Ann Bybee-finley

Biomass harvesting, Aurora, NY. 2013
Data collection, Willsboro, NY. 2013
Sunn Hemp
Sorghum Sudangrass
Cowpea
​Pearl Millet
Hypothesis: 
- Mixtures will yield more than monocultures. 
- Mixtures with grasses and legumes will have comparable yields and weed suppression as grass monocultures, but higher forage quality, 
- Niche differentiation indices will be greater for species with different nitrogen acquisition traits than for species with different statures. 
Short season summer annual forage mixtures as a
cropping system offer:
Flexibility in planting (mid-June to mid-July) and harvest date
  ( mid-September to late-October) 
           *Act as "Emergency Forage" or alternative forage for livestock producers if corn or alfalfa fails. 
           *Can be planted midsummer after winter grains are harvested. 
- Ecosystem services brought about by increased diversity; resiliency. 
- Can act as a cover crop mixture to rebuild soil between spring and fall crops. 
- Field-scale resources use efficiency. 

Objective: 
- Maximize productivity and forage quality in a mixture by optimizing differences in resource partitioning. 
- Minimize inputs by relying on increased diversity and more efficient resource use:
         *Less seed, fertilizer, and herbicide. 
- Study the impact of functional diversity and quantify niche differentiation indices in alternative forage crop mixtures. 



Competition in low-input summer annual forages-m.s. thesis project
I. Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab - www.scslabcu.wordpress.com
​II. Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA) - www.nofany.org
​III. Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) - www.pasafarming.org
​IV. American Society of Agronomy (ASA) - www.agronomy.org
V. Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) - www.crops.org
VI. Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) - www.soils.org 

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