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New Crop Sequence Calculator

Thursday, February 1, 2001
filed under: Rotation

New Crop Sequence Calculator

Free CD-ROM from USDA-ARS Mandan

helps producers assess crop options, returns

A new interactive computer program called the “Crop Sequence Calculator” is available to help producers assess crop production options, and calculate the potential returns of ten different crops.

Expected crop prices and loan deficiency payments (LDP) can be input to provide rapid calculations of potential returns. The program contains information to assist producers in evaluating management risks associated with different crop sequences.

The program can calculate the expected yield of ten crops: Barley, dry bean, canola, crambe, flax, pea, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and wheat grown in any two-year combination.

Users are presented summary data on crop production, plant diseases, weeds, crop water use, and surface soil properties. By selecting the “More Info” buttons adjacent to each summary, graphs, photos, and additional information are easily accessed. For example, additional information for plant diseases includes an introduction to plant diseases, information on the plant disease triangle and management for plant disease risks, web sites for plant disease information, and photographs of plant diseases to aid in their identification. Information is only applicable to the northern Plains, with precipitation averaging less than 17 inches.

The free, user-friendly program runs directly from a CD-ROM, eliminating the need for additional disk space or installation procedures. The program is designed for computers running Windows (3.1/95/98/ME/NT/2000) and works best with a screen area of 800 X 600 pixels or greater.

The program was developed by the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan, ND, with support of the Area IV Soil Conservation District, The National Sunflower Association, The North Dakota Oilseed Council, and the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The program may be requested on the NGPRL web site,, or by contacting the lab: USDA-ARS, Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, PO Box 459, 1701 10th Ave, SW, Mandan, ND 58554, ph. (701) 667-3000.

Joe Krupinsky is research plant pathologist at the lab, involved with developing the Crop Sequence Calculator. Since this is the first version of the program, he encourages comments and feedback by email:

Sunflower Rotations Recommended for the High Plains

 Winter wheat-sunflower-fallow (alternate with winter wheat-proso millet or corn-fallow)

 Winter wheat-sunflower- proso millet or fallow. If soil moisture is adequate, consider proso millet. If soil is dry, consider fallow.

 Winter wheat-proso millet-sunflower-fallow

 Winter wheat-corn-sunflower-fallow

 Winter wheat-corn-sunflower-grain sorghum-fallow

—Drew Lyon, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research & Extension Center, Scottsbluff

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