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- SSC funds AgroForestry for Food - Irrigation Initiative
SSC funds AgroForestry for Food - Irrigation Initiative
Posted by Laura Schultz on April 25, 2019
The row crops that dominate Midwestern agriculture, corn and soybeans, are productive but also have a number of negative environmental impacts, such as soil erosion, loss of soil carbon, nitrate leaching, and greenhouse gas production. In order to combat these impacts of traditional Midwestern agriculture, this team established an “Agroforestry for Food” trial to experiment with systems that use multiple, perennial crops to produce foods with better environmental benefits and ecosystem services. This 12-hectare experimental plot is located at the Energy Farm on South Race Street, where it can produce a large amount of food and critical insights into the development of stable, productive cropping systems. It is entering its fifth growing season, but due to insufficient irrigation in past seasons, development of the plants has been slowed. This funding will allow for the installation of irrigation to improve crop growth and development, earlier and more robust harvests, and speed up the progress of the trial.