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KBS Land Use and Agriculture PDF Print E-mail

The predominant land use in the four townships around KBS is row-crop agriculture, particularly corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Dairy cattle operations utilize much of this landbase to provide feed to spread manure generated by the operations. Nearly all of the upland area was cultivated in the first half of the 20th century, but approximately half of this area remains in use for agriculture. Most of the remainder of upland is in various stages of succession, as either "old fields" or forest, but also with some residential development. In fact, one local watershed has experienced a 70% reduction in land use for agriculture over the past 50 years. plants

The Kellogg Farm oversees agricultural operations at the Kellogg Biological Station, which includes fields and facilities used for research on agricultural production of row-crops and livestock. Sustainability is the overarching theme of agricultural research at KBS, including impacts of agricultural systems on economics and the environment.

The Pasture Dairy Center integrates automatic milking technology with rotational grazing to provide research opportunities related to agronomy, economics, animal behavior and ecology.   

The KBS Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) Program studies the ecology of intensive agricultural ecosystems, including annual crops such as corn, soybean, and wheat, perennial crops such as alfalfa, and biofuel crops such as switchgrass and poplars. We also study the natural, unmanaged ecosystems that occur in agricultural landscapes.

As part of our long-term research efforts we have partnered with the University of Wisconsin to investigate the sustainability of biofuels through the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). At KBS our focus within the GLBRC is the economic and ecological sustainability of biofuels. We are researching the impacts of various biofuel cropping systems on ecosystem services—the benefits that humans receive from agricultural ecosystems.

Contact Kellogg Farm Manager Brook Wilke (wilkebro@msu.edu) for more information on research opportunities in agricultural ecology.