Cropping intensity and organic amendments in transitional farming systems

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2006: $9,375.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Grant Recipient: University of Illinois
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Darin Eastburn
University of Illinois

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: general grain crops


  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, soil microbiology

    Proposal abstract:

    In this year of the project, we have focused on developing our understanding of the dynamics of Pseudomonas population in organic transitional farming systems.  We optimized the technology for quantifying Pseudomonas population with non-cultural method, using real-time PCR.  This allowed us to correlate the soil management practices with the amount of Pseudomonas and understand the relationship between the numbers of Pseudomonas and disease suppressiveness of the soil.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Project Outcomes: Our short-term goal is to characterize and compare the effect of selected cropping systems and organic amendments in transitional farming systems on soil microbial communities, and understand the links between microbial community structure/diversity and ecological function, here mainly focusing on the plant disease suppression. Our intermediate-term goal is to develop relevant, accessible outreach and educational products for organic producers. The long-term goal is to establish an interdisciplinary, cross-institutional organic farming systems research and education program, guided by an active partnership between organic producers, researchers, and extension educators, that improves the performance of organic farming systems and enhances the ability of North central region organic producers to meet the growing local and regional demand for organic produce.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.