated Concentrate Feeder Project Summary The savings to the farm operations come from Principal time and equipment not being used to transport Delivering recommended amounts of energy, feed on a daily basis. With this system the cattle Investigator vitamins, and minerals to improve calving, are fed on a regular schedule and better utiliZe Northwest lactation and rebreeding to dairy cattle on pastures and other forages. The animals used in Minnesota GraZing pastures or dry lots is a problem all dairy farmers this project will be evaluated using two methods. Group encounter. Four dairy farmers in northwest Heifers will be tape weighed and the close up c/o Burkel Grain Minnesota will demonstrate increased growth heifers and dry cows will be body scored. Service Inc. rates and higher feed efficiency while lowering PO Box J labor and feed costs through the use of portable Results Greenbush, MN self-contained automated feeders that are capable 56726 of accurately delivering feed supplements. The project started late in the season in 1999 218-782-2121 These feeders will provide various amounts of when the SAF feeders were delivered. One Roseau/Mahnomen feed on a timed basis using a 12-vdc battery project farmer started using the feeder on August Counties charged with a small solar energy maintainer. 10, two farmers began in early September, and one began in December. The results for each Project Project Description farm described below are for 1999 and 2000. Duration The four participants of the Northwest T47"*##%#$B($5< John Seeger used the SAF 1999 to 2001 Minnesota GraZing Group are dairy and crop feeder with 33 heifer calves for 111 days farmers. The farms have between 25 and 40 beginning on August 10, 1999. For that period, ESAP Contact head of dairy animals. The crops raised include John fed a total of 24,050 lb of feed, which was Wayne Monsen alfalfa hay or haylage, corn for grain or silage, 6.56 lb/head/day. The weight gain on the heifers 651-282-2261 oats, barley, and wheat. The labor resource on was 2.1 to 2.5 lb/animal/day. the farms is family and contract labor for chopping the forages. Soil type in the region is The ration on the John Seeger farm consisted of: Keywords primarily sandy loam and the topography is flat Barley 6,200 lb with small sand ridges. Corn 1,550 lbautomatic feeder, dry lot feeding, pasture Soybean Meal 1,300 lb The participants are demonstrating an automated Mineral with Bovatec 500 lb feeding, solar feeder (SAF) manufactured by Sheyenne Liquid Molasses 500 lb powered, Advanced Feeding Systems, Inc. located in supplemental feed delivery Cooperstown, North Dakota. This feeder is 16J long, holds about three tons of feed, and has an 18J feed bunk. The feeder can feed up to 30 young heifers or 15 to 20 dry cows at one time. The retail price for the feeder is about o4,500. The benefit of the SAF feeder is that feed can be stored on remote pastures and fed at frequent intervals during the day using a battery powered system with a timer. David & Bill Shafer describe the automatic feeder GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 134. 136 —— Livestock • Northwest Minnesota Grazing GroupOn June 1, 2000, John moved 25 Holstein heifers averaging October, the cattle were moved to a dry lot and the feeder420 lb to the pasture. The supplemental grain mix was was used here to supply the supplements. They fed nineautomatically delivered to the heifers three times a day. pounds of the grain mix per day with the automatic feeder.The calves were rotated to new pastures every three days. The feeder also had an impact on reducing labor by one toThrough August 15 they graZed on bentucky bluegrass, one and one-half hours/day.reed canarygrass, quackgrass, and bromegrass. FromAugust 15 through September they graZed old alfalfa. In The ration used on the Schafer farm consisted of:October they were in corn stalks and in November and Cracked Corn 870 lbearly December cattle were in the yard and fed alfalfa hay 16m Dairy Flakes 1,000 lband grain. On December 5 the heifers averaged 888 lb Dairy Premium Mix 75 lbwith an average daily gain of 2.48 lb/day. citamin E 20,000 5 lb Liquid Molasses 5 galF($$&Q.$8#.)#B($5< Barry birkeide deployed the SAFfeeder on September 2, 1999 to supplement bred Holstein David and Bill noticed a decrease in the number of retainedheifers and dry cows in the dry lot. Barry wants to increase placentas after they began using the SAF feeder andthe growth rates of the heifers to attain a target calving age delivering the recommended levels of energy, vitamins, andof 24 to 26 months. He figures a gain of o150 to o200/ minerals to the cattle. From January 1 to August 31, 1999head/year when heifers calve in this 24 to 26 month age they recorded 52 calvings and had 15 retained placentas, abracket. Other benefits are increased lifetime production 29m retained rate. From September 1 to December 31,and decreases in metabolic problems when you can calve 1999 they had 24 calvings with only two retained placentas,in this range. an 8.5m retained rate.There was an increase in the heifersJ growth rates after the They figure that there is quite an economic benefit offeeder was used. The growth rate for the heifers on pasture reducing retained placentas. Cows with retained placentasduring the summer was 1.5 lb/head/day. After the SAF will have delayed rebreeding of 20 to 45 days. The cost offeeder was deployed for 60 days the heifersJ growth rate delayed rebreeding (over 100 days post freshening) is o5.00/increased to 2 lb/day. day. Using a 30-day average for rebreeding, the 15 cows with retained placentas in the early group cost them o2,250.The ration Barry ised to supplement the heifers is a 14mration consisting of: In 2000, David and Bill continued to have a reduction inBarley 825 lb retained placentas and attribute much of that success toOats 825 lb the feeder providing the nutrients. Providing a steady supplySunflowers 100 lb of nutrients has given them a 7 lb/day/cow increase in milk46m Soybean Meal 100 lb production during peak lactation.38m Extruded Soybean Meal 100 lbBrood Cow Mineral with Bovatec 50 lb 3(+0(")*(")&N+$(&B($5E The Durays deployed the SAF feeder in December 1999 in their winter lot with 30They moved the feeder to their heifer pasturein May 2000. The heifers had a gain of 2.3 lb/head/day for the pasture season that ended thefirst of November. The development of theheifers has been excellent and heats andbreeding improved. When the first group ofheifers freshened there was a great reduction ofretained placentas and less metabolic disordersthan previous years. The body conditionimproved one full score on a 1-5 scale.N(:.)(")F.00*27(;#$B($5< David and BillSchafer started using a SAF feeder onSeptember 3, 1999 to feed dry cows and bredheifers while on pasture. Their goal was toimprove calving, lactation, and rebreeding. In Dairy heifers eating from automatic feeder on pastureGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 135. Livestock • Northwest Minnesota Grazing Group —— 137 Holstein heifers. The animals in this group had a weight 2. There is an increased growth rate of heifers, improvement range of 300 to 900 lb. Because of limited water access, in heats, and numbers of services per conception when there was no way to group the animals according to siZe. providing supplements on a regular basis. The ration fed through the feeder was 30m cracked corn, 3. Having a covered feeder in the pasture allows for 30m rolled oats, 22m rolled barley, 10m soybean meal multiple-day amounts of feed to be stored in remote and corn distillers grains. The mix was supplemented with pastures. calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, vitamins A, D, and E, trace minerals, and Bovatec. The feeding rate was 5 to 4. There is less feed wasted with this feeder than if feeding 6 lb/head/day of the grain mix with alfalfa-grass mixed on the ground or with self-feeders. hay and corn silage. 5. The solar powered battery system works well to provide The Durays increased the frequency of feeding and noted supplements in remote areas. that the large animals did not crowd the smaller animals for feed. This improved the rate of gain on the smaller 6. A great time to observe the conditions of the cattle is animals in the group. This group of heifers gained 2.2 lb/ when the SAF feeder starts up and delivers the grain head/day on average. The heifers began showing heat because all of the cattle come to eat. cycles 30 to 60 days earlier than previously observed. Cooperators The heifers were moved to a native grass pasture in early June 2000. The pasture is one and one-half miles away !*3#%8$$6$5B%Mahnomen, MN from the farm. Feed storage has always been a problem at U7551%_-5V$-/$, Greenbush, MN this site. The SAF feeder provides feed storage for four to A7C-/%7#/%U-..%8;37=$5, Strathcona, MN five weeks for 30 head. The heifers were on the pasture <7".%7#/%87#/1%A"571B%Greenbush, MN until November 10. The weight of the heifers averaged !$5*+$%U"5V$.B Burkel Grain Service Inc., Greenbush, MN 180 lb heavier than previous years, with a definite c-#;$%)5751B Polk County Extension, McIntosh, MN improvement in their physical appearance and health. A$##-9%!*3#9*#B Dairy Scientist, West Central Research & Outreach Center, Morris, MN The advantage to the Durays operation is that these animals `$*56$%P75W9B Dairy Scientist, NW Experiment Station, are large enough to breed earlier and calve at 23 to 25 Crookston, MN months of age. The economic gain of o160 to o200/head Q*5$#% c-6$977B President, Sheyenne Advanced Feeding translates to about o5,400 gain when heifers calf at an earlier Systems, Inc., Cooperstown, North Dakota age instead of the usual 26 to 28 months. Project Location Management Tips Contact Jerome Burkel at Burkel Grain Service Inc. for 1. The SAF feeder gets a job done that is often overlooked directions to farms involved in this project. because of time constraints. It is a real labor saver and provides supplement at various times throughout the day.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 136. 138 —— Livestock • RabeWhole System Managementvs. Enterprise Management Project Summary Results Principal By using a whole farm system approach to Land stewardship is not something you can put Investigator farming, we continue to demonstrate that a a dollar value on. For me it is very important Dennis Rabe diversified beef and hog farm can generate a and is something that I feel very strongly about. RR 1, Box 135 good income for a family. Demonstrating this As our beef herd grows in numbers our land Lake City, MN approach shows that small farms can be both stewardship improves. More cows mean more 55041 profitable and environmentally friendly. forage and pasture. Rotational graZing 651-345-4915 management is a must if you want to see your Wabasha County Beginning in 1996, we have had the goal of land improve. netting o150/A on our 310 acre livestock and Project crop farm. We are working to achieve this goal luality of life has improved since moving to a Duration through a diverse combination of crops, pasture, lower input style of farming. Since we started livestock and various marketing efforts. using pastures as a main feed source for the 1998 to 2000 AnalyZing the business in a whole farm manner cattle and as an area for farrowing sows, we do is different than enterprise analysis. The less work than the conventional system farms. ESAP Contact enterprise analysis approach does not give me a Our main work is outside with the animals and Wayne Monsen good picture of how the whole farm is doing. that is enjoyable and rewarding. 651-282-2261 Project Description We have not been able to achieve the goal of netting o150.00/A, but keeping that level of profit Keywords In our whole system management approach, all in mind has helped us make good management crops are grown to meet livestock needs. decisions for the operation. In 1998 we netted antibiotic free beef Livestock is used to improve land, recycle o109/A, only o75/A in 1999, and o124/A in 2000. and hogs, deep litter nutrients, and provide a valuable product to sell. farrowing, Net returns are calculated on the “Total Farm‚s marketing, pasture Net” divided by all 310 acres (even the farrowing, whole homestead and woods) rather than on an farm system enterprise budget. The net profit goal for our farm is o47,250, a good middle class income. To achieve this goal we constantly analyZe our operation and make management changes when changes will help us achieve those goals. Changes on our farm over the last 12 years included: 1) developing a beef herd which is efficient and fed on grass, not on high input cornd 2) pasture farrowing hogs to reduce labor, improve herd health, and improve soil qualityd 3) switched to deep-litter farrowing from raised crates to lower costs and improve sowsJ healthd 4) eliminated as much machinery as possible, custom hiring field workd and 5) direct and cooperative marketing of pork and beef products to add value. Dennis showing the paddock systemGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 137. Livestock • Rabe —— 139 In 1998 our production system was the same, but our hog calves are tagged and banded for castration. We make income was down about o28,000. By being diversified, sure the calf nurses and the rest is up to the cow. At this using pasture and low input livestock production, we still time we slow our graZing rotation way down so that the showed a fair profit. We knew going into 1998 that hogs cows do not produce as much milk. This has really were on the down market cycle, but we never expected it decreased scours. In 1999 we had to treat only one calf to get so low for so long. We did make up some of our lost for scours, in 2000 we did not treat a single calf. Also, by hog income by finishing out more cattle and by lowering slowing down the rotation, we have not had any problems our expenses. with over-siZed calves in June. We only netted o75/A in 1999 because the farm economy We start the weaning process in early September to was still struggling. We had our poorest net per acre since eliminate weaning stress. The calves are taught to enter we started striving for a specific level of profitability. paddocks by using creep gates. As the graZing season However, we definitely held our own in comparison to the comes to a close, round bales are fed in the calf graZing very large operations. pads. The calves will be consuming 10 to 12 lb of hay per day before weaning. We normally wean just before Besides the goal of netting o150/A, we had three additional Christmas. Since we are developing a polled herd, do not goals for 1999. These goals were to make all principal vaccinate, and are banding at birth, there is no need to payments in full, have all accounts up to date by December round the calves up in the fall. 31, 1999, and not borrow more money or raise our operating loan. We reached these three goals mainly by working Our low stress management really does payw We compared hard on direct marketing and increased our sales by o5,000 our records with the Southeast Farm Management Record over 1998. Association. The average cost for the association for protein, vitamins, minerals, vet, livestock supplies and creep Our net per acre came back up to o124/A in 2000. Our feed was o52.06/cow. Our cost was o4.60/cow, a gross income was o112,642 and farm expenses were difference of o47.46. o74,194. The biggest difference with 2000 was that we trimmed our expenses by o7,000, increased sales from D4%,< Our hogs are treated very much like the cattle with direct marketing by o9,000, and had higher hog prices. low stress handling. We utiliZe both pasture farrowing and Swedish deep straw farrowing. These systems are C(--0#< We started to build a young beef cow herd from working well for usd we raise antibiotic free hogs and take an old herd in 1993. As our herd grew, we noticed how advantage of those market opportunities. healthy the cows looked using our rotational graZing system. We manage the forages by moving the cows to a We started pasture farrowing in 1998. We have two 10J x new paddock every three days. 16J buildings on skids which are used for group nursing. The sows are split into two groups. Those that farrow in We also noticed that the cows were not consuming mineral the first ten days are on one end of the pasture and the unless we forced it by adding salt. Five years ago I quit feeding mineral and believe the cattle do not need mineral as long as we use rotational graZing and low stress livestock handling. Conception and weaning rates are high as we had 190 cows and heifers exposed to the bulls and weaned 192 calves from 1998 to 2000. Low stress handling works very well for us. We call and lead the cows and never round them up. We do not vaccinate or pregnancy test the cows, therefore they never need to go through a head chute. Our vet bill for the last three years for our beef cows was o60 and that was to help deliver a set of twins at calving. We also use very low stress management for Sue Rabe discussing their marketing schemes calves. We start calving about April 25 and theGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 138. 140 —— Livestock • Rabelater ones are on the other end. The piglets are grouped rotation of corn, soybeans, oats, hay, hay, and hay. Thistogether as they get older. long rotation has been very good to us both financially and environmentally. We rotate our pastures into cropWe remodeled our barn in 1999 for winter farrowing on production and this really helps the fertility levels for thedeep straw bedding. The barn was a high input raised row crops. This rotation also has greatly reduced ourcrate system requiring lots of labor and power washing. total crop production costs, especially the costs ofWhat we learned from pasture farrowing, we implemented production per bushel of corn. Our corn production inin our indoor farrowing using deep straw methods. We felt 1999 was 168 bu/A and 172 bu/A in 2000 with an averagewe could use our fiberglass A-frames inside the building cost of o1.55/bu using o100/A land costs and custom rates.and eliminate the need for heat. ?($8#-."%<% Marketing is still the key to success for anyA group of pigs that were weaned on November 15, 2000 siZe farm. Our naturally raised, antibiotic free animalsreally breeZed through the cold in the remodeled barn. Once offer many marketing opportunities.the deep straw starts to compost, it provides plenty of heatfor the pigs. This group of 40 to 50 lb pigs was actually j Direct market hogs and beef to consumers at farmersJstretched out while lying on the straw. The compost will markets and to friends.actually warm your feet when bedding pens. j Sell hogs to Niman Meats, an outlet in Iowa, and beef to boleman Natural Beef in Colorado.The December 2000 farrowing was during one of the coldest j Farming with Nature Co-op. A group of four farmersDecembers on record. We used the plastic A-frames and that sell one-fourth of our products directly tohad the door shut while farrowing. The barn was maintained consumers and three-fourths through regional foodat 45° with a LP heater so that the water pipes did not cooperatives and grocery stores.freeZe. Our weaning average was low, six pigs/sow due to j Sell barbecue hogs and appreciation dinners.the extreme cold but once the pigs were three days old, we j Provide specialty products such as hamburgers,were able to shut off the LP heater. No heat lamps or heat meatballs, and bratwurst.pads were used. At two weeks we pulled all but one of j Sell feeder pigs, steers, and breeding stock to otherthe huts out of the barn. The piglets liked going into the farmers.remaining hut because it provided a draft free warm place j We barter bred heifers in exchange for customto sleep. combining and baling.The deep straw system of pork production is quite Direct marketing is probably the area of our operation,interesting. It allows you to raise hogs without antibiotics which has the most potential to improve our bottom line.and the heavy use of LP for heating. The sows live more We marketed 15m of the hogs and 20m of our beef throughnaturally and use their nesting instincts. The sows milk direct marketing the last two years. We are looking atwell because they are able to exercise. It takes more time many additional possibilities such as meat delivery routesat farrowing, but less labor overall. The only shots we and getting some products sold through grocery stores.use in our pork production are a Parvo-Lepto vaccine forthe gilts and one shot of Ivomec wormer for the market We enjoy meeting people who are interested in buying ourhogs. Ivomec also handles winter mange. Weaning at products. The time spent at farmersJ markets and preparingfive to eight weeks has eliminated ileitis. brochures is well worth the effort. We are noticing a pattern in our sales. Sales orders are becoming muchThe straw system eliminated the costs of pit pumping, larger as customers get to know our product. This will belabor for power washing, and makes it much easier to our seventh year and it takes a long time to gain theproduce antibiotic free hogs. This also is a great use for customerJs trust. Our main problem with direct marketingthe straw we produce giving our cropping system an is giving the customer easy access to pick up our products.environmental edge. We can eliminate 10 to 15 acres ofcorn by planting oats. When we wean the pigs, the sows Management Tipsare in better condition and do not have feet or leg problems.The straw system also makes the barn suitable for multiple 1. Decide what is important to you on the farm and planuses. We will occasionally use a pen for cow calving or it for it.could be used for sheep. 2. Reduce your machinery line and its costs where possibleC$4>>."% *&,-#5<% With more emphasis on forage - investment, repairs, fuel, insurance. Always ask yourself:production, our cropping system has gone to a six-year Do you really need this to farm| Will it make money|GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 139. Livestock • Rabe —— 141 3. Soil stewardship practices implemented now will pay Loeffler, B., H. Murray, D. G. Johnson, and E. I. Fuller. benefits for many years. 1996. _#$$%/$$,%-#%65799H%%:%9"5C$1%*=%2?$#21I#-#$%657]-#6 *,$572-*#9%-#%P-##$9*27E MN Publication No. BU-6693- 4. Raise only enough corn to supply livestock needs. S. University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. 5. Winter cows on froZen ground (free manure hauling for next years corn ground). Make sure to remove the cows MacbenZie, J. and L. bemp. 1999. @3*.$%=75+%,.7##-#6 before the ground thaws in the spring. 72% ?*5VH% 8";;$99% 92*5-$9% *=% 2$#% =75+9E% The Minnesota Project, St. Paul, MN, 651-645-6159. 6. Straw systems are good for sowsJ legs and adds longevity to their usefulness. Old non-insulated barns make Minnesota Whole Farm Planning Working Group. 1997. excellent straw bedding systems. @3*.$% =75+% ,.7##-#6H% @372% -2% 27V$9E Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 90 W. Plato Blvd., St. Paul, 7. Conduct on-farm research of production practices and MN, 651-296-7673. direct marketing or other value added strategies. Mulla, D., L. Everett, and G. DiGiacomo. 1998. @3*.$ Project Location =75+%,.7##-#6H%)*+0-#-#6%=7+-.1B%,5*=-2B%7#/%$#C-5*#+$#2E MN Publication No. BU-6985-S. University of Minnesota From Lake City, go south on Hwy 63 to Hwy 16. Turn Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636 right on Hwy 16 and go 1 mile. Turn right on Cty 82 and go 1 mile. Turn left at schoolhouse. The long driveway is University of Minnesota Extension Service. 2001. ^*69 the first on the left. 1*"5%?71H%)3**9-#6%7%3*6%,5*/";2-*#%9192$+%-#%23$%",,$5 +-/?$92E% MN Publication No. BU-7641-S. University of Other Resources Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. Joint publication by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Blanchet, b., H. Moechnig, and J. DeJong-Hughes. 2000. Agriculture, University of Minnesota Extension Service, `57]-#6% 9192$+9% ,.7##-#6% 6"-/$E MN Publication No. and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture designed to BU-07606-S. University of Minnesota Extension Service, help farmers make decisions on how to raise hogs in a way St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. that fits their overall personal, family, and financial goals. Lamb, John. 1998. ^*?% 2*% $9270.-93% 6*7.9H% % :% 65*", ,5*f$;2% =*5% =75+$59% 7#/% 23$-5% =7+-.-$9E% The Minnesota Project, St. Paul, MN, 651-645-6159.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 140. 142 —— Livestock • Rathke/KarstensReviving and Enhancing Soils for Performance erfor PasturesMaximizing Per for mance of Pastures andLivestock Principal Project Summary predominant pasture species are bromegrass, orchardgrass, ryegrass and white Dutch clover. Investigators Management intensive graZing is a powerful tool The economic success of our grass-based system for healing the land, but graZing alone may not has allowed us to increase both pasture acreage Doug Rathke and replace the need to import nutrients, organic and stock numbers. During this same period, Connie barstens matter, and seed to replenish the soil. Liberty we expanded our direct marketing of lamb, beef Liberty Land and Livestock Land and Livestock is focusing on pastures of and chickens. In 1996, we opened a USDA 61231 MN Hwy. 7 low to moderate productivity with the goal of certified meat processing facility and retail store Hutchinson, MN making them producers of lush forage that should on the farm. 55350-8020 advance our sheep farm to a higher plateau of 320-587-6094 overall health. To achieve this goal, we have When we purchased our farm, it had been row Meeker County been analyZing the soil and plant tissue for plant cropped with corn and beans for years with nutrient availability and forage quality, then “quick-fix” techniques. The result was a soil Project supplying slow release fertiliZers and manure, depleted of organic matter, biological activity, Duration and finally monitoring for changes in pasture and important plant nutrients, and trace elements. animal health. At the conclusion of our three The task we now face is the need to revive and 1998 to 2000 year project, we are seeing promising results. enhance the soil so that our pastures can provide abundant high quality nutrition for our livestock. ESAP Contact Project Description Mark ^umwinkle After seriously practicing management intensive We began the process with a comprehensive 651-282-6204 graZing for nearly a decade, we reached a plateau analysis of our soil and forage composition, in pasture forage production. We have spent followed by a slow-release, soil biology Keywords years learning and practicing the basic principles enhancing fertiliZation based on soil test results. of good pasture management (timing of graZing We measured pasture progress through plant and animal health, animal performance. Four pastures, each with management and rest periods, animal stocking rates and paddock design), but the pastures still suffered its own history and soil type, have been upgraded intensive graZing, with a combination of fertiliZer, manure and pasture from bare spots, thinning and a general lack of productivity. We have tried reseeding and reseeding. Control strips at the edge of each improvement, soil fertiliZing the original pastures but this did not pasture were left untreated to determine the quality improve soil biological overall effects of our renovation. activity. We have also tried to establish new pastures but all of our attempts have failed to produce lush growth. Liberty Land and Livestock is a 180 acre farm of which we have converted 75 acres to an intensively managed pasture system. Our four pastures currently carry 200 accelerated lambing Dorset ewes and up to 15 Doug describes pasture renovation at a field day Jersey steers. TheGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 141. Livestock • Rathke/Karstens —— 143 Results Table 1. 1998 Pasture Seed and Fertilizer Amendments HIIJ<$ The main focus of the first year ]7;4@ +?4>P>4< /640 96142=0 of the project was to pull together an array of soil and plant tissue tests to try April Fertilized w/rock phosphate 400 lb/A all (27% P, 24% Ca, 1% S, .67% Zn) and determine what was limiting pasture productivity. The initial soil tests April Fertilized w/ammonium sulfate 200 lb/A all (21-0-0-24S) showed low levels of phosphorus in all four pastures. There were no May Seeded chicory, Alice clover, 1.5 lb/A, 2 lb/A, all BG-34 perennial ryegrass w/no-till 10 lb/A, outstanding problems highlighted by the drill respectively soil tests, other than the low phosphorus levels. This is consistent with our June Sprayed liquid soil amendment all (bacterial concentrate, soil hypothesis that the problem may not just conditioner, monopotassium be a lack of major plant nutrients, but a phosphate, magnesium sulfate, kelp, lack of life in the soil. ammonium sulfate) December Spread liquid hog manure #3* Using the soil test results, we focused our spring fertility program on getting *Used late fall warm weather window to amend the least productive pasture phosphorus levels up. On April 23, 1998, all four pastures (except the Table 2. Sugar Content of Clover Cell Sap on August 5, 1998 control strips) were fertiliZed with rock phosphate (see Table 1). Although this 96142=0 )014.+=06 H7;4=73. +=06 is a slow-release form of phosphorus, ------- brix scale ------- we were able to visually detect more 1 3.0 2.5 growth in the fertiliZed pasture than in 3 2.5 1.5 the adjacent control strips throughout 4 2.0 1.5 the growing season. On June 21, all test areas were treated with a combination of bacterial the soil. We continued treating the pastures with inoculant and soil conditioner. amendments similar to those applied in 1998 with an added emphasis on importing manure. Although we knew the For many years, two of our pastures have consistently had process would take time, we continued to see improvements the lowest productivity on the farm. Pasture {2 is a across all amended fields in comparison to the control relatively sandy soil and prone to drought stress. During strips. Pasture {3 (our poorest yielding pasture) continued the late summer and early fall of 1998, we noted that only to show improved color and productivity. deep rooted plants were green. Lack of rainfall was limiting overall pasture growth during this period. This observation Forage quality continued to improve in 1999. There was led us to seed more deep rooted species in this soil in an even greater increase in the sugar content of the forage 1999. Pasture {3 has never been productive in the five years since its establishment. We decided to jump-start it with a liberal application of hog manure in the late fall of 1998. The intent was to increase organic matter and stimulate microbial activity. On August 5, clover cell sap sugar was consistently higher in all amended pastures (see Table 2), again suggesting that fertiliZer amendments were beginning to make a difference in pasture productivity and quality. A brix meter is used to monitor HIII< The main focus of the second year of the sugar content of forage cell our project was to continue to work on balancingGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 142. 144 —— Livestock • Rathke/Karstensin 1999 than in 1998. We observed anoverall improvement in animal health, Table 3. Sugar Content of Clover Cell Sap on June 6, 2000that the animals were responding to the 96142=0 )014. +=06 H7;4=73. +=06improved forage quality. A dramatic ------- brix scale -------example of this could be seen in the 1 9.5 3.0performance of the lambing ewes in the 2 8.5 3.5winter of 1999-2000. Our first 3 9.5 3.0observation was that they were not 4 10.0 4.0requiring as much mineral as in previousyears. Secondly, they maintained condition and did not soil is the basis for a healthy farm, including the animalsneed to be switched over to grain. Thirdly, the feeder lambs that feed the people.gained very well. We were seeing real results from ourefforts. Management TipsKLLL< A definite improvement of the poorest yielding 1. Be patient. Returning the land to health requires a long-pasture was observed. There were fewer bare spots, term commitment.increased plant vigor and color, and increased plant speciesdiversity. It all added up to increased forage and animal 2. Seek several sources of information (plant, animal, soil)production. There was an even greater increase in the sugar for clues about what might be missing.content of the amended forage in 2000 than in the previoustwo years (Table 3). Available soil phosphorus levels have 3. Seek out local soil amendment resources to keep costrisen from 7 ppm in early 1998 to 45 ppm in the fall of down and help with local waste stream.2000 (averaged across all four pastures). 4. Minerals alone may not be enough. Organic carbonIn addition to soil and plant analysis, animal productivity sources such as compost and manure are needed to enhancewas measured. Lamb weaning weights improved since the soil life.onset of the project. The average weaning weight of thelambs increased as follows: Cooperator 1998 ƒ 61 lb Doug Gunnink, GraZing Consultant,,Gaylord, MN 1999 ƒ 65 lb 2000 ƒ 68 lb Project LocationWe noticed another dramatic change in 2000. There was From Hutchinson, go west on Hwy 7 for 10 miles. We arean increase in the “breed-back” percentage of ewes. In the first farm west of Cedar Mills on the south side of Hwyour management system, winter lambing ewes are exposed a ram for an additional fall lambing. The improvementmay be due, in part, to the corrected balance of trace Other Resourcesminerals in the soil which, in turn, affects the overall health 8*-.%U-*.*61%<5-+$5E 1999. USDA NRCS. For orderingof the animals. information contact Land Care at 888-landcare or email at Landcareuswcs.orgWe will continue these soil building practices well into thefuture. We plan to continue to research the best ways to do e-++$5B%`751E 2000. Biological farmer. Acres USA.,so within our management system. We have found that the P.O. Box 91299, Austin, T• 78709.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 143. Livestock • Rolling —— 145Annual Medic as a Protein CornSource in Grazing Corn Project Summary protein and energy content than conventional Principal corn. Due to a wet spring in 1999, the corn was The objective of this project is to find a protein not planted until June 5. In 2000, the corn was Investigator source that can be inter-seeded with a graZing- planted on May 10. A 36” row planter was run Joseph Rolling type corn. We hope to grow a balanced, season over the field twice to give a final row spacing PO Box 64 extending ration for graZing lambs. To achieve of 18” and a total plant population of 40,000 Arco, MN 56113 this goal, we must find species and varieties that plants/A. The day after corn planting, annual 507-487-5742 will be ready to graZe at the same time as the medic was seeded into the corn with a Lincoln County corn. The crops are grown and graZed together conventional grain drill at a rate of 30 lb/A. to eliminate off-farm feed purchases and reduce Herbicide was not used to avoid any possible Project feeding labor. Annual medics were chosen for damage to the medic. The seed cost was o50/A Duration this project because of their upright growth for the corn and o60/A (o2.00/lb) for the annual habit, lack of competition with corn, and medic. 1999 to 2001 abundant biomass production. GraZing corn was chosen for its palatability, biomass yield and ESAP Contact Results potential for grain production if it is not graZed. Mark ^umwinkle HIII< Six acres of graZing corn and annual medic 651-282-6204 Project Description were successfully established on June 5. The cold spring weather hindered early corn growth The Rolling operation is a 196 acre diversified until the end of June. The medic, however, grew Keywords grain farm on the Coteau Ridge in southwestern well. The extensive cultivation prior to planting Minnesota. We raise corn, organic soybeans, overworked the soil, allowing an early June rain annual medic, hay, and sheep. Local experience has shown and hail storm to crust the soil. The crust allowed graZing corn, inter- that lambs need both a high energy and a high seeding, sheep the emergence of the medic seedlings only on protein food source, something that cannot be the edges of cracks in the soil. There was a provided by grass or grass-alfalfa alone. We drought for the remainder of the growing season have chosen to combine graZing corn with a that reduced the growth of the corn and may have legume. Annual medics are being used with the induced early maturity in the medic. The medic corn because they are less competitive than reached maturity and started to dry down by mid- alfalfa but still provide high quality protein. August and was ready to graZe before the corn. Annual medics are legumes that also have the potential to suppress weeds in row crops. The field used for this study has heavy clay loam soil that tends to swell and shrink with changes in moisture. The field was plowed in the fall and then disked in the spring. In 1999, extensive field cultivation was done prior to planting to reduce an infestation of Canadian thistle. Corn selected for this trial was 110-day Baldridge “AmaiZing GraZe” graZing corn. This Field day participants inspect grazing corn corn variety has a higherGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 144. 146 —— Livestock • RollingBy August 5 the corn was tasseling and intensive strip lambs were pastured after weaning. It may possibly workgraZing began with 70 ewes and 100 May lambs. GraZing better to put the ewes and lambs in the corn together whilewas controlled with polywire electric fence on reels and they are still nursing so the lambs can learn from the ewescontinued until September 30. The sheep consumed corn how to handle the corn plants. If the animals were in theleaves and grain, weeds (including Canadian thistle) and corn earlier, they would be able to handle the smaller plants.medic, but left the lower part of the corn stalks. The sheephad free choice access to grass hay during this time but, Overall results from the 2000 graZing project wereby observation, roughly 90m of their feed was obtained disappointing. The lambs did not gain well and were notfrom graZing the corn and medic. In spite of the reduced thrifty, partly due to lack of access to feed, but mostly dueyield of forage due to the drought, the lambs gained an to the coccidiosis. The ewes, however, did well in theaverage of .6 lb/day during this period. The lambs weighed graZing corn and are in excellent condition. On average,an average of 92 lb at the end of the graZing period. No the lambs gained 20 lb over 90 days on pasture while theadditional supplements were purchased and the graZing ewes gained 50 lb over 120 days. The graZing systemminimiZed feeding labor. Using a gross margin analysis, yielded a net loss of o69/A. It seems advisable to supplythe system showed a net profit of o30/A. a coccidiostat in the lambs drinking water. Although doing so would eliminate the lambs from organic certification, atIn a separate trial, we seeded snail medic simultaneously least they would be kept healthy and gaining condition.with soybeans. The medic seed was dribbled directly inthe soybean row using the herbicide boxes on the planter. As in 1999, the annual medic showed a strong ability toWe used cultivation and no herbicides, and found that the suppress weeds. This was true for the medic in themedic had a strong suppressive effect on weeds in the row, understory of the corn and in the base of the soybeans.particularly on pigeon grass. We noticed that the roots of Pidgeon grass was controlled and in some areas totallythe thistles in the corn field were dead at the time of fall suppressed. Broadleaf weeds were not controlled.planting. Whether this was due to the intensive graZing bythe sheep or due to an allelopathic effect from the snail We have experienced two dry years in a row as we attemptedmedic is not known. to incorporate annual medics into our farm. We found that medics have the ability to produce good ground cover andKLLLS Twelve acres were planted to graZing corn and annual sufficient biomass but they are susceptible to rapid die-offmedic on May 11. The two crops were planted with minimal when rain ceases. This can occur within a weekJs time andtillage to reduce soil crusting. Extensive cultivation may the crop does not recover with later rains. We still do notnot be necessary since the sheep do a good job of weed know how this crop may perform in a wet year but at thiscontrol. On August 1, the lambs and ewes were allowed point in our search, we are considering adding a deeperto graZe at will. The corn and medic growth were good in rooted legume that has a greater capacity to withstand latespite of lower than normal rainfall. We received 15.9” of summer drought. We will continue to explore the annualprecipitation this year compared to an average of 23”. medics as a weed control understory in soybeans and other crops.Due to an outbreak of coccidiosis, the sheep were removedand medicated for two weeks. They were thenreturned and allowed to graZe until November10 at which time the lambs were put in a corralfor feeding. The ewes continued to graZe untilthe corn was gone.The growth habit of the graZing corn affectedthe ability of the lambs to gain access to thecrop. The corn plants grew to a height of 10Jand the ears developed at 5J. The lambsthoroughly graZed the understory and up as highas they could reach but the stalks were toostrong to be broken and the ears were beyondreach. It was necessary to put the ewes in thecorn to break the stalks down so the lambs couldforage on the entire corn plant. This year the Close-up of grazing corn with black medic understoryGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 145. Livestock • Rolling —— 147 Management Tips Other Resources 1. Start graZing the corn early. The crop matures rapidly De Hann, R. L., C. C. Sheaffer, and D. b. Barnes. 1987. in midsummer. 4==$;2% *=% 7##"7.% +$/-;% 9+*23$5% ,.7#29% *#% ?$$/% ;*#25*. 7#/%1-$./%-#%;*5#E Agronomy Journal 89:813-821. 2. Use the ewes to assist the lambs in gaining access to the tall corn plants. Moynihan, J. M., S. R. Simmons, and C. C. Sheaffer. 1996. >#2$5;5*,,-#6% 7##"7.% +$/-;9% ?-23% ;*#C$#2-*#7. Cooperators 3$-632%7#/%9$+-/?75=%075.$1%65*?#%=*5%657-#E Agronomy Journal 88:823-828. a-;375/%a*..-#6B%Ivanhoe, MN 4.-]70$23%A1;VBSouthwest Research & Outreach Center ^hu, i., C. C. Sheaffer, and D. b. Barnes. 1996. *576$ 1-$./% 7#/% D"7.-21% *=% 9-W% 7##"7.% P$/-;76*% 9,$;-$9% -#% 23$ Project Location Z*523I)$#257.%[8:E Agronomy Journal 88:955-960. From Ivanhoe, go 3 miles east on Hwy 19, then 1 mile north on Lincoln Cty Rd 7, then s mile west on township road.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 146. 148 —— Livestock • SchiefelbeinGrazing Beef Cattle as a SustainableAgriculture Product in Riparian Areas Project Summary drought started to affect the way we had to handle Principal the cattle. Many of the swamps and low ground The reason we are doing this project is that we dried up so we had to allow the cattle access to Investigator want to show that beef cattle pastured along the rivers and streams to get water. This Frank Schiefelbein low ground, riparian areas, riverbeds, and the somewhat hampered our rotational graZing 74227 } 360th St. adjoining hillier land can be done profitably scheme. We decided to dig some stock ponds bimball, MN without hurting the environment. Our idea is and put in some waterlines and water tanks. 55353 that with proper management of fertiliZer Hopefully, with the added stock ponds and 320-398-8312 applications and frost seeding we can have high waterlines, we will be able to do a better job Meeker County yielding pastures with low input costs while next year of rotating our pastures and reducing overall pollution. better water with less pollution. http://www. schiefelbeinfarms. Project Description The plans for the fertiliZer study were to apply com urea to some of the pastures and compare Our farm is family run with five brothers and our father. The farm consists of 3,500 acres nutrient levels with test strips that did not receive Project fertiliZer. Soil sample recommendations from with about 400 acres of corn, 400 acres of Duration Consumers Co-op in Litchfield and the soybeans, and 400 acres of alfalfa, leaving about 2,300 acres in pasture and hay ground. Our University of Minnesota showed we could apply 2000 to 2002 main income is from selling purebred cattle, 250 lb of urea. We planned to apply the urea in about 550 registered Angus and Simmental split applications of 150 and 100 lb respectively. ESAP Contact cows. The cows are pastured on the majority The first 150 lb was applied in early spring, but Wayne Monsen of the land. Most of our land is very hilly, with the second application was not applied because 651-282-2261 many small streams, one main river, and three of drought. Without rain the urea would have lakes. been wasted. Keywords We took soil samples in the fall on both the We are using about 200 acres, broken into 30 to 40-acre pasture systems, for this project using fertiliZed areas and the test strips. The results frost seeding, managed graZing, managed rotational graZing. One of our main showed that nitrogen levels were about the same nutrient goals is to show how valuable it is to graZe this but phosphorus levels were lower in areas where management, marginal land. We are taking soil and water the urea was applied. These preliminary results pollution samples to determine the impacts of fertiliZer suggest that fertiliZing pastures for grass growth prevention, riparian and animals on environmental quality. We are may benefit the natural resources. Improved area graZing, water also comparing different systems application methods of frost seeding as ways to improve the pastures without tilling pastures next to the rivers and lakes. Results The drought of 2000 in our area really affected the outcome of the graZing and fertiliZer tests. GraZing went well until the end of June when the Frank next to the tire tank that flows all yearGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 147. Livestock • Schiefelbein —— 149 nitrogen nutrition may have allowed the grass to utiliZe 2. Custom applying clover seed with the fertiliZer mix is a more phosphorus and keep excess phosphorus from entering good way to frost seed and achieve even distribution of the adjacent surface waters. seeds. We want to enhance the forages on the pastures without Project Location tilling up the pastures. It is important to us to control erosion and keep the pastures in production. We tried From bimball go s mile south on Hwy 15. Take first left frost seeding 1.5 to 2 lb/A of clover seed using both a on Golf Course Rd and go 3 miles to 360th St. Turn left four-wheeler and custom applied by the co-op with the and farm is 1s miles on the left. fertiliZer application. Other Resources The four-wheeler takes a lot of time and it is hard to get an Blanchet, b., H. Moechnig, and J. DeJong-Hughes. 2000. even distribution of seeds. The custom application of `57]-#6% 9192$+9% ,.7##-#6% 6"-/$E MN Publication No. clover seed added to the fertiliZer mix provided a better BU-07606-S. University of Minnesota Extension Service, distribution of seed. We are pleased with the results of the St. Paul, MN, 800-876-8636. frost seeding and we have a good stand especially where there was a little bit of open ground. We plan to have the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 2000. <792"5$ co-op custom frost seed again in 2001, adding some reed d,$572-*#9%7#/%P-##$9*27%$$/.*2%a".$9E Minnesota Rules canarygrass to the seed/fertiliZer mix. Chapter 7020. 877-333-3508. Available at:{factsheets One system we are excited about is a rubber tire tank that Fact sheet that describes rules regarding pasture systems takes water from a flowing spring with a tile through the and feedlots. center of the tank to use as an overflow. This tile drains back into the stream well away from the tank. Hopefully University of Wisconsin Extension Service. 1993. <792"5$9 this will help keep the area around the tank dry and the =*5%,5*=-2H%%:%6"-/$%2*%5*272-*#7.%657]-#6E WI No. A3529 moving water will keep the tank open all winter. We also or MN Publication No. AG-FO-6145. University of added two waterlines using well water in other pastures. Wisconsin Extension Service, Madison, WI, 608-262-3346 or University of Minnesota Extension Service, St. Paul, Management Tips MN, 612-625-8173. 1. Apply urea to pastures just prior to rain. If you do not get rain the urea will be wasted.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 148. 150 —— Livestock • SchillingAdding Value for the Small Producer via ValueNatural Production Methods and DirectMarketingMarketing Project Summary Management Tips Principal Investigator This project involves converting three older hog 1. Look for breeding stock that has been raised confinement buildings to deep bedded Swedish in pens as opposed to confinement. Peter Schilling style barns. Production capacity can be 45095 - 256th St. expanded to about 1,100 head per year. Peter 2. Make use of county economic development Gaylord, MN and Mavis Schilling plan to direct market the resources for direct marketing. 55334 pork by selling whole, half and quarter hogs, 507-237-5347 Sibley County plus packaged meat by using a USDA approved Cooperators facility and freeZer trailer. A*"6%`"##-#VB Consultant, Gaylord, MN Project The Schilling farm is a conventional small scale F-+%A*.7#B Sibley County Extension Educator, Duration hog operation on six acres. The Schillings raise Gaylord, MN Chester White and Berkshire hogs, as well as 82$C$%a$#D"-92B Sibley County Economic 2000 to 2002 some vegetables they sell at local farmersJ Development, Gaylord, MN markets. Both Peter and Mavis work off the P75.$#$%^7.C*59*#B Consultant, Northfield, MN ESAP Contact Z*.7#%!"#6;.7"9B Farmer, Lake Lillian, MN farm. All feed is purchased. A hoop house has Mary Hanks been added for sows. Future plans include 651-296-1277 pasturing hogs, cattle and sheep, and raising Project Location Author: Greg Booth some crops for feed. Two and one quarter miles north of Gaylord on Cty Rd 21, then ~ mile east on 256th St. Project Description Keywords By converting the older barns to open, deep Other Resources direct marketing, bedded farrowing facilities, Peter Schilling is hogs, Swedish University of Minnesota Extension Service. creating a more pleasant environment for system 2001. ^*69% 1*"5% ?71H% % )3**9-#6% 7% 3*6 himself, his wife, Mavis, and three boys to work ,5*/";2-*#% 9192$+% -#% 23$% [,,$5% P-/?$92E in. The deep bedded Swedish system means Publication No. BU-7641-S. University of less odor and more room for the pigs to move Minnesota Extension, St. Paul, MN, around. The Schillings purchased a computer 612-625-8173. program so that Mavis, an accountant, can monitor data on the hogs and on profitability. University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999. 8?-#$%9*"5;$%0**VH%%:.2$5#72-C$9%=*5%,*5V Results ,5*/";$59E Publication No. PC-7289-S. The first barn was converted in 2000. Friends University of Minnesota Extension, St. Paul, and family helped on weekends to fill in the MN, 612-625-8173. deep pits, insulate, ventilate and wire the building, and install pens. The remodeling work took longer than expected. With a demonstration group of 24 sows, Peter has found that the working environment is much improved. The deep bedded barn makes a pleasant place to work, and he enjoys watching the little pigs move around freely. Sow condition and litter weights are monitored for progress.GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 149. Livestock • Stassen —— 151Farrowing Crates vs. Pens vs. Nest Boxes arrowing Pens Box Project Summary and well-being. Principal This project will use on-farm study of sows to The StassensJ original setup included a farrowing Investigator compare farrowing in crates, pens and nest house with eight crates. Steve wanted to add Steve Stassen boxes. Sows will be studied for their behavior capacity with the flexibility to raise hogs for the1105 - 140th Ave. SE and weaning success rates. alternative markets. He also feels that it is more berkhoven, MN economical to build nest boxes and pens rather 56252 Project Description than purchase crates and adapt a building to a 320-264-5932 conventional system. Swift County Steve Stassen and his family raise purebred stevestassenu Berkshire hogs for alternative markets and for A used building was moved to the farm in May direct marketing top end gilts to other growers 2000 and a hoop barn was built later that summer. for breeding stock. They raise corn and beans The hoop barn is used for farrowing pens and as Project in rotation on 18 acres and have 35 acres of a wean-to-finish facility. The used building is Duration pasture. Their operation has evolved from used for farrowing in nest boxes. The existing crossbred Berkshires to a purebred herd and 2000 to 2003 barn has crates and is used in a conventional crate Steve has found a niche in marketing purebreds, farrowing capacity for comparison to the other as well as for naturally raised hogs. By targeting ESAP Contact systems. both the purebred market and the market for naturally raised pork, Steve can increase profits. Mary Hanks Steve built nest boxes from 2” x 10” lumber, 651-296-1277 Steve is a qualified producer for Niman Ranch making 5J x 7J or 5J x 8J boxes with 22” openingsAuthor: Greg Booth which provides a premium price for hogs sold for the sow to enter. The building is insulated to east and west coast markets. and can be heated if necessary but is kept at approximately 60°F. Bedding is provided in the Keywords SteveJs goals are to farrow his sow herd of 40 boxes and lids help hold the heat and also provide Berkshires on a schedule of four times a year, Farrow to finish, protection from the sows crushing the little pigs. with two farrowings for each sow per year, and hogs, nest boxes, to make the operation efficient enough so pens In the hoop shelter, farrowing pens are 6J x 8J. everyone in his family can be involved. Steve Pens have heat lamps and covers for heat and his wife Jane have four children: Amber, retention and protection against crushing. For 16d bimberly, 13d Stephanie, 11d and Matthew, additional insulation, foam sheets can be added 9. They raise Jersey steers for direct marketing on top of the pens. and sheep for 4H projects. Steve also works at United Farmers Elevator in berkhoven. He has raised hogs on his farm for 15 years and grew up helping his father raise hogs. Steve is also president of the county Pork Producers Board, is on the American Berkshire Association board, and serves on the University of MinnesotaJs Swine Task Force. The Stassen farm is set up for environmentally friendly hog production that Steve explains his deep bedded hoop system emphasiZes animal health GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 150. 152 —— Livestock • StassenInformation is recorded on pigs born alive, number crushed, which seemed to help in their natural ability to nest. Theand number weaned from sows in eight conventional crates, sows in the crates also have access to straw, which theyeight nest boxes and eight pens. Differences in behavior use as much as the crate setting allows.of the sows in the three groups is alsoobserved. Starting with gilts, three to Table 1. Comparison of Farrowing Methodsfour farrowing cycles will be observed. 56==78>;A. ]04@7: J7M. B7=; J7M.+3>P0 J7M. H=21@0: J7M. U06;0:Results Crate 8.77 8.14 1.0 7.14 Pen 8.40 8.00 1.6 6.40Steve and his family found that the pens Nest Box 8.00 8.00 1.0 7.00and nest boxes took less time to cleanthan crates. In crates, manure and The Stassens also observed that the sows in nest boxesbedding have to be scraped out daily. In the pens and and pens have to all farrow within seven to ten days so theboxes, sows manure in one spot, keeping the pens clean pigs stay with their mothers and sows donJt steal from otherlonger. Pigs moved more freely and SteveJs children could litters. Sows in nest boxes and pens exhibited bettermove through the pens easily to do chores. They found appetites than those in the crates, probably due to morethat it was more difficult to separate the sows from their exercise.pigs in the pen system. Sows tended to be more protectivein the pens than in the crates, especially when Steve and Management Tipsthe children handled the pigs for ear notching or other work.Steve developed a gate system and used grocery carts to 1. beep an eye on the boss sows. Give them enoughseparate the little pigs. room to prevent problems with more timid sows.The crate system has an advantage from birth to four 2. Put all sows into pens at one time.days, Steve noted, because of the lower danger of crushing.When a sow farrows, she rolls over and the newborn pigs 3. Use guard rails to prevent crushing.are in danger of being crushed. Steve used guard rails tohelp protect the young, installing a rail for heat lamps on 4. Use gates, carts, or other separation methods to makeone side of the pens, and a bumper rail on the other. it easier to catch and handle pigs.The Stassens also learned to manage for “boss” sows in Cooperatorsthe more natural settings, making more room between pens.Boss sows want to be closer to feed and water, so extra @71#$% P752-#B Alternative Swine Production Systemsroom has to be made to accommodate timid sows and Program, St. Paul, MNmake sure they get enough to eat and drink. Steve also !-+%c7#%A$5%<*.B Farmer, berhoven, MNfound that all sows in a group should be introduced to thepen system at the same time. Adding one later can create Project Locationproblems in the group. One mile south of berkhoven on Swift Cty 35. Go straight ahead on gravel road 1 mile south. The Stassen farm is onSteve keeps the layout simple so all the children can help. the east side of the road.The four children purchased two sows and will share theprofits from their litters. Any one of the four children can Other Resourcesmanage the daily chores, Steve adds. University of Minnesota Extension Service. 2001. ^*69The farrowing crate and nest box had the same results in 1*"5%?71H%%)3**9-#6%7%3*6%,5*/";2-*#%9192$+%-#%23$%[,,$5number of pigs crushed (Table 1). Steve thinks that the P-/?$92E Publication No. BU-7641-S. University ofdesign of the nest box restricts the movement of the sows Minnesota Extension, St. Paul, MN, 612-625-8173 ormore than in the open pen, allowing her to settle down 800-876-8636.more quickly. Guard rails added to the pens may help thissituation. Steve noticed that the sows had good nesting University of Minnesota Extension Service. 1999. 8?-#$instincts. This may be due in part to the sowsJ being 9*"5;$%0**VH%%:.2$5#72-C$9%=*5%,*5V%,5*/";$59E% Publicationhoused in the deep-bedded hoop barn (see “Low Cost Sow No. PC-7289-S. University of Minnesota Extension,Gestation in Hoop Structure,” `5$$#0**V%XOO). The sows St. Paul, MN, 612-625-8173 or 800-876-8636.were used to making nests in their normal surroundings,GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 151. Livestock • Stelling —— 153Forage Production to Maintain One Mature PerAnimal Per Acre for 12 Months Project Summary The three-year goal is to re-seed two-thirds of Principal the farm to grass and legumes that are palatable, This project involves improving forage produced highly digestible, and nutritious. Excess pasture Investigator from paddocks in order to feed an animal year will be harvested and stored for winter feeding. Ralph Stelling round. By graZing dairy cows and producing Harvesting, whenever possible, is timed to Ral-Den Dairy quality feed at optimum times, Ralph Stelling produce the highest quality feed. RR 1, Box 19 hopes to reduce the amount of winter feed Millville, MN purchased for his dairy cows and eliminate grain Results 55957 supplements. 507-798-2410 Tests from the 2000 silage showed 18m protein, Wabasha County Project Description 95 RFc, and average calcium. Ralph was pleased with the results considering that the Project Ralph and Phyllis Stelling and son Dennis and harvest was completed somewhat late, and soon Duration his wife Ronda operate Ral-Den Dairy, a 140- after a rain. cow operation on 240 acres that utiliZes rotational 2000 to 2003 graZing and emphasiZes direct marketing. By Approximately one-third of normally purchased improving paddocks and quality of stored feed, feed was eliminated in the winter of 2000-2001. ESAP Contact Ralph believes that purchased grain can be One field was harvested twice during the summer eliminated from the farm budget while rotation. Ralph believes that he and Dennis could Mary Hanks 651-296-1277 maintaining the quality of the animals and milk have maintained 100 head on 185 acres in aAuthor: Greg Booth products. sustainable manner, which is approaching their goal. An economic analysis of their project will Ralph has been farming since 1969 and be available with next yearJs update. Keywords converted to graZing eight years ago. Annual profit has increased by about o500/cow since dairy, forage the conversion, which took two years to production, complete. He has belonged to a graZing group rotational graZing for eight years and has held many field days at Ral-Den. He is also a member of Pastureland, a group of farmers involved in direct marketing dairy products including butter and cheese. The goal of the Stelling project is to produce enough forage on 185 acres to feed 185 mature cows year round. Ralph and Dennis want to make their farm sustainable and eliminate purchased feed. They also want to increase profit and have more family time. In 2000, the Stellings planted about 40 acres of ryegrass and Alice white graZing clover for graZing and silage. They rotated dry cows through paddocks and harvested grass for silage in paddocks that were not being graZed. Harvested forage was tested for protein content, relative feed value (RFc), and calcium content. Ralph shows longer cutting length from lacerator GREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 152. 154 —— Livestock • StellingManagement Tips on left, Cty Rd 69. Go 2 miles to “T,” turn left, go s mile, turn left, Stelling farm is first place on left.1. Make pasture silage at optimum graZing time to ensurefeed quality.2. Plant ryegrass and a variety of other hardygrasses for better production and paddocks thatwill stand up to heavy graZing and harvesting.3. Even when extremely wet, silage does notfreeZe in winter.CooperatorDoug Gunnink, Consultant, Gaylord, MNProject LocationFrom ^umbro Falls, go east on Hwy 60approximately 5 miles to Cty Rd 2. Turn right Lacerator wagon unloadingon Cty Rd 2. Go 1s miles to first gravel roadGREENBOOK 2001 • ENERGY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM • MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • 153. Livestock • Struxness —— 155First and Second Year Grazers in a Year Year Year Pasture Served FrostRound Pasture Setting Served by a Frost WaterFree Water System Project Summary of fencing should they use, electric or barbed Principal wire| Should they use permanent paddocks or Investigators The father and son team of Don and Dan use temporary, portable fences| How could they Struxness have developed a year round rotational provide water to the animals on pasture year Don and Dan graZing system that has a highly flexible, efficient round without the animals coming back to a barn Struxness watering system at its core. This project RR 3 every day| What forages could they use to involves converting land from CRP to a graZing extend the season farther into the fall| And what Appleton, MN system utiliZing beef cattle. Because of its low 56208 were their low cost options to shelter the animals costs and flexibility, the Struxnesses believe this from the harsh winter conditions of western320-734-4877 Don production alternative may be attractive to Minnesota|320-752-4733 Dan beginning farmers when compared to grain Lac lui Parle County production. The main objectives were providing The land involved in this project is a single, a year round water supply available to all rectangular parcel of 135 acres with clay loam paddocks, developing a “leader/follower” graZing and sandy loam soils. Rolling hills have slopes Project rotation, and developing diverse pastures with a of up to 12m in some areas. Duration variety of seeding techniques. Other goals 1998 to 2000 included extending the graZing season using The StruxnessesJ initial outlay for equipment has stockpiled forages such as standing corn, and been minimal compared to other agricultural ESAP Contact low cost options for winter shelter. The last enterprises, requiring only a tractor, mower, year of the project added a comparison between baler, and shelter and cattle handling facilities. Mary Hanks cattle groups using combinations of graZing, Costs for seeding the pastures have been about 651-296-1277 implants, and supplemental feed.Author: Greg Booth the same in the first years as for row cropsd however, the legume/grass mixture will require Project Description only minimal fertiliZation to optimiZe productivity Keywords over the following four to six years. The StruxnessesJ whole farm plan includes beef cattle, forage satisfying economic issues and profitability, family quality of life, and maintaining Results production,overwintering cattle, environmental quality and diversity while raising In the fall of 1997, the Struxnesses installed a watering systems beef cattle. Aesthetic concerns include a desire permanent electric perimeter fence, a two-wire to develop a landscape that is pleasing to both human and cow. Their ideas for creating this include using a diversity of pasture species as well as planting a variety of trees that will provide wind protection, wildlife habitat, and harvestable timber. luestions facing the Struxnesses at the beginning of this project