Living Field Lab

The Living Field Lab (LFL) Study was initiated in 1993 to extend basic findings from the LTER Main Cropping System Experiment to a more prescriptive setting that could better inform farmers and extension educators. Two integrated systems that include legume cover crops and composted dairy manure are compared to conventional and organic systems.

“Integrated” refers to targeted, banded application of herbicide, reduced tillage, and stringent accounting of N inputs using either the pre-sidedress nitrate test (PSNT) or N analysis of composted dairy manure.

Since 1993 a crop rotation of corn-corn-soybean-wheat has been compared to continuous corn where every entry point (phase) of the rotation is present every year. The LFL was decommissioned as of the 2013 field season.