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.


NEW - Interested in learning about Pasture Irrigation?

Read about our Pasture Irrigation Project where the goal was to develop, field test, evaluate, and monitor the effectiveness of pasture irrigation to help meet the needs of the livestock community during drought. You will read information about a pod-line irrigation system that was used on our dairy pastures project, including system layout, investments, and economics.


2015 Conferences

2015 Third Annual Grain Tour at Borderview Farm in Alburgh, VT on Saturday, June 27, 2015, 1pm to 4pm. FREE event with snacks provided. RSVP by calling Susan or Heather at 802-524-6501.

Save the Date for our 2015 Annual UVM Extension Northwest Crops & Soils Field Day!
When: Thursday, July 23, 2015  Where: Borderview Research Farm in Alburgh, VT
Highlights include Innovative ways to Seed Cover Crops and Equipment, Drone Technology to Monitor Crops, Heirloom Dry Beans Trials, Hop Fertility and Downy Mildew, and much, much more!

Together, NWCS and NOFA-VT invite you to participate in our 2015 Summer Organic Dairy Series – Strategies for Success events. Locations are throughout Vermont and all events are 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $20 per person (per event) and includes lunch. Register online through NOFA-VT at


Nutrient Management Planning Information

View our NMP Course Information flyer to find out about our NMP course and when it will be offered again.

This article was recently published in the Journal of Extension (April 2015) “Effectiveness of Nutrient Management Plans on Vermont Dairy Farms.” Check it out for more information on Nutrient Management Plans.


2014 Research Reports

We have been completing and posting research reports from our 2014 Research Trials. You can view them and check for updated reports on our Research page.


Cover Crops

We invite you to receive regular Soil Health Updates (cover crops, no-till, soil building, improving crops, etc.) by signing up for our Out Croppings blogs.  Click on Out Croppings in the left column of links on this page and choose to Sign-Up to Get These Updates on the blog page.

Integrating cover crops into field crop production has gained interest in recent years as we discover the multitude of benefits that cover crops can provide. Such as reducing nutrient and soil loss, increasing soil organic matter, suppressing weeds, and even serving as extra sources of livestock forage. Following are some Fact Sheets on Cover Crops that we thought you might find helpful:
Tips for Interseeding Cover Crops
Interseeding Cover Crops – Innovative Technologies
Cover Cropping Costs and Benefits
Under Cover – Integrating Cover Crops into Silage Corn Systems (publication by NWCS)

To learn more about the benefits of cover cropping in Vermont, please view these Across the Fence videos.
The Benefits of Cover Cropping in Vermont showing a field day at The Pouliot’s Farm in Westford, VT on October 31, 2014.
Improving Water Quality through No-Till and Cover Crop Practices with Jeff Sanders and Kirsten Workman on March 13, 2015.



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.


Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Outreach Flyer

Click on link above to view the informational flyer (pdf).

UVM Grains Testing Lab – UPDATE

The UVM Cereal Grain and Hops Quality Analysis Testing Laboratory is closing for commercial hop and grain analysis on March 18, 2015 and will reopen in July 2015. Visit the lab website for general lab information. When samples are submitted, please be sure to send along payment and completed sample submission forms. Cereal grain samples should use this Submission Form. Hop samples should use this Submission Form.


2014 Program Highlights

We are proud to share with you our very first Program Highlights! The highlights are a reflection of our work since the UVM Extension Northwest Crops and Soils program started in 2010 but with a particular focus on 2014. We are very thankful for the farmers, researchers, and others with whom we’ve partnered with to date — our program would not be as meaningful or as fun without you!

Click on the image or go to:

[Also posted on our website at:]

Looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, we are excited about maintaining our current programs as well as starting new projects to respond to the feedback we’ve received from farmers and partners alike. To that end, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help support our programming. Thanks!!


Learn More about Our Projects

dotted-line-large 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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