MSc Defence - Cameron Mark Ogilvie


Interested Members of the University Community are invited to attend the Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Master of Science of Cameron Mark Ogilvie of the Department of Plant Agriculture

Date: Monday, March 11, 2019
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Room 202, Crop Science Building

Thesis Title: Impacts of cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) in service crop monocultures and polycultures on water supply to corn

Advisory Committee
Dr. Ralph Martin
Dr. Bill Deen
Dr. Laura Can Eerd
Dr. Asim Biswas

Examination Committee
Dr. Barry Micallef (Chair)
Dr. Ralph Martin
Dr. Bill Deen
Dr. Dave Hooker


As climate change increases the likelihood of seasonal water deficits, farmers need viable management tools to increase agroecosystem resilience. An on-farm experiment was established to research the impacts of two service crops planted after winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on water supply to corn (Zea mays L.). Volumetric water content was monitored during the corn growing season under drought, ambient, and irrigated conditions, and corn population and yield were measured. Service crop treatments did not evidence improved crop water supply relative to the control. Corn population and yield were significantly reduced following the cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) monoculture, but when rye was grown in a polyculture, in similar biomass proportions to the other species, there were no negative effects on corn. Thus, some of the known risks associated with cereal rye service crops before corn can be overcome by growing cereal rye in polyculture.