A research student in Plant Science at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Martin Entz is focusing her research project on organic pea-intercropping. This student is reaching out to farmers that practice certified organic pea-intercropping to ask if they would be interested in taking part in an on-farm research trial and focus group.
The overall goal of the on-farm research trial is to document how crop productivity of pea-intercropping systems change as spatial variation changes. The overall goal of the focus group is to generate information regarding how farmers are implementing pea-intercropping into their production systems. Because intercropping is a relatively new method of crop production in the Canadian Prairies, the on-farm research trial and focus group will develop a baseline of information regarding pea-intercropping systems. This baseline of information will allow agriculturalists to provide extension resources to farmers and foster capacity building within the organic industry.
The on-farm research trial will be completed by visiting each farm once in June and once in August of 2020. The on-farm research trial will involve running a long measuring tape (transect line) within fields that have seeded a certified organic pea-intercrop. Crop productivity, nutrient status, and soil structure measurements will be taken at intervals along the measuring tape to assess the stability of pea-intercropping systems across variable terrain. All data from the study will be made available to the farmer whose field is sampled.
In the fall of 2020, an online focus group made-up of the farmers that take part in the on-farm research trial will be completed.