Previous Research Published in Agronomy Journal
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture awarded Clean River Partners a 3-year grant to continue researching Interseeding Wide-Row Corn with Forage Cover Crops. In 2019, Clean River Partners was awarded a three-year Sustainable Agriculture and Demonstration grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to assess wide-row corn productivity trade-offs in a dual-use cropping system. This study, now published by our UMN partners in the peer reviewed science journal Agronomy Special Issue Intercropping Solutions for Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems, assessed whether the combination of intercropped high value forage cover crops and wider corn rows could result in economically viable crop production systems in the Upper Midwest.
Cover crops, like annual ryegrass, radish, turnips or cereal rye, that are planted into fields of commodity crops such as corn, soybeans or wheat, help to keep excess crop nutrients like nitrogen from leaching out of the soil and entering surface or groundwater. Our economic analysis revealed that high yielding, quality forage crops can offset up to 12.6% of economic losses caused by grain reductions. Wide-row intercropped systems may be economically viable for producers looking for opportunities to reintegrate their crop and livestock production systems, but further work is needed to refine this system for farm use. Over the next three years, Clean River Partners will lead research at four area farms while University of Minnesota partners will conduct trials at two of their Research and Outreach Centers in SE Minnesota. We are very grateful to Rice SWCD and Goodhue SWCD, the University of Minnesota and especially our collaborating farmers for teaming with us on this work. We are also grateful to Bill Jokela, a member of our Board of Directors, for his assistance designing the farm trials.