The environmental and economic sustainability of organic field crop production is closely connected with diversified and well-planned cropping rotations that maintain soil fertility and manage pests (weeds, insects and diseases) without the use of synthetic inputs. OSCIII OSC3 will generate new knowledge and innovative practices for Canadian organic field crop production. Specifically, Research Activities will examine:
- The development of new cultivars of soybeans, wheat, oats, potatoes, and winter cereals specifically suited for organic and low-input production.
- The optimization of rotational production systems for organic field crop production, with focus on whole systems, as well as the production of organic oats, wheat, corn and soybeans.
- The development of organic production systems for novel crops, including camelina.
Field Crops addresses the following program priorities of the AgriScience Clusters program:
- Discovery and applied science for major commodity sectors:
- The following major commodity groups support this theme: Western Grains Research Foundation (Activity 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9), Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers and Grain Farmers of Ontario (Activity 2)
- Crop variety development: Activities 2, 3, 5, 6, 10
- Support for minor and emerging crops: Camelina is an emerging crop supported under this theme (Activity 11).
- Enhancing efforts in environment and climate change: nutrient management and soil health (Activities 4, 7, 8, 9), yield stability under low-input conditions (Activities 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10).
- Activity 2 – Development of breeding strategies for organic soybean production systems in Canada.
- Activity 3 – Evaluation of farmer-selected wheat, oat and potato genotypes under organic production in Eastern and Western Canada.
- Activity 4 – Efficacy of using cover crops in 2 of the 3 growing seasons on nitrogen supply in an organic soybean-winter wheat-corn rotation.
- Activity 5 – Organic oat breeding: oat cultivars specifically developed for organic production systems in Canada.
- Activity 6 – Breeding of winter cereals to benefit no-till organic production systems.
- Activity 7 – Optimizing yield and resilience of organically grown milling oat.
- Activity 8 – The right balance: management strategies for plugging organic soil health constraints and moving forward.
- Activity 9 – Diversified cropping strategies to improve sustainability of organic crop production in the Brown soil zone.
- Activity 10 – Agronomic performance, resilience and baking quality of wheat cultivar mixtures adapted to organic management in Eastern Canada.