Improving winter grain yields, grain quality, and nitrogen use efficiency in New England using adaptive management
Nine farmers joined the project and will participate as members of the advisory team and host on-farm strip trials of in-season diagnostic testing for winter grains (4 in Maine, 3 in Vermont, 1 in New York, and 1 in Massachusetts). On-farm trial sites and protocols were discussed with these farmers. Three extensive on-station trials were established to evaluate and calibrate in-season N diagnostic tests. Preliminary information about winter grain farmers’ current fertility practices was collected in a survey, and information from more farmers will be gathered at upcoming grain conferences throughout the region.
50 farmers adopt in-season diagnostic testing for winter grain production on 800 acres, and thus improve N use efficiency by 30% or more, for bread wheat meet the 12% grain protein standard on 600 acres, and increase the value of their grain by an average of $300/ton, or $180,000/year.
Milestones and Performance Target Reached:
1. 500 producers and crop advisors in New England learn about the project through grower meetings, advisor meetings, websites, and newsletters (fall 2013). – Partially met by January 31, 2013.
2. 120 grain producers participate in a survey (online or at meetings) of current fertility practices for winter wheat (fall 2013/winter 2014). – Partially met by September 2013.
3. 7-10 person advisory teams composed of farmers, millers, bakers, service providers, and project PIs will meet in each state to develop outreach events and discuss research plans, results, and needs (Nov/Dec 2013, 2014, and 2015). – Partially met by December 2013.
4. 3 research station trials (ME, NY, VT) are conducted to evaluate and calibrate in-season N diagnostic tests and recommendations are developed for growers and service providers (2014 and 2015 growing seasons). – Partially met by January 31, 2013.
5. At least 9 farmer collaborators implement strip trials of in-season diagnostic testing for winter grains (2014 and 2015 growing seasons). – Partially met by January 31, 2013.
1. At least 100 producers and crop advisors in New England have learned about the project through grower meetings, field days, and newsletters. Efforts will continue this winter to increase awareness of the project, especially at upcoming grain conferences in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.
2. In a survey of grain growers in northern New England, only 6 of the 20 respondents who grow winter wheat indicated that they use spring topdressing to improve grain yields and quality, and none of these use any in-season diagnostic tests to guide their topdressing decisions. Additional growers will be surveyed throughout the winter at grower conferences.
3. Advisory team members have been identified in each state and initial meetings will take place in February and March of 2014.
4. Three research station trials were established in fall of 2013 in ME, NY, and VT to evaluate and calibrate in-season N diagnostic tests and recommendation.
5. 9 farmer collaborators have agreed to host on-farm strip trials of in-season diagnostic testing for winter grains in 2014.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The project began in September of 2013 so there are no impacts to report to date.
Extension Agronomist and Nutrient Management Specialist
University of Vermont Extension
278 S. Main Street
St. Albans, VT 05478
Office Phone: 8025246501