Development of Cultural Practices to use a Roller/Crimper in Organic Cropping Systems for Eastern Nebraska

  • Charles Shapiro ([email protected]) and William Kranz. University of Nebraska, Haskell Ag Laboratory, Concord, NE
  • Lynn Junck and Elizabeth Sarno, former University of Nebraska co-PIs have both left the University of Nebraska.
  • Mike Mainz, Research Technologist, retired

Significance of Project to Organic Agriculture

To be certified, organic farmers must follow the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations which state that famers manage their soil fertility and pests by diversifying their crop rotation, using cover crops (CCs) and developing other strategies to improve soil fertility. The USDA NOP standards are written broadly as to allow implementation across a wide range of ecosystems throughout the United States. Farmers are left to their own devices to develop farming practices that work with their bioregion and that are consistent with the standards. NOP Standard 205.203 Soil Fertility and Crop Nutrient Management Practice states: (a) The producer must select and implement tillage and cultivation practices that maintain or improve the physical, chemical, and biological condition of soil and minimize soil erosion and (b) The producer must manage crop nutrients and soil fertility through rotations, CCs, and the application of plant and animal materials. However, the standard does not dictate what tillage and cultivation practices are used and what rotations and CCs work best.


  1. Determine the effect of triticale planting rate, crimping date and crimping frequency on triticale CC survival and subsequent soybean yield.
    (Revised to oats since triticale could not be planted in the fall 2013)
  2. Determine the effect of Austrian winter pea (AWP) planting rate, crimping date and crimping frequency on AWP CC survival and subsequent corn yield.
    (Revised to spring forage peas)
  3. Determine the effect of soil moisture status on triticale kill at boot stage.
    (Experiment conducted in 2014 and 2015 due to poor soil conditions in 2014)
  4. Facilitate on-farm experimentation with roller/crimper CC termination.

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