Opportunity for Silage Corn Growers: On-Farm Biodiversity Experiment

February 20, 2023

Overview

Cornell graduate student researcher is seeking New York partner farms to test how planting native flowers near silage corn fields affects biodiversity on the farm. We are also interested in how flower planting date affects biodiversity. This single-year experiment will run from May to September 2023. Participating farms will each receive $500 and if desired, publicity.

Eligibility

Silage corn fields may be managed using either organic or non-organic methods. However, no synthetic insecticides may be sprayed within 660 ft of the experimental plots.

Experiment

The experiment will require four small plots of land (16 by 32 ft), which may be arranged around one or more corn fields. The plots may be located along field edges, as shown below, or field corners may be used for this purpose rather than corn production. The grower and researcher (Sophie Westbrook, Cornell graduate student) will choose plot locations together. The grower will plow two of the plots as soon as field access is possible in the spring, and the other two plots four weeks later. After this initial plowing, no further management is needed. The researcher will hand-seed flowers in two plots and collect data over the summer.

Experiment plot layoutThe experiment will involve four plots, placed at least 660 ft apart. CE: control plot (no flowers), earlier plowing. CL: control plot, later plowing. FE: flower plot, earlier plowing. FL: flower plot, later plowing.

Contact

For more information or to enroll, contact Sophie Westbrook, (716) 597-7344; asw265@cornell.edu.




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