Enhancing Sustainability and Productivity of Organic Wheat-Soybean Double-Crop Systems in the Southeastern USA

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2023: $16,200.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2025
Grant Recipient: University of Tennessee
Region: Southern
State: Tennessee
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Sindhu Jagadamma
University of Tennessee


  • Agronomic: soybeans, wheat


  • Crop Production: cropping systems, double cropping, no-till, reduced tillage
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    The growing demand for organic agricultural products has led to increased interest in adopting organic farming practices. Double-cropping, wherein two crops are grown sequentially within one year, offers a promising approach to improve resource use efficiency and productivity, especially in the southeast US which experiences a long growing season. This study aims to evaluate the successful establishment of organic double-crop soybean following wheat harvest in the southeastern USA and to compare the agronomic and ecological benefits with a full-season soybean. The research objectives are: (1) to examine the effect of reduced tillage and no-tillage practices on the establishment, growth, and productivity of full-season soybean and a wheat-soybean double-crop in an organic system; and (2) to identify the best cultural practices for a successful wheat-soybean double-crop system. The field trial will employ a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Both field and lab-based measurements of agronomic and soil responses will be conducted. The findings will provide valuable insights for organic farmers, agricultural advisors, and policymakers to increase productivity in a sustainable way from organic grain farming in the southeast region.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objectives for the study are as follows:

    1. To compare the effect of reduced tillage and no-tillage techniques on the soil properties, establishment, and productivity of wheat-soybean double-crop and weed control in organic systems. Acquiring this knowledge enables practitioners to minimize soil disturbance, maintain soil health, and mitigate ecological impacts within organic agricultural systems.
    2. To assess the gross productivity of the organic wheat soybean double-crop system compared to the full-season soybean system. This information aids farmers in making informed decisions regarding the adoption of specific cropping systems, considering factors such as productivity, resource efficiency, and environmental conditions.
    3. To evaluate the influence of environmental factors, such as radiation, temperature, and moisture availability, on the growth and yield of organic double-crop soybean following wheat harvest. This information facilitates the devising of adaptive strategies to optimize yields and enhance crop resilience under southeastern climatic conditions.
    4. To provide evidence-based recommendations for sustainable organic grain farming to producers and other stakeholders through well-developed extension and outreach activities. Disseminating this valuable information allows farmers to increase productivity, economic stability, and ecological sustainability in organic agricultural systems.
    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.