The Roundup -

Intercropping And Cover Cropping Strategies Focus Of ARS BrownBagger


As weeds, disease and pest insects take a bigger bite out of farmer profits, many are looking for new ways to maintain or increase crop production, while reducing input costs for managing those pests. Among the more novel approaches to address pest and productivity issues is the use of intercropping or the planting of two (or sometimes more) crops together in the same field at the same time. Advantages to intercropping can be found in more efficient use of resources (water, nutrients and sunlight) leading to increased net productivity per acre; reduced pest densities as the intermingled crops confuse pest insects or attract beneficial ones, and, in some instances, reduced disease incidence compared to monocropping.

Research Specialist Ezra Aberle is among several North Dakota State University researchers studying intercropping at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) and he will be sharing results of their work to date this coming Friday, March 6 at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory (NPARL), Sidney. Aberle is the fourth speaker in NPARL’s annual winter BrownBagger Series. His talk runs from noon - 1 pm at the Sidney, ARS lab located at 1500 N. Central Ave.

“I’ll be talking about the research being conducted at the Carrington Research Extension Center on intercropping and interseeding,” Aberle said, “along with a multiyear, more statewide, trial on cover crop timing strategies.” Intercropping studies at Carrington include flax/chickpea, and corn silage/companions like legumes in traditional systems, along with oat/field pea in organic systems.

Aberle is a native of Valley City, although he lived throughout the Great Plains and Iowa while growing up. He attended NDSU for two years before transferring to Iowa State University where he earned a B.S. in animal science and an M.S. in crop physiology and production. He began working at the Carrington station in 2002 and has been there ever since.

Aberle’s research focuses on Carrington’s long-term cropping systems study which he has managed for over 15 years. He also does research in CRP management for biomass production; perennial grasses, legumes and cover crop species demonstrations across salinity gradients; evaluation of grasses for biomass production, and intercropping legumes and cover crops.

NPARL invites all interested persons to join us for this very informative presentation beginning at noon this Friday, March 6. Bring your lunch. We’ll provide the dessert!

For questions or more information, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427 or [email protected]


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