Hello to all-
June 12th was a wonderful day at the Kellogg Biological Station- the weather
was great, the speakers were fascinating, and the cover crops were looking
We started out the day indoors, hearing five talks from professors and
Anne Verhallen, from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural
Affairs, gave a great overview of cover crops' attributes in vegetable
systems. Her talk was particularly attuned to the audience's interests; we
had many opportunities to give feedback and ask questions throughout her
Mathieu Ngouajio, an Associate Professor of Horticulture here at M.S.U.,
taught us about biofumigant cover crops in his talk. We learned about the
biochemistry of biofumigants, and how this information can help us develop
more efficient cover cropping practices.
Darryl Warncke, a professor and extension specialist in the Department of
Crop and Soil Sciences here at M.S.U., gave a talk about nutrient management
using cover crops. He provided a lot of interesting information about the
dynamics of nutrient cycling, and how understanding this can help us improve
George Abawi, a professor of Plant Pathology at Cornell University's New
York State Agricultural Experiment Station, gave a presentation on cover
crops' role in soil health and root disease management. We learned a lot
about a particular soil testing system he is developing.
Daniel Brainard, an assistant professor of Horticulture here at M.S.U.,
spoke to us about cover crop mixtures for integrated weed and nitrogen
managment. Through his talk, he made points about the financial pros and
cons of cover cropping.
The powerpoint presentations of all of these talks are available at
http://michiganorganic.anr.msu.edu/ A summary of the workshop is given on
the main page, containing links to the presentations.
For the second half of the day, we ventured out into the KBS Fields to
examine cover crops from another angle. Just some of the many highlights:
First, Sieg Snapp of KBS introduced us to perennial wheat. We got a good
look at the wheat's roots, and had a discussion about the differences and
similarities between perennial and annual wheats (e.g., gluten content).
We also witnessed a demo of a crimper in use; this piece of equipment is
highly useful in killing your cover crop by breaking its stems, yielding a
nice green mulch!
A few photos of the meeting are posted at
http://michiganorganic.anr.msu.edu/ as well. If you have any further
questions or would like to have a look at some more photos, feel free to
contact Vicki Morrone ([log in to unmask]) or Kate Leitch ([log in to unmask]).
We'd love to talk about the meeting!
Vicki and Kate
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