Project ID

E2008-17

Abstract

Soil moisture dynamics are influenced by land cover, thus different land covers would be expected to have different soil moisture behavior. This project tested various land covers and crops to see whether and how moisture was retained or depleted.

Key Question

How does a range in vegetation types influence soil moisture dynamics?

Findings

These results show that diversified LEI systems can produce yields and profits that match or exceed those obtained from conventionally managed corn-soybean systems. Additionally, we learned that ecological processes such as weed seed consumption by rodents and insects can promote effective weed control in LEI systems, while allowing substantial reductions in herbicide use. Weed seed losses to rodents and insects can be enhanced by delaying tillage operations to leave seeds on the soil surface for as long as possible.

Principal Investigator(s)

Matt Helmers

Co-Investigator(s)

Heidi Asbjornsen, Amy Kaleita

Year of Grant Completion

2012

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