Research Protocols

See the methods and experimental designs cooperators are using to conduct research to answer their most challenging questions on their farms.

Results of these research projects are analyzed and summarized in Research reports.

Title Date Member Priorities People Description Tags
Pelleted Small Grains Fed to Pigs 08/02/17 LRD Objective: To measure if feed efficiency of a small gain (high-fiber) based diet increases when pelleted.
Nutrient Density Profiles for Conventional vs. … 08/02/17 LRD Objective: To compare nutrient density profiles of pork from conventionally raised pigs and pasture-raised pigs on full grain, 50% reduced grain and grain-free rations.
Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar in Dairy Cattle 08/02/17 LRD Objective: The objective of this project is to measure the effects of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on milk quality, and over-all health of dairy cattle. We aim to see if acetic acid aids in fiber digestion; increasing milk components and cow health.
Carrots in Deep Trench with Chopped Leaves 08/02/17 HRD Objective: Determine if deep trench carrot yield is higher when grown in chopped leaves topped with soil, vs. soil only.
Scurf Control in Sweet Potato 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine whether multiple tillage passes (to decrease soil organic matter) is an effective control of scurf in Beauregard sweet potatoes. Scurf harms marketability and storage life of sweet potatoes.
Comparing Establishment Methods for Strawberry … 08/02/17 HRD Year 1 Objectives: 1. Determine differences in cost and labor for strawberry bed establishment using two methods: biodegradable plastic and mat row
Sheep Grazing Cover Crop for Better Brassica Yield 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine if grazing sheep on a cover crop prior to a brassica crop affects yield, compared to brassicas following an un-grazed cover crop.
Small-Scale No-Till Lettuce Trial 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine if no-till planting of Salanova lettuce reduces labor compared to tilled, bare soil plantings and tilled, landscape fabric plantings. 2. Determine if no-till vs. tilled plantings of Salanova have different yields and quality. 3. Track input costs of no-till vs. tilled plots for Salanova.
Summer Lettuce Variety Trial 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine which lettuce variety: Coastal Star, Hampton, Magenta or Muir, performs best as a summer lettuce in Iowa. (For this study, a summer lettuce is harvested during July). Farmer-cooperator will:
High Tunnel Tomato Variety Trial, Year 2 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine which tomato variety performs better in high tunnels.
Oat Cover Crop in Garlic, Year 2 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine if planting oats as a winterkill mulch impacts overwintered garlic yield. 2. Determine if an earlier planting date (so that oats and garlic can be sown together with significant growth on the oats before winterkill) impacts overwintered garlic yield.
Enterprise Budgets: Cherry and Salad Tomatoes 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine differences in enterprise budgets for cherry and salad tomatoes at three farms. 2. Determine differences in labor efficiency for various tasks.
Managing Black Rot with Accelerate Trial 08/02/17 HRD Objectives: Determine if foliar applications of Accelerate reduces the presence of black rot in Brussels sprouts and broccoli crops.
Cereal Rye Hybrid Variety Trial 08/02/17 FCSGRD Objective: Assess agronomic performance of four hybrid varieties of cereal rye.
Planter Setting for Organic Corn 08/02/17 FCRD Objectives: Will a planter, “tuned-up” to specs, provide stand uniformity, improved yield and ease of management of organic corn?
Spring-Seeded Cover Crop Mixes Ahead of Soybeans 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic effect on soybeans following spring-seeded cover crop mixes.
Spraying vs. Rolling Cover Crops and Soybean … 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objectives: Determine (1) if rolling a cover crop after soybean seeding is a viable termination option, and (2) whether soybean row-width has any effect on the success of rolling.
Roll-Crimping Cover Crops and Soybean Planting … 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: Determine agronomic and economic performance of soybeans planted prior to roll-crimping cover crop 2-3 weeks later. Goals: Reduce herbicide use in soybeans.
Roller-Crimping Cover Crops and Soybean Row-Width 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objectives: Determine (1) if roll-crimping a cover crop after soybean seeding is a viable termination option, and (2) whether soybean row-width has any effect on the success of roll-crimping.
Do Cover Crops Increase Soil Health? 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: With the leadership of Dr. Marshall McDaniel, soil microbiologist at ISU, we will determine if cover crops are universally beneficial to soil health and attempt to improve upon current soil health tests by assessing the novel Tea Bag Index.
Corn Leaf Architecture and Planting Population … 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: Determine if corn leaf architecture and planting population affects the successful establishment of cover crops interseeded at the V4 stage.
Corn Leaf Architecture for Interseeded Cover Crops 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: Determine if corn with an “upright” leaf architecture lends itself to the successful establishment of cover crops interseeded at the V4 stage.
Cover Crop and N Fertilizer Strategies for Corn … 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic performance of corn when delaying termination of a cereal rye cover crop (i.e. planting corn into “green” cover crop) when following either corn or soybean in rotation.
Cover Crop and N Fertilizer Strategies for Corn 08/02/17 CCFCRD Objective: Determine if N fertilizer application strategy can alleviate yield drag of corn when delaying cover crop termination until the time of corn planting.
Spring-Seeded Brassica Cover Crops 08/02/17 CCRD Objective: Simulate frost-seeding of small-seeded brassica species to serve as spring cover crops.
Controlling Invasive Species Using Different … 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To compare three types of invasive species management in woody pastures; chemical, mechanical, and livestock. ·
Pasture Monitoring 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To monitor pasture production before and after implementation of a rotational grazing management system. · ·
Pasture Monitoring –Transitioning CRP Land … 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To measure the effects of grazing on fallow land that has been in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for 10 years. · · ·
Pasture Monitoring –Transitioning CRP Land … 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To measure the effects of grazing on fallow land that has been in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for 10 years. · ·
Improving Cool-Season Pastures with … 06/28/16 LRD Objective: How does interseeding annual species improve quality and quantity of perennial pasture? · ·
Sprouted Grains for Fodder 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To determine the nutrient composition of sprouted grain fodder.
Comparing Swine Vitamin and Mineral Premixes 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To compare two rations – one with a standard vitamin and mineral premix and one with a Fertrell vitamin and mineral premix – in feeder pigs. · · · · ·
Grazing Cover Crops and Crop Residue 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To measure the utilization of crop residue by cattle when cover crops are or are not present. · · ·
Monitoring Birds in Rotationally Grazed Pasture 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To determine how wildlife populations are supported by a working landscape; 1. Does well managed pasture land replicate a natural conservation area? 2. Does pasture with perennial and/or annual plant species effect bird populations? ·
Apple Cider Vinegar Supplementation 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To measure effects of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on rate of gain and health of feeder pigs · · ·
Apple Cider Vinegar Supplementation in Goats 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To measure effects of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on rate of gain and parasite load in goats. · · ·
Alternative Free Choice Minerals for Goats, … 06/28/16 LRD Objective: To measure health benefits in goats provided free choice minerals and kelp versus standard mineral blocks.
Living Mulch in Cucumbers 06/28/16 HRD Objectives: 1. To establish feasibility of New Zealand white clover as a living mulch cover crop between rows of cucumber; 2. Determine whether inclusion of these living mulches can be done without significant yield loss. · · ·
Annual Flowering Herbs for Pollinators 06/28/16 HRD Objectives: Evaluate the flowering period, pollinator activity, and attractiveness of three annual flowering herbs: borage, lemon basil, and anise hyssop or cilantro. · · · ·
Clover as Living Cover in Walkways and … 06/28/16 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine if clover as a living cover has an effect on yield of cash crops in double-dug beds. 2. Evaluate effectiveness of clover as ground cover and weed control. · · ·
High Tunnel Determinate Tomato Variety Trial 06/28/16 HRD Objective: Determine which determinate tomato variety, Rebelski or Mountain Fresh Plus, performs best in high tunnels. · · ·
Mulch and Foliar Feed Trial in Butternut Squash … 06/28/16 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine if yields of butternut squash and tomatoes are different between plots using plastic mulch and corn stalk mulch. 2. Determine if yields of butternut squash and tomatoes are different between plots using foliar feeding and not using foliar feeding. · · ·
Broccoli Variety Trial 06/28/16 HRD Objective: Determine which broccoli variety, Belstar, Imperial, or Gypsy, performs best as a summer broccoli in Iowa. (For this study, a summer broccoli is harvested during July – first week of September). · ·
Winter Triticale Seeding Rate 06/28/16 FCRD Objective: Determine the effect on winter triticale yields and economics resulting from two seeding rates.
Plant Growth Regulator Trial for Cereal Rye … 06/28/16 FCRD Objective: Determine the agronomic and economic effect of a plant growth regulator on cereal rye seed production. ·
Fungicide and Plant Growth Regulator Trial for … 06/28/16 FCRD Objective: Determine the agronomic and economic effect of a fungicide and plant growth regulator on seed yield of cereal rye. · ·
Roller Crimped Cover Cropping Systems for Corn … 06/28/16 CCFCRD Objective: To test effects of roller crimping and an organic bio-soil enhancer on weed suppression, cover crop winter hardiness, soil properties, overall plant health and soybean (Year 1) and corn (Year 2) yields. · · · ·
Nitrogen Rate Comparison in Corn Following … 06/28/16 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic effect on corn yields receiving a high and low nitrogen rate following a two different green manure cover crop mixes seeded after cereal rye harvest. · · · · · ·
Interseeding cover crops in seed corn at the … 06/28/16 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the persistence and biomass production of cover crop mixes that are seeded into standing seed corn at the V3-V6 stage (early June). · · · · · · ·
Cover crop and chicken litter to establish … 06/28/16 CCFCRD Objective: 1) Should chicken litter be applied to cereal rye+hairy vetch cover crop to maximize cover crop biomass and provide N for the summer annual forage mix? 2) How will fall grazing of the cover crops affect performance the following year ahead of the summer forage mix? · · ·
Termination date of cereal rye cover crop ahead … 06/28/16 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic performance of soybeans when delaying termination of a cereal rye cover crop until after soybean planting. · ·
Termination date of cereal rye cover crop ahead … 06/28/16 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic performance of corn when delaying termination of a cereal rye cover crop (i.e. planting corn into “green” cover crop). · · ·
Will a Biological Soil Stimulant Improve … 06/28/16 FCRD Objective: Determine the agronomic and economic effect of a biological soil stimulant on alfalfa hay yield. · ·
Fungicide Demonstration in Cereal Rye and … 06/28/16 FCRD Objective: Determine the effect of a fungicide on seed yield and germination rate of seed in cereal rye and winter wheat. ·
Worm Castings for Cabbage Production 07/07/15 HRD Objective: Determine if applying worm castings to cabbage has any effect on cabbage yield. ·
Enterprise Budgets: Cucumbers 07/07/15 HRD · · Objectives: 1. Determine differences in enterprise budgets for cucumbers at three farms (two in structures, one outside). 2. Determine differences in labor efficiency for various tasks.
Compost Extract Crop Yield Response, Year 2 07/07/15 HRD · · Objectives: 1. Determine if bi-weekly soil drench applications of compost extract affects yield of lettuce and/or carrot. 2. Determine if bi-weekly soil drench applications of compost extract affects deg. Brix of lettuce and/or carrot. 3. Inform best practices for storing compost, steeping extract, and applying extract drench to soil. · · ·
Oat Cover Crop in Garlic 07/07/15 CCHRD Objectives: 1. Determine if planting oats as a winterkill mulch impacts overwintered garlic yield. 2. Determine if an earlier planting date (so that oats and garlic can be sown together with significant growth on the oats before winterkill) impacts overwintered garlic yield. 3. Evaluate percent cover, biomass, and weed suppression of oat cover crop planted with garlic in September. ·
Summer Squash follow Winter Rye 07/07/15 HRD Objectives: Determine the effect on summer squash yield from terminating a cereal rye cover crop by either mowing then tilling prior to planting squash or delaying mowing rye to a later stage prior to planting squash. ·
Quick Turnaround Cover Crops 07/07/15 CCHRD Objectives: 1. Evaluate performance of cover crop species and mixes as quick-turnaround covers in the field and the high tunnel (% cover, weed suppression, biomass). 2. Determine if quick-turnaround cover crops affect yield of the following cash crop. ·
Living Mulch in Peppers, Broccoli and Cucumbers 07/07/15 CCHRD Objectives for Peppers: 1. Determine if whole season, low growing white clover in the pathways next to pepper plants will impact the yield of peppers. 2. Evaluate the biomass, weed suppression, and percent cover of the clover in the pathways next to peppers. Objective for Broccoli: 1. Evaluate the performance (percent cover, biomass, weed suppression) of three late season cover crops in the understory of broccoli plants. Objectives for Cucumbers: 1. Determine if living cover in the sprawl zone of cucumbers impacts the labor time required for harvest. 2. Determine if living cover in the sprawl zone of cucumbers keeps fruits cleaner after rain. 3. Determine if cucumber plants prefer to vine toward living cover in the sprawl zone, or away from it. 4. Determine if living cover in the sprawl zone impacts yield.
Pasture Monitoring, Spring – Summer 2015 … 07/07/15 LRD Objective: To experiment with seeding different forages into existing pastures and monitor performance of livestock, forage and the soil.
Alternative Free Choice Minerals for Goats, … 07/07/15 LRD Objective: To determine if there are quantifiable health benefits in goats provided free choice minerals and kelp versus standard mineral blocks. ·
Don’t Farm Naked: Integration of Ruminant … 07/07/15 CCLRD Objective: To increase the number of ruminant livestock producers using cover crops as a feed course while improving water quality. · ·
Grazing Cover Crops for Winter Feed 07/07/15 CCLRD Objective: Continue tracking winter hay requirements and forage provided by cover crops to determine how much winter feed can be offset by grazing cover crops in the fall and spring. Feed cost savings will be calculated & animal gain and performance will be monitored. ·
Grazing Cover Crops 07/07/15 CCLRD Objective: Demonstrate the economic and soil health benefits of grazing multi-species cover crops, through partnerships between row crops farmers and graziers. · ·
Winter wheat companion seeding for in-furrow … 07/07/15 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic performance of, and weed control in, soybeans receiving a companion seeding of winter wheat in the seed furrow. ·
Soybeans Into Standing Rye Cover Crop 07/07/15 CCFCRD · Objective: Quantify the agronomic performance of soybeans planted into an early and late terminated cereal rye cover crop. · ·
Cover crop mixes seeded into corn at the V3-V6 … 07/07/15 CCFCRD · · Objective: Quantify the persistence and biomass production of cover crop mixes that are seeded into corn early in the growing season (approx. V3-V6 stage). ·
Anhydrous ammonia applied to cover and … 07/07/15 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic performance of corn following anhydrous ammonia that is applied to cover crop and no-cover crop and with or without N-Serve. · · ·
Effect on corn of green manure cover crops … 07/07/15 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic effect on corn yields of seeding a red + sweet clover mix with cereal rye or planting a diverse, cover crop mix immediately after grain and straw harvest of rye. · · ·
Cereal rye cover crop seeded into corn at time … 07/06/15 CCFCRD · Objective: Quantify the persistence and biomass production of a cereal rye cover crop that is seeded into standing corn at the same time as side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer (early June). · · ·
Cereal rye seeded into seed corn … 07/06/15 CCFCRD Objectives: 1) Determine the performance of a cereal rye cover crop aerially seeded into seed corn at two dates prior to harvest and drilled directly following harvest. 2) Determine the agronomic and economic performance of soybeans in rotation following two cover crop termination dates. ·
Demonstration of N-Watch™ Program on Two Crop … 07/06/15 CCFCRD Objective: Document the availability and movement of soil nitrogen using the N-Watch™ soil sampling program in two crop fields—one with a history of cover crop use and one with no history of cover crop use. · ·
Accommodating Cover Crops With Short-Season … 07/06/15 CCFCRD Objective: Determine if cover crops can be more successfully established following a corn and soybean varieties that mature and are harvested earlier than what would normally be planted at a location. Quantify the agronomic and economic performance of short- and normal-season corn and soybeans planted in succession. (Short-season corn is in rotation with short-season soybeans, and vice versa.) · ·
Three Crop Rotation Demonstration 07/06/15 FCRD Objective: Document all pertinent production and cost information with respect to growing a crop rotation consisting of corn-soybean-winter wheat + legume. · · · ·
Red clover vs. Cover crop mix before corn 07/06/15 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic effect on corn yields of frost-seeding red clover with winter cereal rye or planting a diverse, cover crop mix immediately after grain and straw harvest of rye. · ·
Pepper Variety Trial 07/05/15 HRD · · · · · Objectives: 1. Determine which pepper variety, Olympus or Revolution, produces more marketable fruits and total yield in side-by-side field trials in Iowa.
Mulch and Foliar Feed Trial in Butternut Squash … 07/05/15 HRD Objectives: 1. Determine if yields of butternut squash and tomatoes are different between plots using plastic mulch and corn stalk mulch. 2. Determine if yields of butternut squash and tomatoes are different between plots using foliar feeding and not using foliar feeding. · · ·
Whole Farm Financial Project 07/05/15 HRD Objectives: 1. Report whole farm financial data from fruit and vegetable farms to provide baseline/comparison data for other farmers. · ·
Grazing Cover Crops 07/05/15 CCLRD · Objective: Demonstrate the economic and soil health benefits of grazing multi-species cover crops, through partnerships between row crops farmers and graziers. ·
Apple Cider Vinegar Supplementation in Feeder … 07/05/15 LRD Objective: Does supplementing pigs with apple cider vinegar (ACV) provide health benefits that contribute to better rate of gain? Anecdotal evidence suggests improved health, and we’re looking for quantifiable benefits. · · · ·
Improving Cool-Season Pastures with … 07/05/15 LRD Objective: To experiment with seeding multi-species forages into existing pastures and monitor performance of livestock, forage and the soil. · · ·
Neonicotinoid-treated vs. neonicotinoid-free … 07/05/15 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic performance of soybeans grown from neonicotinoid-treated and neonicotinoid-free seeds of the same variety following a cereal rye cover crop. · ·
Semi-dwarf vs. Conventional Soybeans 07/05/15 CCFCRD Objective: Quantify the agronomic and economic performance of semi-dwarf and conventional soybeans. ·
Tile water monitoring 07/05/15 FCRD Objective: To monitor the tile water coming from multiple fields under multiple forms of management across the state of Iowa in 2015. · ·