2015 Farm Progress Reports
Farm Progress Reports: Volume 2015, Issue 1
Introduction Dwarfing rootstocks have the potential to increase profitability of tree-fruit growers by providing smaller trees suitable for high density plantings. Although the initial installation cost can be 10 to 30 times more than lower-density plantings, the long-range returns can far exceed the traditional plantings. However, to be viable as a commercial rootstock, dwarfing rootstocks must be adapted to a range of agro-climatic conditions, moderately disease resistant, high yielding, and produce quality fruit.
Cover crops can benefit farmers by aiding in erosion control, increasing organic matter in the soil, and reducing nitrate losses into the surface waters. Cover crops also have been promoted to alleviate soil compaction and improve soil drainage. Cover crops are an important practice in meeting Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy goals. However, some research indicates that planting corn following a rye cover crop can result in corn grain yield losses, especially if the cover crop is not killed at least two weeks prior to planting the corn. The objective of these trials was to evaluate whether a fall-seeded small grain cover crop would affect corn yield.
Soil moisture is critical for crop production in most years in northwest and west central Iowa.
The importance of soil as a resource to the world is reflected in 2015 being named as the International Year of Soils by the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations.
The objective of this study was to quantify the soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks of Iowa State University’s (ISU) farmland. Soil organic carbon is a worthwhile property to measure because its quantification may allow ISU to more fully realize its environmental impact and to target conservation measures to land parcels with the lowest carbon content. The carbon content of ISU’s land also could be useful economically if a carbon credit system was implemented.