Project Details:

MU Certified Strip Trial Initiative: Cover Crop Trials

Parent Project: MU Certified Strip Trial Initiative
Checkoff Organization:Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council
Categories:Crop management systems, Education, Soil fertility
Organization Project Code:378-20
Project Year:2020
Lead Principal Investigator:John Lory (University of Missouri)
Co-Principal Investigators:
Peter Scharf (University of Missouri)
Bill Wiebold (University of Missouri)
Keywords: Cover Crops, Crop Management Systems, soil & tillage management, Soil Fertility

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

A signature Missouri program helping farmers validate management decisions on their farm and document efficiency and environmental stewardship.

Project Objectives

The primary goal of the MU Certified Strip Trial program is to work with Missouri farmers to validate management decisions and document efficiency and environmental stewardship.

Project Deliverables

The MU Certified Strip Trial Program is uniquely focused on identifying and answering practical management questions on Missouri farms. For cover crops specifically, there are other programs supporting trials in Missouri. The Soil Health Partnership has sponsored six trials in Missouri looking at long-term effects (five years) on a wide array of soil properties.

A strip trial program has the potential to expand the delivery of unbiased best management recommendations for nutrient management, agronomic, and conservation management practices. This information will improve the efficiency and profitability of Missouri farmers. Equally as important, this program demonstrates proactive intent of Missouri’s grain producers to use agrochemicals and nutrients wisely and efficiently, documents the effective practices used by Missouri farmers, and promotes practical innovations in agronomic management.

Progress of Work

Updated April 27, 2021:
The primary goal of the “MU Certified” Strip Trial program is to work with Missouri farmers to validate management decisions and document efficiency and environmental stewardship. Cover crops are the center of this project and it also serves as the core funding from MSMC for the strip trial program. Since the program inception we have completed 194 strip trials on Missouri fields, 25% of them focused on cover crops. The table summarizes strip trials completed by the strip trial program since the initial 2016 growing season. Various Cover Crop options and studying cover crop termination are examined. Over the past four years the Missouri strip trial program has implemented almost 200 trials on Missouri farmer fields.

A strip trial is a partnership with the farmer and a local Extension professional. We work with the farmer to layout the trial and a local contact is available to answer questions and address problems. Over the course of the trial we use UAV’s (drones) to collect information about the trial. Ultimately, the goal of the partnership is to use the yield map from the field to compare treatment outcomes. Over time we have learned some of the critical features of a successful trial.

The strip trial program relies on our farmer advisory panel to help prioritize trials available each year and includes: Robert Alpers (Prairie Home), Neal Bredehoeft (Alma), Matt Lambert (Brookfield), Mark Lehenbauer (Hannibal), Brian Lehman (Versailles), Aaron Porter (Dexter), Linus Rothermich (Auxvasse), Doug Thomas (Brashear), Jules Willot (Laddonia), and Industry rep: Scott Wilburn (MFA, Laddonia).

We look forward to continuing our work with Missouri farmers implementing strip trials on their farm!

Final Project Results

Updated December 9, 2019:

View uploaded report PDF file

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Typically, strip trials provide side-by-side comparisons of an agronomic practice. Additionally, they offer the cooperating farmer the opportunity to test new ideas or evaluate current management on their farm.

Performance Metrics

Project Years