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Diversifying Dryland Grain Cropping Systems for Organic Production . Kristy Ott Borrelli Ph.D. Candidate Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. Outline. Background of Region and Organic Wheat Production Dryland Organic Grain Production from Transition to Certification

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diversifying dryland grain cropping systems for organic production

Diversifying Dryland Grain Cropping Systems for Organic Production

Kristy Ott Borrelli

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

outline
Outline
  • Background of Region and Organic Wheat Production
  • Dryland Organic Grain Production from Transition to Certification
  • Intercropping winter pea and wheat for optimal soil nitrogen and moisture
  • Dryland organic grain management considerations
slide4

Sub humid Region

    • 500 mm annual precipitation (21 inches)
    • 60% precipitation November through March
  • Rain-fed annual cropping systems
  • Soft White Winter Wheat
  • 2 to 3 year rotations
    • Winter Wheat – Spring Legume – Spring Wheat
    • Winter Wheat – Spring Legume – Winter Wheat
    • Winter Wheat – Winter Wheat – Winter Wheat

Papendick, 1996; Cook, 1986; McCool et al., 2001

wa organic grain production
WA Organic Grain Production

Which of the following are your main reasons for NOT having any certified organic acres?

Jones et al., 2006

slide6

Within the last five years, 2001 – 2005, have you considered transitioning any of your acreage to certified organic?

Joneset al., 2006

dryland organic grain production from transition to certification aka the boyd farm project

Dryland Organic Grain Production from Transition to Certification(AKA The Boyd Farm Project)

dryland organic cropping systems
Dryland organic cropping systems
  • Identify strategies to minimize economic and
  • management risks for organic grain growers
  • To evaluate different transition cropping
  • systems
    • Do not rely on inversion tillage
    • Supply N using legume crops (grain,
    • green manure and forage)
objectives
Objectives
  • To identify how cropping systems in transition phase impacted grain yield and protein during the certified organic phase.
  • To develop a soil fertility management plan for organic grain producers.
    • Construct a nitrogen budget
general agronomics
General Agronomics
  • 2x Seeding Density
  • Cereal Crops
    • BioGro 7-7-2 NPK
    • Foliar Fish Emulsion 12-0.25-1 NPK
    • Gypsum
rotary harrow
Rotary Harrow
  • Pre-plant weed control and soil prep.
  • 1-2 passes
rotary hoe
Rotary Hoe
  • In-crop weed management
  • 3-5 passes
sub sampling
Sub Sampling
  • Crops and Weeds
    • Separated and biomass yield was determined
    • Total N
    • Grain N measured separately
  • Soil Samples
    • 1.5 m depth
    • Inorganic N
harvest
Harvest
  • Green Manure Crops were Flail Mowed
    • Residue retained on soil
  • Forage cut 1-2x season
    • Baled as hay
  • Grain Harvested
  • Gallagher, R.S., D. Pittmann, A.M. Snyder, R.T. Koenig, E.P. Fuerst, I.C. Burke, & L. Hoagland, 2010. Alternative strategies for transitioning to organic production in direct-seeded grain systems in Eastern Washington I: Crop agronomy. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 34:483-503.
nitrogen balance
Nitrogen Balance
  • Net N input = (Fertilizer N + Plant N + Post-harvest Soil N) – Pre-plant Soil N
    • Fertilizer N = organic N when applied to cereal crops
    • Plant N = crop N + weed N
    • Pre-plant soil N = post-harvest soil N from the previous year
  • Net N Balance = Net N input – N removal (crop)
    • Net N input = equation above
    • Crop N removal = grain or forage crop N only
ns not significant 2003 ab for 2004 xyz for 2005

Net System Nitrogen Balance (by year)

ns = not significant 2003; ab for 2004; xyz for 2005

Cash cereal/grain

x

GRM last year

x

x

3yr

GRM

x

x

x

xy

Forage

b

b

b

b

b

b

b

a

b

ns†

yz

z

slide21

Soil Inorganic Nitrogen (by year)

ns

b

b

b

b

a

b

b

b

b

ns†

Cash cereal/grain

GRM last year

3 yr

GRM

Forage

  • † ns = not significant (2003 and 2005); ab for 2004
slide23

2006 Spring Wheat Yield (bars) and Protein (dots)

3 yr GRM

Cash cereal/grain

GRM last year

Forage

x

x

x

x

x

x

y

y

3293 kg ha-1

y

cde

de

bcd

de

abc

bcd

ab

a

e

slide24

2007 Winter Wheat Yield (bars) and Protein (dots)

5052 kg ha-1

3 yr GRM

Cash cereal/grain

GRM last year

Forage

x

x

x

x

x

y

y

y

y

bcd

abc

abcd

d

cd

a

ab

a

a

slide25

Soil Inorganic N in Certified Organic Phase

†ns

a

bc

ab

bc

cd

de

e

wx

w

yz

wxy

z

wx

wx

w

xyz

e

e

†ns (not significant) for Sp 2006; abc for Fa 2006; wxy for Fa 2007

summary
Summary
  • Certified organic grain had some of the highest yields and protein levels following Forage systems in the 1st year
    • decreased 2nd year
  • Green manure in 3rd year of transition resulted in some of the highest grain yields 2nd year
    • High protein levels both years
intercropping
Intercropping
  • The simultaneous cultivation of more than one crop species on the same piece of land with part of the crop life-cycles overlapping.

(Hauggaard-Nielsen et al., 2008; Walker et al., 2011; Pridham and Entz, 2008).

benefits of intercropping
Benefits of Intercropping
  • Source of plant N to cereal crops
  • Suppress weeds
  • Reduce disease
  • Stabilize erodible soils
  • Increase SOM
  • Provide crop rotation options
  • Management tool in organic or low-input systems
  • Reduce time spent growing a green manure

(Walker and Ogindo, 2003; Blackshaw et al., 2010; Hauggaard-Nielsen et al., 2008; Walker et al., 2011; Liebman and Dyck, 1993; Thiessen Martens et al., 2005; Lithourgidis et al., 2011; Hartl 1989; Reynolds et al., 1994)

objective
Objective
  • Determine the optimal time to mechanically remove winter pea intercropped with winter wheat
    • Improve N input
    • Reduce soil moisture stress
slide33

Seeded Mid-October

  • Winter Wheat
    • (Triticumaestivum L. cv. ‘Brundage 96’)
  • Winter Pea
    • (Pisumsativum L. cv. ‘Granger’)
  • “Direct seeded” 2.2 m wide Fabro® no-till drill
    • Wheat 135 lbs. acre-1; 15” row spacing

(152 kg ha-1; 38 cm row spacing)

    • Pea 200 lbs. acre-1; 15” row spacing

(225 kg ha-1; 38 cm row spacing)

treatments
Treatments

25% Cover

Early May

50% Cover

Mid May

slide37

75% Cover

Early June

100% Cover

Late June

slide38

Intercrop

No Removal

No Intercrop

Control

slide39

Soil Samples

  • Pre and Post season 1.5 m
  • 0 to 30 cm
  • Repeated each sampling date
  • Gravimetric water content
  • Inorganic nitrogen
slide40

Plant Biomass

  • 0.3 m2 collected on each sampling date
  • Repeated each sampling date
  • Dried and weighed

Grain Yield

  • Late August
slide49

Wheat Grain Yield after Pea Removal for Different Crop Growth Phases

2010

2011

ns

ns

ns

5666 kg ha-1

Mean = 5560 kg ha-1

Mean = 3527 kg ha-1

Treatment

summary1
Summary
  • No differences in soil moisture
  • No difference in soil nitrogen
  • No difference in grain yield or protein
  • No difference among plant N levels or biomass yield
slide52

Agronomics

  • Reduced tillage weed control (in crop)
    • Rotary Hoe
    • Rotary Harrow
    • Inter-row Cultivator
  • Choose competitive crops and cultivars
    • Winter Crops > Spring Crops
slide53

Agronomics

  • Peas established better with wheat
  • Biodiversity in intercrop system
slide54

Soil Fertility

  • Include a forage system during the transition ($)
    • Supplement soil N following 1st year of grain production
  • Include a green manure during the last year
    • Multiple years of green manure likely not necessary
slide55

Soil Fertility

  • External (commercial) organic fertilizer sources are too expensive
    • Adding a source of animal manure may be beneficial

With Manure

No Manure

acknowledgments
Acknowledgments

Committee Members

Dr. Rich Koenig (Co-Chair)

Dr. Ian Burke (Co-Chair)

Dr. Dave Huggins

Dr. Scot Hulbert

Special Thanks

Dr. Bill Pan

Dr. Pat Fuerst

Co-Authors

Dr. Rob Gallagher

Dr. Lori Hoagland

Dr. Kate Painter

Amanda Snyder

Misha Manuchehri

Farmers

Pat and Lester Boyd

Technicians

Dennis Pittmann

Rod Rood

John Rumph

Margaret Davies

Dave Uberaga

Undergraduate Assistants

Charlie Clark

Lydia Baxter Potter

Madeline Jacobsen

Heather Fuerst

Nick Boydson

Rachel King

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