By Earl Creech | June 1, 2016

Optimizing inputs for forages and field crops in Utah

tractor in field

In order to remain economically viable, Utah’s agricultural producers are faced with the need to optimize crop inputs to maximize profits. Crop response to management can vary due to climate, geography, soils, pest problems, field history, and other factors; therefore, research to generate management recommendations on crop inputs for Utah farmers and ranchers is most relevant if conducted within the state. Moreover, the dynamic nature of input costs, commodity prices, technology, equipment, production practices, and crop genetics warrants ongoing research to maximize production efficiency and returns.

Field experiments will be conducted in fields of Utah growers to generate the information necessary for Utah agricultural producers to make management decisions regarding crop inputs on their operations. Specifically, research experiments will be conducted to 1) characterize the effect of cover crops and compost carryover on wheat yield and quality, and 2) evaluate strategies for integrating legumes into existing grass pastures in Utah. As a result of this project, we expect farmers, crop advisors, and other participants will increase their knowledge and awareness of new corn and alfalfa management tecniques that can improve profitability. We also anticipate that a change in action of some participants will occur as they adopt the techniques and methods they have learned.