Date of Completion
College of Ag and Life Sciences Honors
Plant and Soil Sciences
Dr. Eric Bishop von Wettberg
Dr. Deborah Neher
lupins, legumes, plant-soil feedback, cover crop, soil health, agriculture, regionally adapted varieties, vermont, new england
Vermont's intense seasonality and short, highly variable growing season can make it difficult for farmers to implement cover crops in crop rotations. Cover cropping is an important practice for improving soil quality, increasing the soil’s capacity to hold nutrients, and reducing run-off of fertilizers into rivers, streams, and lakes. Legumes with their nitrogen-fixing capacity and taproot structure are important as farmers look to reduce synthetic fertilizer inputs, soil compaction and increased environmental and fertilizer costs. The narrow leaf blue lupin (Lupinius augustifolius), evaluated in this field trial, is an annual variety grown extensively for green manure and cover cropping practices. It’s cold-hardiness, special taproot system, ability to mine phosphorus and fix nitrogen offer many potential uses in Vermont's agriculture. It has potential for being a substitute for the less cold-tolerant soybean in maize systems and as a new source of highly digestible protein feed for dairy and livestock systems. Field trials were conducted to evaluate the potential of lupins as a cover crop here in Vermont by measuring yields and effect on nutrient status and soil properties across five varieties of narrowleaf lupin. Narrowleaf blue lupins were found to be viable cover crops. The lupin variety Roland showed the most promising performance by increasing macronutrient and micronutrient profile, having the earliest flowering time, and performing strongly for other important agronomic traits.
Pease, Sean M., "Evaluating Lupin's Agricultural Potential as a Cover Crop in Vermont" (2020). UVM College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Thesis Collection. 1.