Principal Investigator: Frank Forcella
Organization: University of Minnesota, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
Sponsor: Clean Water Fund
Award Amount: $266,156
Start Date: 7/1/2014 | End Date: 6/30/2017
Project Manager: Luke Stuewe (Luke.Stuewe@state.mn.us)
Updated October, 2014
This project is assessing cover cropping techniques that have dual purposes: improving water quality while simultaneously maintaining or enhancing financial profitability in Minnesota.
This research will focus on comparing cash-generating winter oilseed crops (camelina and field pennycress), more traditional cover crops (rye and radish), and conventional winter-fallow systems. Each cropping system will be evaluated for:
This research is being conducted along a gradient that spans from the northwest to the southeast region of Minnesota. Performing the research in different regions will test the limits and feasibility of growing winter oilseed crops across Minnesota.
Cover crops, in general, provide crucial environmental services including nutrient scavenging, weed suppression, soil erosion protection and runoff reduction. Recently developed dual-purpose cropping systems may provide environmental benefits and provide economic advantages to Minnesota farmers. Winter camelina (Camelina sativa) and field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) are winter-hardy oilseed crops that could generate cash for growers in the spring prior to planting traditional soybean cash crops.
Researchers will conduct three, nearly identical experiments in three different locations. Experiments will be conducted in Roseau, Morris, and Waseca, Minnesota.
Null hypothesis (hypothesis being tested): A cropping system including winter camelina or field pennycress will be equivalent to a standard soybean crop in terms of oil yields, economic return, water use, and fertilizer uptake and retention.
Alternative hypothesis: a field pennycress/soybean or winter camelina/soybean cropping system has higher oil yields, economic returns, water use, and fertilizer uptake and retention when compared to a standard soybean crop followed by winter fallow.
Camelina seed and flower
Within two years the following items will be delivered:
Impaired Waters Technical Advisor
Luke.Stuewe@state.mn.us ~ 218-846-7425