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Southern Agricultural Research Center
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Contact Us
Southern Agricultural
Research Center

748 Railroad Highway
Huntley, MT 59037

Tel: (406) 348-3400
Fax: (406) 348-3410

Cropping Systems Specialist:
Kent A. McVay
Cropping Systems

Camelina Field A cropping system is a producer’s map of their approach to production. It can be as complex or as simple as he or she would like to make it. A conventional tillage wheat-fallow system represents the simplest system, whereas a more complex system of no-till winter wheat followed by spring peas, followed by camelina represents the other extreme.

Economics dictates what is sustainable in the short term. But short term production must always be balanced by what is sustainable over the long term. We know that production practices that only mine the soil for nutrients, and that disregard soil erosion eventually deplete the soil of the potential to be productive. The lack of diversity in a cropping system is an opportunity for weeds, diseases, and insects to find their niche. Cropping systems that mimic the native environment stand a better chance of long-term sustainability. Modern agricultural methods dictate that crops be grown in monocultures for ease of planting, managing, and harvesting. But a measure of diversity can be achieved through crop rotations and direct seeding.

Crop Decision Tools

Over the past year I've developed some online tools to help producers make informed choices. The navigation pane on the left provides links to these various tools. With your inputs, these tools will provide custom results for your operation. From variety selection to herbicide choice or scheduling water use for irrigation, these tools will help you make educated decisions for your farming operations here in Montana.

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