Greenhouse study looks at ways to make rotational crops more profitable
Rotational crops are the focus of a research project currently underway at the Zillman Family Greenhouse at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Funded by a USDA grant, the study is designed to support Maine potato growers by enhancing competitiveness of rotational crops, by improving seed yield. Larry Feinstein, Assistant Professor of Biology, says they're growing two varieities of barley and two of oats, looking at ways to make rotational crops more profitable.
"We're growing them at three different nitrogen levels and we're adding mycorrhizal treatment. So mycorrhizae is a fungi that's beneficial to the plant. It lives in the plant roots and helps it acquire nutrients. And so we are trying to see if adding the mycorrhizal will increase the plant biomass, increase the soil organic matter or increase the yield, to make their crops more profitable," says Dr. Larry Feinstein.