KBS LTAR Summer 2021 Update

After the June and July rains, the corn is looking great on the Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (KBS LTAR) site.

KBS LTAR Associate Director Brook Wilke poses in front of the 2021 corn crop
KBS LTAR Associate Director Brook Wilke poses in front of the 2021 corn crop

After the June and July rains, the corn is looking great on the Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Agroecosystem (KBS LTAR) site. That’s a relief for Brook Wilke, KBS LTAR Associate Director for Agronomy and Science.

“It’s not every day you get to break ground on a new long-term field trial, says Wilke. “We had to get it right from the start. Once in place, these plots will serve as a platform to testing and understanding Midwestern farming systems of the future for decades to come.”

As part of the USDA’s LTAR Network, KBS is charged with researching national strategies for the sustainable intensification of U.S. agriculture—how to increase food production while advancing positive environmental outcomes.

Corn was planted into all fields as a baseline for this growing season. Next year, and for decades into the future, a conventionally managed corn-soybean system will be compared to an aspirational cropping system that includes livestock integration, cover crops, no-till, and additional crop diversity.

Farmers, Extension educators,and conservation and agricultural professionals were key to designing the experiment. Over the winter, these stakeholders worked together with researchers to determine the rotation and practices of the aspirational cropping system.

“Working with our partners was crucial to setting up a long-term experiment that is both practical and aspirational,” said Julie Doll, KBS LTAR Associate Director for Stakeholder Engagement.“We are equally committed to long-term research andlong-term relationships with partners to advance durable and sustainable agricultural systemsin Michigan and the region.”

For more information about the KBSLTAR, visit www.canr.msu.edu/ltar/

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