Northwest Crops and Soils Program : University of Vermont

University of Vermont


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The mission of the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Team is to provide the best and most relevant cropping information, both research-based and experiential, delivered in the most practical and understandable ways to Vermont farmers.


2018 and 2019 Events

SAVE THE DATE for our 2019 Winter Conferences

Industrial Hemp Conference, Friday, February 8, Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT
View the 2019 Hemp Conference Sponsor and Exhibitor Reservation Form here. Deadline to submit: Dec. 17, 2018.

10th Annual Hop Conference, Thursday, February 21, DoubleTree by Hilton, Burlington, VT
View the 2019 Hop Conference Sponsor and Exhibitor Reservation Form here. Deadline to submit: Dec. 17, 2018.

No-Till Cover Crop Symposium, Thursday, February 28, DoubleTree by Hilton, Burlington, VT

9th Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference, Thursday, March 14, Vermont Technical College, Randolph, VT

13th Annual Grain Growers Conference, Thursday, March 28, The Essex Resort & Spa, Essex, VT


New – Thanks to new grant funding by USDA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), current research on grass fed dairy production will be expanded to a larger geographic region and scope, addressing more of the key issues in grass-fed dairy production.  Click here to read more about this Expanded grass-fed dairy production research project.


New – Tile Drainage in Vermont Factsheets

Pre-Installation Checklist, Factsheet No. 3.  Tile drainage pre-installation checklist.

Annual Inspection, Factsheet No. 5.  Annual tile drainage system inspection checklist.


Tile Drainage Webinar Series – Drainage and Doughnuts

Join us for our Tile Drainage Webinar Series – Drainage and Doughnuts. What you will learn –

  • Best management practices to use on tile acreages
  • Increase knowledge on how farmland with subsurface tile drainage may affect water quality
  • Increase knowledge about how Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs) affect the use of subsurface tile drainage
  • Learn about end-of-tile treatments

We will record each session and post them in this section below when they are available.

Wed, October 24, Introduction to Tile Drainage, Joshua Faulkner, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Fri, October 26, Tile Drainage and Management in Wisconsin, Matt Ruark, University of Wisconsin – Madision
Wed, October 31, Tile Drainage and Management in New York and end-of-tile treatment, Eric Young, USDA ARS – Marshfield, WI
Fri, November 2, Tile Drainage and Management in Ohio, Lindsay Pease, University of Minnesota – St.Paul
Thu, November 8, Conservation and Tile Drainage Survey Results, Heather Darby, UVM, and Update on RAPs adn tile drain rule amendment, Ryan Patch, VAAFM

No-Till Intensive Trainings for ASPs – Agricultural Service Providers

Deadline to register is October 15, 2018.

University of Vermont Extension is offering FREE No-Till Intensive Training for Agricultural Service Providers (ASPs).  Enrolled ASPs must commit to attend ALL webinar trainings and one in-field intensive training. View the detailed flyer for these No-Till Intensive Trainings, which includes the online registration site –

Interested in Trying Cover Crop Interseeding?

NWCS recently received a grant to work with farmers to adopt cover crop seeding.  We are seeking out interested farmers in the Champlain Valley and Northeast Kingdom. View our fact sheet including the enrollment form here.

Industrial Hemp Project Crowdfunding Opportunity

We began our industrial hemp research program in 2016 with the help of program donations – thank you!

Interest in the crop and research-based guidance has continued to grow, and we need your help to keep this research project going.  To date we have implemented 9 research trials representing 300+ research plots, to study best planting dates, varieties, and field management for hemp fiber, seed, and CBD production.

Our goal is to raise $25,000 specific for our Industrial Hemp Research Project to keep the research going and help our farmers succeed!  Please help support our Hemp Research and visit our crowdfunding page today –


2018 Hops Power Hour – We completed year two of this NE-SARE project in September and have hosted the 2018 Hops Power Hour.  See our Hops page for information to view previous Hop Power Hour’s.


The NEEOGRAIN Virtual Crop Hour

This offer of virtual webinars is being done in collaboration with ACORN, Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network, and the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program.  The NEEOGRAIN Network is an organic grain initiative established to increase networking and collaboration among farmers throughout the northeastern US and eastern Canada. View the webinar details and links to past webinars on our Grains web page.


Tile Drainage Survey (click to review a cover letter) – By gaining a better understanding of the acreage and cropland impacted, as well as the conservation opportunities made available by installing drainage systems, we hope to evaluate how tile drainage has mitigated financial and environmental risks. This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24225.

We are asking all Vermont farmers to participate in this survey. However, taking part in this study is completely voluntary. You are free to not answer any questions and/or withdraw at any time.  If you choose to participate in the survey, it will take about 10 minutes to complete, and all information collected is anonymous.

The survey can be taken at  Thank you for your input!


Check out the new 2017 Research Reports (click on link).

No-till farming.  Check out the recordings to our No-Till Tuesdays webinar series:

You will hear from our own Heather Darby and Jeff Sanders on no-till tips and equipment considerations; PennState experts Doug Beegle and John Tooker who addressed manure and pest management in reduced tillage systems; and John Jemison and Rick Kersbergen from the University of Maine who discussed managing soils in no-till.


Northeast Dry Bean Production Guide Now Available

Thanks to a grant from Northeast SARE, we have developed a guide on growing, harvesting, and storing dry beans for Northeast growing conditions.

See the guide at:


Malting Barley Analysis Now Available!

Our Cereal Grain Testing Lab has now added malting barley analysis to our list of services, in addition to Cereal Grain Testing and Hop Analysis! For malting barley, we can test for test weight, grain moisture, dry matter protein, falling number, germination, plumpness and DON. Click here for the Malting Barley Submission Form and please follow instructions for submitting your samples with payment.


Research Reports

Check out our Research page for all of our research reports from the 2015 growing season and beyond. We’ve published more than 40 research reports for the 2015 season alone!!




goCrop™ is available through goCrop™ is a nutrient management tool that helps you develop, implement, maintain and report on nutrient management planning on your farm. Please visit our goCrop™ program website for updated and contact information.


Learn More about Our Projects

foragesFORAGES Forages are a staple of all livestock operations in Vermont. There are a wide variety of types that can be grown for feed in our area.  These include perennial grasses and legumes, as well as annual forage crops such as cereal grains, corn and other warm season grasses.  The type of forages farmers selects for their operations will be dependent upon the needs of their animals.  Our forage research and outreach program is focused on developing applied research and educational materials that assist producers with improving yields and growing high quality feed to improve herd health, soil quality and farm viability. Learn More… dotted-line-large grainsGRAINS Vermont farmers have been growing grains for animal feed on dairy farms for years. Our goal has been to give them the information they need to be able to grow higher yielding and quality grains. It is our hope that the information generated will result in the production of more nutritious feed for livestock and/or the ability for farmers to produce grains for human consumption. Learn More… dotted-line-large sunflowersOILSEEDS Oilseeds, such as sunflower and canola, are swiftly becoming a new diversifying crop for farming operations in Vermont.  Oil extracted from the oilseeds is being used for on-farm fuel production, and the leftover meal is pelleted and used as a high protein livestock feed.  Farmers are getting two bangs for their buck!  Alternatively, increasing numbers of farmers are growing the oil and selling a high value food grade culinary oil.  The goal of our program is to develop best practices for oilseed production in a temperate climate. Learn More... dotted-line-large hopsHOPS Hop production was common throughout the Northeast in the 1800s. However, today most hop production occurs in the Pacific Northwest. Renewed interest and demand for local hops is breathing new life into an otherwise “historical” crop. To increase hop production in Vermont and the region, our program is developing an outreach and applied research program for hops. Public interest in sourcing local foods also extends into beverages, and organic brewing is on the rise in conjunction with the expanding organic market. Learn More… dotted-line-large soils-nutrient-managementSOIL HEALTH AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT Soils are the foundation of all farming operations and are therefore critical to long term sustainability.  Healthy soils produce healthy crops and livestock, and are good for the environment.  Our program works to develop farmer-friendly soil management tools.  In addition, our applied research works to develop practical strategies like reduced tillage, cover cropping and alternative manure incorporation that farmers can implement to benefit the environment and farm economics.  Our farmer nutrient management training curriculum is a one-of-a-kind, science-based, practical program developed specifically so farmers can create and implement their own nutrient management plan. Learn More… dotted-line-large cover-croppingORGANIC FARMING Organic farming is a prevalent sector in New England. Organic farming systems require special management considerations to produce high yields and quality. Our program works with organic producers to develop outreach materials and programs as well as on-farm research. Our organic research has focused on annual crop production, both variety selection and agronomic practice evaluations, such as specialized tillage and roller crimping. Learn More… dotted-line-large

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