The central focus of agronomy research at NCROC is forage systems for beef cow/calf production. The Long Term Agricultural Research Network (LTAR), along with similar projects at the Morris and Waseca ROCs, monitors the long-term effects of several crop-rotation sequences on soil physical properties and microorganism communities. Among the targeted areas of research are:
Evaluating perennial grass cultivars for their use as biomass energy crops in Minnesota: Forage yield, stand persistence and disease occurrence data are being collected on cultivars of three warm-season grass species.
Evaluating annual cover crop species in grazing systems for weaned beef steers: Steer performance while grazing annual cover crops is being compared to steer performance being fed corn stover amended with calcium hydroxide.
Forage crop variety development, forage crop cultural management and lesser known forage crop species
NCROC has 220 acres of permanent pasture and about 175 beef cow/calf pairs with which to develop research-based knowledge to benefit primarily cow/calf producers.