Constraints to Profitability of Small Grains in Iowa and the Upper Midwest
The Iowa Organic Association (IOA) partnered with Iowa State University and Ceres Trust on a three year grant (2014-2016) to study yield-limiting factors in organic small grains, specifically oats. The project worked directly with Iowa organic farmers to identify factors that impact yields and quality, and tested possible solutions in on-farm trials.
The small-grain year of organic rotations is usually the least profitable, but is valuable to the organic rotation as a whole. Helping improve yields of the organic oat rotation will help improve profitability of the organic system as a whole. Dr. Margaret Smith, specialist with the Value Added Agriculture Program at Iowa State University, Dr. Mary Wiedenhoeft, Professor of Agronomy and Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and PhD Candidate David Weisberger conducted the on-farm research.
Final Research Results (2016):
Growing Organic Expertise in Colleges across Iowa
1. Cropping System Diversity Effects on Nutrient Discharge, Soil Erosion and Agronomic Performance - by Natalie Hunt, Jason Hill, Matt Liebman
2. Leveraging Drought Risk Reduction for Sustainable Food, Soil and Climate via Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration - by Toschichika Lizumi, Rota Wagai
3. Water Quality in Organic Systems - by Cynthia Cambradella, Kathleen Delate, Dan Jaynes
4. Organic Farming Beats No-Till? - by John Teasdale, with the ARS Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory
5. Pesticides and Soil Invertebrates: A Hazard Assessment - by Tari Gunstone, Tara Cornelisse, Kenda Klein, Aditi Dubey and Nathan Donley