CIAS work on grain production has focused on the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) project. This cropping systems research compares three cash grain cropping systems and three forage systems at two southern Wisconsin sites. The project blends systems research with strong farmer guidance to measure profitability, productivity, and environmental impacts of six cropping systems. For more information, visit the WICST web site
or contact Josh Posner
Cover Crops Case Studies: Gary Sommers Farm
This case study shares the experience of one Wisconsin farmer who has been growing cover crops on his cash grain farm for twenty years. He presents his philosophy of cover crop use, explains what cover crop management practices have and have not worked on his farm, and describes what benefits he sees from growing cover crops. [...more]
Do farming practices affect corn and soybean quality traits? (Research Brief #70)
Printer-friendly version (PDF)
Grain farmers can help the environment by expanding their corn-soybean rotations to include additional crops. Research has shown that expanded rotations can reduce the need for pesticide and herbicide applications by breaking the life cycles of insects, weeds and diseases specific to corn and soybeans. In addition, grain yields often increase in the [...] [...more]
Low-input forage rotation: similar returns, reduced costs (Research Brief #53)
Dairy farmers can reduce their purchased inputs without cutting into their profits. An ongoing twelve-year study of two forage rotations similar to those found on Wisconsin dairy farms compared a diversified, low-input system with a less diverse rotation requiring high levels of commercial inputs. While the two systems returned similar profits, the low-input system incurred [...] [...more]
Diversity pays off on cash grain farms (Research Brief #44)
Cash grain farmers can improve their bottom line by diversifying crops and reducing chemical inputs, according to a cropping systems trial now in its eighth year of economic analysis. Diversified grain systems at two sites have shown better financial returns than a high-input continuous corn system every year since 1992.
These are the results from the [...] [...more]
Cropping systems trial provides unique analysis (Research Brief #43)
Can environmentally beneficial crop rotations also improve farm profitability? A long-term study underway in southern Wisconsin aims to find out. It blends systems research with strong farmer guidance to measure profitability, productivity, and environmental impacts of six cropping systems.
The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) compares three cash grain cropping systems and three forage systems [...] [...more]
Long-term study evaluates impacts of six Wisonsin cropping systems (Research Brief #11)
Wisconsin cash grain and dairy livestock cropping systems have gone on trial. The goal is to identify and evaluate trade-offs of various production strategies.
An interdisciplinary team of UW-Madison and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) researchers, farmers, and two county extension agents recently completed the third year of the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST). The [...] [...more]