Cropping Systems – Marginal Land Experiment

GLBRC126:Cropping Systems – Marginal Land Experiment

This dataset contains data on the biofuel cropping systems of the GLBRC Marginal Land Experiment (MLE) originally established in 2013 at north, central and south sites in Wisconsin and Michigan. The experiment consists of six different biofuel cropping systems (a.k.a. treatments; including switchgrass (G5), miscanthus (G6), native grasses (G7), hybrid poplar (G8), early successional (G9), and restored prairie (G10)) plus an historical vegetation control (G11), replicated in each of 4 blocks (R1-R4) at each site. Split-plot treatments were initiated in 2014-2016 to examine the effect of nitrogen fertilization [plus_n (+N) vs control (0N)] on all cropping systems.

Seasonal deployment of rainfall exclusion (rainout) shelters in the fertilized split plot of the switchgrass (G5) treatment began in 2018 to examine the effects of drought on plant growth. See the Marginal Land Rainfall Exclusion Experiment for these data.

Note that Block 1 at the Wisconsin Central – Hancock site was retired in 2015 and the entire Wisconsin South – Oregon site was retired after 2018 growing season when the maintenance, harvest, sampling and analysis of the remaining Wisconsin sites was transferred from UW staff to MSU staff.


GLBRC094-002 Dry Matter Yield

Dry matter yields from the Marginal Land Experiment (MLE) at sites in Michigan and Wisconsin. Yield data are for machine harvests of herbaceous perennial treatments (G5-G7, G9-G10), clear-cut harvests of poplar (G8), and hand-sampled harvest estimates of the unharvested historical vegetation reference (G11). Data are expressed as Mg dry matter per hectare.

Note: G11 was hand-harvested at 3 stations per split plot from 2015-2017 and since 2018 at 2 stations per split plot. The average harvest per split plot is given here; raw data available on request.

GLBRC094-004 Agronomic Log

Record of agronomic and sampling activities carried out on the GLBRC Marginal Land Experiment (MLE) sites in Michigan and Wisconsin.

GLBRC094-006 Switchgrass Varieties Planted

Switchgrass varieties planted on the GLBRC Marginal Land Experiment by treatment. Note that in addition to the switchgrass treatment (G5), switchgrass is also included in the native grasses (G7) and restored prairie (G10) mix. Panicum virgatum var. Cave-in-Rock is a non-native variety and Panicum virgatum var. Southlow is a native variety. Switchgrass varieties planted on all GLBRC experiments can be found at:

GLBRC094-013 Switchgrass Dry Matter Yield

Dry matter yields of hand-harvested switchgrass (G5) in experimental microplots (rainout, ambient, +/- reserved) of the Marginal Land Rainfall Exclusion Experiment. Yield data are given as Mg dry matter per hectare.

GLBRC094-014 Stand Counts of Perennial Crops

Stand counts of perennial crops are occasionally conducted to monitor growth and recruitment at GLBRC Marginal Land Experiment sites.

GLBRC094-016 Archived Plant Samples

Archived plant samples from the Marginal Land Experiment. These samples are kept at MSU.

GLBRC094-017 NREL NIR analsysis
To estimate the sorghum plant digestibility of the different feedstocks gown at the MLE we meaured Glucan, Xylan, Lignin, and Ash concentrations at the NREL lab by the NIR procedure.
GLBRC126-001 Aboveground Peak Plant Biomass

Peak plant biomass is measured annually in the fall at each site in the Marginal Land Experiment and serves as an estimate of Annual Net Primary Production (ANPP).

GLBRC126-002 Plant Canopy Species and Height

Canopy species composition and height is surveyed at or near maturity of the dominant plant species using the line point intercept method

GLBRC126-003 Poplar Tree Diameters

Diameter of 10 random poplar trees in the center 2 rows of each split plot measured at 15 cm above the ground in late fall to early winter to estimate annual woody production.


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