Presenter's Name(s)

Edward MarquesFollow

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Eric von Wettberg

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Plant and Soil Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Presentation Title

Improving the rotational value of field pea, Pisum sativum subsp. arvense (L.), a legume cover crop.

Time

1:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers have utilized crop rotations as a method to maintain and improve soil fertility. Legume cover crops are widely used in rotations due to their ability to fix nitrogen, reduce pathogens, decrease soil erosion, and promote soil microbial diversity, all of which increase subsequent crop yields. Despite the benefits provided to conventional and organic agricultural practices, a single cover crop cannot achieve all the cover cropping goals (fixing nitrogen, weed and pathogen suppression, promotion of microbial communities, etc.) desired by farmers. Thus, farmers use multiple legume and non-legume cover crops to fulfill their goals, however, managing multiple cover crops can be time and labor intensive resulting in lower farm profitability. The inefficiency of a single cover crop to achieve a vast set of cover cropping goals it due to an insufficient amount of breeding effort to improve the rotational value (how well the crop benefits a subsequently grown crop) of legume cover crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the variation of traits (nitrogen fixation, organic matter deposition, microbiome assembly, etc.) associated with farmers cover cropping goals within field pea, a popular cover crop and rotational legume. The data gathered from this experiment will lay the groundwork for improving the rotational value of legume cover crops, which in turn, will benefit farmers with efficient cover crops that will increase yields at lowered costs while simultaneously promoting sustainable agriculture.

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Improving the rotational value of field pea, Pisum sativum subsp. arvense (L.), a legume cover crop.

Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers have utilized crop rotations as a method to maintain and improve soil fertility. Legume cover crops are widely used in rotations due to their ability to fix nitrogen, reduce pathogens, decrease soil erosion, and promote soil microbial diversity, all of which increase subsequent crop yields. Despite the benefits provided to conventional and organic agricultural practices, a single cover crop cannot achieve all the cover cropping goals (fixing nitrogen, weed and pathogen suppression, promotion of microbial communities, etc.) desired by farmers. Thus, farmers use multiple legume and non-legume cover crops to fulfill their goals, however, managing multiple cover crops can be time and labor intensive resulting in lower farm profitability. The inefficiency of a single cover crop to achieve a vast set of cover cropping goals it due to an insufficient amount of breeding effort to improve the rotational value (how well the crop benefits a subsequently grown crop) of legume cover crops. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the variation of traits (nitrogen fixation, organic matter deposition, microbiome assembly, etc.) associated with farmers cover cropping goals within field pea, a popular cover crop and rotational legume. The data gathered from this experiment will lay the groundwork for improving the rotational value of legume cover crops, which in turn, will benefit farmers with efficient cover crops that will increase yields at lowered costs while simultaneously promoting sustainable agriculture.