The Consolidated Research Farms crew directly supports the research work being done on the Wooster campus farms. Listed below are some of the services and materials provided to investigators. The crew communicates directly with faculty, staff and students on the status of field operations for plots. Assignment of space is based on ensuring ongoing research is in planned locations, finding the best plot space for the research question. Revenue from the sale of crops is used to cover non-project related expenses necessary to establish, maintain and harvest the field research projects.
Services provided by the Consolidated Research Farms crew include:
- Field preparation (tillage, raised beds, application of plastic mulch); Fertilizer and soil amendment applications (compost and manure); Weed control (herbicides, cultivation, hand weeding); Planting / transplanting operations; Planting crops in non-research areas and on fields for rotational purposes.
- Pruning orchards and vineyards; Maintenance and repair of trellises; Spray applications for disease and insect control
- Maintenance and repair of agricultural machinery; Assisting with transport of machinery and/or materials to other research sites (pre-scheduling required)
- Assist with installation and operation of irrigation systems
- Provide machinery operators and laborers to plant, maintain and harvest research plots as requested; Maintain records of all operations performed by farm staff
Materials provided by the Consolidated Research Farms crew include:
- Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides used for maintenance purposes
- Compost produced at OARDC compost pad
- Animal Manure used for fertility on oganic rotation fields
- Cover crop seeds and agronomic crop seeds for rotational and/or non-project specific purposes
- Wheat straw for mulching purposes
- Fuel to operate farm machinery
- Parts and labor to repair farm machinery
- Some limited seasonal laborers to assist farm staff with operations