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Experimental Design

Experimental field trials consist of an identical design. Several varieties will be chosen for each crop and, whenever possible, an organic varieties will be included. Crops plantings will be divided up into 5 randomized treatments replicated 4 times where one treatment will be an untreated control, one treatment will be an organic farming practice, one treatment will be a standard synthetic pesticide or pesticide combination, one treatment will follow a plant disease environmental based forecast model using an organic farming practice, and one treatment will follow a plant disease environmental based forecast model using a standard synthetic pesticide or pesticide combination. As a general practice, non-treatment synthetic pesticide usage will be avoided as much as possible (e.g., more than the usual tolerated insect related crop damage is allowed to avoid having to use an insecticide). Note that in certain circumstances, it may be necessary that non-organic farming practices be used for the experimental testing of a specific organic treatment to ensure a fair comparison with a synthetic pesticide (e.g., an insecticide is used to prevent excessive insect related crop damage in an experiment comparing a fungicide with an organic treatment for control of a fungal pathogen). Furthermore, the untreated control for some crops may have a non-treatment organic farming practice (e.g., an organic insecticide) or a non-treatment synthetic pesticide (e.g., a synthetic insecticide) applied when it is deemed necessary to reduce non-plant disease related crop damage.

Succession planting and crop rotation will be coordinated to maximize the number of crops in the 350-foot wide and 250-foot long annuals crop field. Each crop variety will be planted in a 250-foot long and tractor width wide row consisting of a 42-inch center separated by 15-inch tractor tire width buffers. As a result of the angular nature of the parallelogram field and allowing for tractor tire overlap on subsequent passes, each treatment plot consists of a 30-inch initial planting and cultivation area separated by a 24-inch tractor tire buffer on the left and a 6-inch treatment stake buffer on the right. Allowing for plant growth, final parallelogram treatment plot dimensions consist of a 42-inch center separated by 18-inch buffers. Single, double, triple, or blanket plantings will be used within the planting center depending upon the crop spacing requirements. Treatment plots will be 10-foot long with 2-foot buffers between treatments giving a treatment area of 35 square-feet. There will also be 5-foot buffers at the beginning and end of each crop variety planting. As a result, there is room for a maximum of 70 annual crop varieties at a time. Cucurbita family vines will be given extra growing area by planting them in alternate rows, thus reducing the number of annual crop varieties that can be planted during the latter part of the growing season.

The 250-wide and 130-ft long perennials field contains crop varieties that are maintained for more than one growing season or at least over-wintered. Each crop variety will be planted in a 130-foot long and tractor width wide row consisting of a 42-inch center separated by 15-inch tractor tire width buffers. As a result of the angular nature of the parallelogram field and allowing for tractor tire overlap on subsequent passes, each treatment plot consists of a 30-inch initial planting and cultivation area separated by a 24-inch tractor tire buffer on the left and a 6-inch treatment stake buffer on the right. Allowing for plant growth, final parallelogram treatment plot dimensions consist of a 42-inch center separated by 18-inch buffers. Single, double, triple, or blanket plantings will be used within the planting center depending upon the crop spacing requirements. Treatment plots will be 5-foot long with 1-foot buffers between treatments giving a treatment area of 17.5 square-feet. There will also be 5-foot buffers at the beginning and end of each crop variety planting. Strawberry varieties will be planted in paired rows such that 10 rows will be used for 5 strawberry varieties. Turf grass, grain, perennial herbs, and overwintered crops will be planted with 10 varieties each.

Coming soon. Further design details.

About Sponsor Current Experiments Past Experiments Facilities Crop Fields Polyculture Farming Plant Diseases Bugs & Weeds Organic vs. Pesticide Experimental Design Forecast Models Dosage Optimization
 
 
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