CDLE Extension Research Projects
Most dairy farmers do not use cover crops, or use them inefficiently. A system in which a winter grain is grown in tandem with a short-season corn hybrid will yield more forage than a traditional system using full-season corn and no, or inefficiently planted, cover crop. Efficient cover cropping for dual purpose use has the potential to significantly reduce feed costs as it minimizes the need to purchase feed. Therefore, we are looking at cover crops that can be harvested/grazed as high quality forage in the spring.
There has been a steadily increasing demand for craft beer in the United States in the past 2 decades, especially the northeastern and western regions of the country. Currently, there is an insufficient body of research regarding varieties and fertility management plans that would permit growers in the pioneer valley to produce malting-quality barley. Barley must fit into a range of specific quality parameters, such as percent protein and the near absence of Deoxynivalenol (DON, produced by Fusarium head blight), to be suitable for malting. However, malt barley has a price premium ($5.70/bu) over feed barley ($3.37/bu) (June, 2016). This price premium may incentivize production for growers in the region. Consumer demand for locally sourced ingredients, in addition to locally produced beer may provide further economic incentives for regional production. Increased understanding of viable methods for producing malt quality barley in the region would therefore provide economic benefit to local breweries, malt houses, and farmers.
Nearly 15,000 acres were devoted to sweet corn production in New England in 2012. Because sweet corn is an herbicide-, fertilizer-, and water-intensive crop, research must be done to develop production systems that can reduce inputs and tillage. This project aims to improve sustainable and profitable production of early sweet corn in the Northeast by integrating the benefits of forage radish cover crops and no-till production. Two experiments will measure the precocity, fertility, and weed suppression in early sweet corn provided by fall forage radish cover crops.
The goal of this research is to reduce the risk of nonpoint source pollution from equine facilities through installation and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) on two equine facilities.
This project will evaluate and promote the multiple benefits of growing fava beans as a new cash crop for Massachusetts. Fava beans are a cool season legume and are new to Massachusetts.
The goal of the proposed research work is assessing nitrogen contribution from fava beans to sweet corns and determining decomposition rate of fava bean residues.