- Building soil health and controlling weeds during the three year transition from conventional to organic production.
- Determining if no-till organic methods are feasible in Missouri conditions.
- Researching effects of cover crops in organic systems.
- Determining the environmental effects of tillage and cover crops (greenhouse gas emissions).
- Determining how to best destroy a cover crop and when to plant a subsequent cash crop in organic production.
- Looking at weed control under different summer cover crops.
Organic grain crop research at MU includes corn, soybean, grain sorghum and soft red winter wheat. This research is funded by the Ceres Trust and the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Current grain crop research looks at the use of no-till and cover crops in an organic management system and the emission of greenhouse gases from tillage and residue breakdown. Organic row crop systems typically use lots of tillage for weed control. When soil is tilled, carbon that is in the soil is oxidized and released as carbon dioxide, which has been implicated in global warming. Agricultural residues break down and create nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas that causes ozone depletion. Agriculture is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Organic Vegetable Research
This project will examine how different mulches affect soil quality and yield and whether vegetables that are direct sown or transplanted into a cover crop mulch will get adequate weed control from the cover crop without decreased yield or seedling vigor. Research is funded by the Ceres Trust.
Published Media Stories
Central Missouri Food Bank and Bradford Research Center
Greenhouse gas research
Organic Transition Research
Tigers for Community Agriculture
Links for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
Soil Quality-SARE/NRCS/ University of Illinois
USDA-NRCS Soil Quality
Midwest Sustainable and Organic Education Service
Missouri Organic Association
University of Missouri Soil and Plant Testing Lab
University of Missouri Soil Health lab
This site is under construction
University of Missouri Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Science Department