Farmer cooperators conducted strip trials to help investigators create a nutrient and organic matter budgeting system that offered whole farm management guidelines to tighten nitrogen budgets for corn. Corn root health also was analyzed.
Can an organic matter and nutrient budgeter help farmers to evaluate and plan more sustainable systems for their farms?
More work is needed for the budgeter to be a useful tool to plan sustainable farm systems. On-farm testing of organic matter, nutrients, and corn to validate the model (1) showed a positive relationship between nitrogen (N) uptake by corn and corn root health, with healthier roots apparently better being more efficient at N uptake regardless of the source of the N, and (2) indicated that corn grown in systems with perennial forages and animal manures tended to have healthier roots. The work raised further questions about N and carbon soil dynamics and root interactions.
Year of Grant Completion
Goldstein, Walter and Cambardella, Cynthia A., "Improving farm nutrient management by optimizing organic matter inputs and root health" (2005). Leopold Center Completed Grant Reports. 242.