Yesterday the Kellogg Biological Station hosted a tour highlighting the organic research going on at the station. I had the opportunity to show off our study looking at how cover crops influence organic dry beans. For 2012 the KBS location has thus far showed an advantage to having a large rye cover crop by preserving soil moisture. Beans in the rye plots emerged earlier and more uniformly than the other cover crop treatments. Through out the season the beans planted in rye plots were further along in maturity than others and are now drying down, while the other beans are just starting to turn yellow. We will see if the beans planted following rye had a yield advantage in this very dry year when we harvest in about 2 weeks.
Other highlights on the tour were the rye and hairy vetch segregated cover crop study looking to improve nitrogen availability for sweet corn production (Caroline Lowry and Daniel Brainard), the organic soybean variety trial (Dale Mutch and Dan Rossman), and a study looking at greenhouse gas emissions in conventional and organic rotations (Dean Baas).