Implementing a three-year sustainable forage crop rotation for potato and field crop farmers

Richard Hogue, researcher

Richard Hogue

Researcher, Ph.D.

418 643-2380
ext 420

Contact Richard Hogue

Description

Crops like corn, soybean, and potato suffer soil degradation as a result of frequent machinery passes (especially for potatoes), monoculture practices, and short-term rotations. This project seeks to create farmer partnerships in which participants work on implementing a three-year forage crop rotation protocol in potato and field crop (corn and soybean) fields. This initiative will help address the problem of soil quality degradation, while facilitating agreements for bringing hay to market. We will also study the impact of incorporating new forage species and improving forage varietal blends on soil health and farm profitability. Lastly, the project will include a technical/economic study of different forage blends and their impact on hay sales by potato and field crop farmers. Once the specialty crop is replanted, we will also conduct biological and physicochemical analyses of soil and biomass, as well as analyses of corn, soybean, and potato crop yield and quality.

Objective(s)

  • Tackle the problem of soil quality degradation by integrating perennial fodder crop rotations into potato and field crop farm practices.
  • Set up farmer partnerships that enable the planting of a three-year forage crop in the context of a system that rotates the forage crop with the potato or field crop (corn, soybean).
  • Promote agreements for growing and selling hay.
  • Demonstrate that the three-year forage crop rotation improves soil quality.
  • Demonstrate the technical and economic viability of the various blends used and of the sale of hay by potato and field crop farmers.

From 2019 to 2023

Project duration

Market gardening, Field crops

Activity areas

Soil health, Ecosystem protection

Services

This project, conducted in collaboration with Agrinova, will help restore the potential of a number of different agricultural soils.

Partners

Agrinova | Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation | Progest 2001 | 12 agricultural businesses

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