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2014

Agriculture

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Flax Weed Control Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Erica Cummings, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Flax Weed Control Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Erica Cummings, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is a multi-purpose crop grown for its fiber, oil (linseed oil), and meal. The majority of production occurs in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Montana. Recently there has been interest in growing flax in the northeast, both for human consumption and for animal feed, for its high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax is a spring annual that is usually planted as early as the ground can be worked. However, one of the main challenges to successfully growing flax is weed control. Flax plants compete poorly with fast growing weeds due to its relatively short height ...


Short Season Corn Silage Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Sara Ziegler, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post Jan 2014

Short Season Corn Silage Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Sara Ziegler, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team evaluated yield and quality of short season corn silage varieties at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. While short season corn is an obvious choice in areas that accumulate fewer Growing Degree Days (GDDs), it also has a place in longer season areas. Growing a shorter season variety can allow for more time in the fall to adequately prepare the soil for winter by applying manure and planting cover crops, thereby minimizing nutrient and soil losses. In addition to these benefits, past UVM Extension variety trials have shown ...


Oilseed Meal As A Fertility Amendment In Sweet Corn, Heather Darby, Abha Gupta, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Oilseed Meal As A Fertility Amendment In Sweet Corn, Heather Darby, Abha Gupta, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Many Northeast growers are integrating oilseed crops such as canola, soybeans, and sunflower into their operation, in hopes of on-farm fuel production, value-added products, and/or livestock feed. Many producers are using small-scale presses to mechanically separate oil from the seed. Oilseed meal, the high-protein byproduct left after the extrusion of oil, can be milled and used as a soil amendment to increase fertility and organic matter. This material has the potential to replace high-cost imported fertilizers, especially for organic growers.


Winter Barley Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Winter Barley Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

With the revival of the small grains industry in the Northeast and the strength of the localvore movement, craft breweries and distilleries have expressed an interest in sourcing local barley for malting. Malting barley must meet specific quality characteristics such as low protein content and high germination. Many farmers are also interested in barley as a concentrated, high-energy feed source for livestock. Depending on the variety, barley can be planted in either the spring or fall, and both two- and six-row barley can be used for malting and livestock feed. Winter barley has not been traditionally grown in the Northeast ...


Long Season Corn Silage Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler Jan 2014

Long Season Corn Silage Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, the University of Vermont Northwest Extension Crops and Soils Team evaluated yield and quality of long season corn silage varieties at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT. Long season corn can be difficult to grow in Vermont, due to the climate’s restricted Growing Degree Days (GDDs). In addition, wet springs are becoming more common, delaying corn planting later into the season. However, on many farms, long season corn can produce higher yields and quality than many short season varieties. The test site was at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT, which has what is considered one of ...


Corn Cropping Systems To Improve Economic And Environmental Health, Heather Darby, Lindsey Ruhl, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler Jan 2014

Corn Cropping Systems To Improve Economic And Environmental Health, Heather Darby, Lindsey Ruhl, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, UVM Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Program initiated a trial at Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT to assess the impact of corn cropping systems on overall health and productivity of the crop and soil. Yields are important, and they affect the bottom line immediately and obviously. Management choices involving crop rotation, tillage, nutrient management, and cover crops also make differences in the long term. Growing corn with practices that enhance soil quality and crop yields improves farm resiliency to both economics and the environment. This project evaluated yield and soil health effects of five different corn rotations ...


Spring Wheat Crosses Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Spring Wheat Crosses Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

On-farm wheat breeding began in Vermont, in cooperation with UVM Extension, in 2007 with a USDA SARE grant to build farmer knowledge in plant breeding. The goal of this on-farm breeding trial is to develop spring wheat varieties that are suited for organic management in Vermont soils and climatic conditions. Most commercially available varieties are developed in regions with climates, soils and management techniques that are very different from our own. In addition, those varieties are genetically homogenous and inbred for uniformity. This has often led to rapid breakdown of genetic resistance to local diseases. To address this situation, farmers ...


Hops Weed Management Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Lily Calderwood, Erica Cummings, Scott Lewins, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Hops Weed Management Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Lily Calderwood, Erica Cummings, Scott Lewins, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

As the acreage of hops continues to grow in the northeast, there is increasing need for regionally specific agronomic information. The majority of hop production and research is conducted in the Pacific Northwest, a region that has a much drier climate than our own. The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension has carried out a number of trials to build relevant experience on small scale hop production in our wet and cool climate.


Cereal Rye Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Cereal Rye Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a variety trial of three varieties of winter rye. The varieties were Huron, Spooner, and one variety that was not specified (VNS). Recently, there has been increased interest in cereal rye as a culinary grain. The purpose was to determine which variety performs best in Vermont when grown for grain.


Brown Mid-Rib Corn Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Brown Mid-Rib Corn Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Brown mid-rib (BMR) corn has a lower lignin content than other silage corn varieties, which makes it more digestible to dairy cows, potentially increasing milk production. Growers interested in BMR corn look for high-yielding varieties with favorable quality. Since 2010, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops & Soils program has conducted research trials to evaluate BMR corn silage varieties. In 2014, the trial included 10 varieties from three different seed companies. While the information presented can begin to describe the yield and quality performance of these BMR corn varieties in this region, it is important to note that the data ...


Sunflower Planting Date Trial, Heather Darby, Sara Ziegler, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post Jan 2014

Sunflower Planting Date Trial, Heather Darby, Sara Ziegler, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Sunflowers are being grown in the Northeast for their potential to add value to a diversified operation as fuel, feed, fertilizer, and an important rotational crop. However, pest pressures from seed-boring insects, disease, and birds can limit yield and quality, making the crop less viable for existing and potential growers. Addressing some of these pest pressures with agronomic management strategies may help mitigate yield losses. One cultural pest control strategy is manipulation of planting date. To evaluate the impacts of altered planting dates on sunflower pests, an on-farm trial was designed and implemented by the University of Vermont Extension’s ...


Tillage Radish Seeding Rate Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Tillage Radish Seeding Rate Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Tillage radishes are being utilized by farmers as a new cover crop for their unique characteristics. Tillage radishes are quick at scavenging nitrogen, provide good ground cover, and break down very quickly in the spring to make way for spring planting and provide available nitrogen to the next crop. The plants winter kill, but the dead frozen plant material can still supress the earliest spring weeds from establishing. The holes left by decomposed roots allow more water to infiltrate the soil. Growing tillage radish as a cover crop in the northeast is new and best practices for success have yet ...


Early Fall Cover Cropping Trial, Heather Darby, Lindsey Ruhl, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Early Fall Cover Cropping Trial, Heather Darby, Lindsey Ruhl, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Farmers are interested in expanding their cover crop options beyond winter rye. Species of interest include annual ryegrass, oats, vetch, winter pea, tillage radish, and canola. These species have not been commonly grown as cover crops in the region because they require an earlier establishment date compared to that of winter rye. Farmers are interested in finding alternative cover crops and cover crop mixtures that may provide additional benefits over the standard practice. As an example, incorporating winter peas or vetch would provide a nitrogen fixing cover crop to the system. Annual ryegrass may provide better soil cover and easier ...


Late Summer Cover Crop Trial, Heather Darby, Lindsey Ruhl, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Late Summer Cover Crop Trial, Heather Darby, Lindsey Ruhl, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

The Northwest Crops & Soils Program initiated a trial in Alburgh, VT to assess the potential for using annual ryegrass, oats, and winter peas as cover crops in Vermont. These species have not been commonly grown as cover crops in the region because they require an earlier establishment date compared to that of winter rye. Farmers are interested in finding alternative cover crops that may provide additional benefits over the standard practice. As an example, incorporating winter peas, a legume, would provide a nitrogen fixing cover crop to the system. Annual ryegrass may provide better soil cover and easier to manage ...


Winter Canola Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Sara Ziegler, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post Jan 2014

Winter Canola Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Sara Ziegler, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Winter canola is a relatively new crop to the Northeast. The majority of the canola grown in North America is grown in the Midwestern U.S. and Canada for both culinary oil as well as biodiesel production. Winter canola is planted in the late summer where it grows through the fall before entering a period of dormancy for the winter. The following spring, the plants resume growth and seed is harvested in summer. Winter canola could potentially be a useful crop to growers in the Northeast for diversifying rotations, farm products and markets, and producing fuel on farm. However, for ...


Summer Cover Crop Mix Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Summer Cover Crop Mix Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Many farmers have realized the multitude of benefits cover crops provide in terms of soil health and fertility. Most farmers, however, plant cover crops in the fall to protect their soils from erosion through the winter into spring while they do not have a crop planted. Summer cover cropping may be another option for growers interested in building soil health. Summer cover crops could be planted throughout the season and offer a wide range of species to select from so benefits are maximized. Another benefit to growing cover crops during the summer is increased whole plant above and belowground biomass ...


Organic Spring Barley Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Organic Spring Barley Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

With the revival of the small grains industry in the Northeast and the strength of the locavore movement, craft breweries and distilleries have expressed an interest in sourcing local barley for malting. Malting barley must meet specific quality characteristics such as low protein content and high germination. Many farmers are also interested in barley as a concentrated, high-energy feed source for livestock. Depending on the variety, barley can be planted in either the spring or fall, and both two- and six-row barley can be used for malting. In 2012-2014, UVM Extension conducted a spring barley trial to evaluate the yield ...


Flax Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Conner Burke, Erica Cummings, Hannah Harwood Jan 2014

Flax Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Conner Burke, Erica Cummings, Hannah Harwood

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is a multi-purpose crop grown for its fiber, oil (linseed oil), and meal. The importance of flax as a major crop in the United States dropped drastically in the 1980’s when latex paints replaced linseed oil based paint. Recently there has been renewed interest in flax, both for human consumption and for animal feed, for its high levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This variety trial was established to determine what flax varieties can grow and thrive in Vermont’s climatic conditions.


Organic Winter Wheat Variety Trial Report, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler Jan 2014

Organic Winter Wheat Variety Trial Report, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, the University of Vermont Extension conducted an extensive organic variety trial to evaluate hard red winter wheat in order to determine which varieties thrive in the Northeast. The trial was established at the Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, Vermont.


Organic Winter Wheat Planting Date Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Organic Winter Wheat Planting Date Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted a winter wheat planting date trial. As the demand for local organic wheat has risen over the last few years, UVM Extension has been trying to determine the best agronomic practices for wheat production in the Northeastern climate. Traditionally, producers have planted winter wheat after the Hessian fly free date, 15-Sep. Producers are interested in knowing how late they can plant their wheat in order to plan rotations and maximize yield while maintaining quality.


Organic Spring Wheat Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler Jan 2014

Organic Spring Wheat Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Zeigler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

In 2014, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program evaluated nineteen hard red spring wheat to determine which varieties thrive in organic systems. The trial was established at the Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, Vermont. Several varieties that did not perform well in previous trial years were eliminated from the 2014 variety trial. Newly released varieties were also sought for evaluation.


Improving Winter Grain Yields, Quality, And Nitrogen Use Efficiency Using Adaptive Management, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Improving Winter Grain Yields, Quality, And Nitrogen Use Efficiency Using Adaptive Management, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Small grains have gained importance in New England agriculture over the last decade due to expanding demand for local sources for food and feed. Growers are particularly interested in grains that are planted in the fall (winter wheat, spelt, triticale, rye) because they provide numerous rotational benefits, produce high yields, scavenge residual soil nitrogen (N), and protect the soil from winter erosion. Recent grower surveys indicate that N fertility management is a key production challenge for winter grains, which involves providing enough N at the right times to optimize yields and, in the case of bread wheat, grain protein. Readily ...


Heirloom Winter Wheat Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Heirloom Winter Wheat Variety Trial, Heather Darby, Katie Blair, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Many consumers are interested in heirloom wheat for flavor, perceived health benefits or its history, while many farmers are interested in heirloom wheat because it may have superior genetics better adapted to the challenging growing conditions in the Northeast. Production of heirloom wheat may also provide a farmer with a value added market with increased returns. This variety trial was established to determine heirloom winter wheat varieties that are suitable for production in Vermont’s growing conditions. This was the third year that this trial was conducted in Vermont.


Heirloom Spring Wheat Seeding Rate Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Katie Blair, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Heirloom Spring Wheat Seeding Rate Trial, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Katie Blair, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

University of Vermont Extension began its heirloom spring wheat project in 2007 to determine whether heirloom varieties developed before 1950 could thrive in Vermont’s climate. Many consumers are interested in heirloom wheat as they feel it has better flavor, while many farmers are also interested in heirloom wheat varieties as they may have superior genetics that are better adapted to the challenging growing conditions in the Northeast. Several producers have asked questions about the best agronomic practices for cultivating heirloom wheat. It is unclear if heirloom wheat will require lower seeding rates as compared to modern day varieties. Seeding ...


The Efficacy Of Spraying Fungicides To Control Fusarium Head Blight Infection In Spring Malting Barley, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

The Efficacy Of Spraying Fungicides To Control Fusarium Head Blight Infection In Spring Malting Barley, Heather Darby, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Public interest in sourcing local foods has extended into beverages, and the current demand for local brewing and distilling ingredients is quickly increasing. One new market that has generated interest of both farmers and end-users is malted barley. This only stands to reason since the Northeast alone is home to over 175 microbreweries and 35 craft distillers. Until recently, local malt was not readily available to brewers or distillers. However, a rapid expansion of the fledgling malting industry will hopefully give farmers new markets and end-users hope of readily available malt. To date, the operating maltsters struggle to source enough ...


Vermont Organic Silage Corn Performance Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Erica Cummings, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Vermont Organic Silage Corn Performance Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Erica Cummings, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

The University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program conducted an organic silage corn variety trial in 2014 to provide unbiased performance comparisons of commercially available organic silage corn varieties. It is important to remember that the data presented are from a replicated research trial from only one location in Vermont and represent only one season. Crop performance data from additional tests in different locations and over several years should be compared before making varietal selections.


Minimum Tillage Corn Trial, Heather Darby, Jeff Sanders, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Minimum Tillage Corn Trial, Heather Darby, Jeff Sanders, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Minimum tillage practices have significant potential to reduce expenses and the potential negative environmental effects caused by intensive tillage operations. Conventional tillage practices require heavy machinery to work and groom the soil surface in preparation for the planter. The immediate advantage of reduced tillage for the farm operator is less fuel expense, equipment, time, and labor required. It’s also clear that intensive tillage potentially increases nutrient and soil losses to our surface waterways. By turning the soil and burying surface residue, more soil particles are likely to detach from the soil surface and increase the potential for run off ...


Brown Mid-Rib Corn Population Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Erica Cummings, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Brown Mid-Rib Corn Population Trial, Heather Darby, Susan Monahan, Erica Cummings, Julian Post, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

Brown mid-rib (BMR) corn hybrids are of interest to many growers in the Northeast who would like to maximize milk production on homegrown forage. BMR corn has a naturally-occurring genetic mutation that leads to less lignin in the stalk and makes corn silage more digestible. Corn yields can be highly dependent on population, and it is generally recommended to plant BMR corn at lower populations than conventional silage corn. BMR corn has always been considered to be more prone to lodging due to its lower lignin content, and lower populations allow for less stress on each individual plant. However, optimal ...


Effect Of Temperature On Packaged Hop Quality, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Conner Burke, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Effect Of Temperature On Packaged Hop Quality, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Conner Burke, Erica Cummings, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

As the hop industry continues to expand in the Northeast, research is needed into best practices for processing and storing hops. While there are established systems for hop storage on large scale farms in the Pacific Northwest, there is a shortage of information on the systems being employed by growers in the Northeast. Many hop growers are choosing to vacuum-seal their hops in plastic bags. The goal of this project was to determine the effect of temperature on storage quality of dried, vacuum-sealed hops.


Hops Crowning Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Lily Calderwood, Erica Cummings, Scott Lewins, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler Jan 2014

Hops Crowning Trial, Heather Darby, Julian Post, Lily Calderwood, Erica Cummings, Scott Lewins, Susan Monahan, Sara Ziegler

Northwest Crops & Soils Program

As the acreage of hops continues to rapidly expand in the northeast, there is a great need for production knowledge specific to our region. Downy mildew has been identified as the primary pathogen plaguing our hop yards. This disease causes reduced yield, poor hop quality, and can cause the plant to die. Control measures that reduce disease infection and spread while minimizing the impact on the environment are desperately needed for the region. Mechanical control is one means to reduce downy mildew pressure in hop yards. Scratching is a practice initiated in the early spring when new growth has just ...