- Agronomic: canola, wheat
- Animals: bovine
- Animal Production: stocking rate, winter forage
- Crop Production: crop rotation, no-till, application rate management, conservation tillage
- Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance
- Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization
- Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, prevention, traps, weather monitoring
- Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
- Soil Management: soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil physics, soil quality/health
In the Southern Great Plains wheat is planted either with the intention of producing grain only or with the intention of producing dual-purpose winter wheat that is available for grazing by livestock from late November until early March and then harvested for grain. Grain-only and dual-purpose wheat are extremely important to the agricultural economy of the southern Great Plains. The proposed research and education project will be designed to address three major problems of growing winter wheat in the region. The first problem is that conventional tillage is used for more than 95% of the dual-purpose wheat in the region. The second problem is the unique disease and insect pest issues that arise as a result of the wheat monoculture that dominates the southern Great Plains. The third problem is that the largest cash outlay for producing dual-purpose wheat is nitrogen fertilizer, and applied nitrogen fertilizer is less than 35% efficient under current management practices.
We propose to address these three problems by investigating the impact of no-till practices on wheat forage, grain yield components, insect pest and natural enemy abundance, and disease incidence and severity using both spatially temporally replicated trials in the southern Great Plains. Further, we will evaluate the validity of sensor-based nitrogen recommendations in no-till wheat production systems. We will determine the economics of no-till versus conventional tillage for dual-purpose wheat under conventional fall nitrogen application with nitrogen fertilizer amount based upon yield goals and with field-specific spring nitrogen application with rates based upon yield potential as measured by optical reflectance technology in late winter. Finally, we will use a combination of field days, training sessions, journal articles, and extension publications to disseminate our findings to relevant stakeholders.
Project objectives from proposal:
Our long-tem objective is to increase the sustainability of farming and ranching operations in the southern Great Plains by increasing the adoption of no-tillage production practices and decreasing the reliance on commercial fertilizer sources. This project will move us closer to this long-term goal by addressing the following objectives:
1. Determine the impact of switching from conventional to no-till production practices on fall forage production and yield components of winter wheat in grain-only and dual-purpose wheat production systems.
2. Monitor the incidence and severity of wheat diseases as well as the presence and abundance of insect pests and their natural enemies in conventional and no-till, dual-purpose wheat production systems.
3. Determine if sensor-based nitrogen recommendations developed for conventional tillage systems are valid in no-tillage, dual-purpose wheat production systems.
4. Determine the economics of no-till versus conventional tillage for dual-purpose wheat under both conventional fall nitrogen application with rates based upon yield goals and field-specific spring nitrogen application with rates based upon yield potential as measured in late winter by optical reflectance technology.
5. Educate southern Great Plains wheat producers on how no-tillage production practices can enhance both grain-only and wheat/stocker-cattle integrated production systems.