Agronomy & Soil Science
Agronomy & Soil Science research at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) focuses on 1) conducting and cooperating in University-led applied research on plant and soil management systems that protect our environment and increase producer profitability, and 2) producing organic and conventional feedstuffs for WCROC organic and conventional livestock programs. Our primary trial crops are corn, small grains, and soybeans.
At the University of Minnesota, agronomy is based in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics.
Soil Management Systems
Scientists at the WCROC collaborate with Nutrient Management, as well as the Soil Testing Laboratory of the Department of Soil, Water and Climate, all at the University of Minnesota. One area of on-going study at the WCROC is on phosphorus soil and fertilizer management (PDF).
Field tiling is a common practice to increase crop production by draining excess water out of the plant root profile, creating a more favorable growing environment. At the WCROC, a Bioreactor (PDF) was constructed to aid in converting nitrogen to dinitrogen gas (a harmless gas) so that less nitrogen flows into the watershed.
At the WCROC, nearly 50% of our crop acres are on certified organic land, largely for the purpose of supplying feed to a portion of our dairy herd. We grow corn, wheat, oats, and alfalfa.
- Cover crops play multiple, important roles within our crop rotation.
- Winter wheat and winter rye for forage, followed by corn or soybeans
- 2016 Organic corn performance trial