This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2018-38640-28416 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number LNC18-402. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


About the Rye Decision Support Tool

Predicting farm operations is always challenging. Managing a rye cover crop for a no-till soybean system is no different. Finding the right moment to terminate your rye cover crop depends on the rye’s growth stage. Biomass also plays a big role in rye’s ability to effectively suppress weeds. The goal of this decision support tool is to provide farmers with additional guidance on the development stage of their rye to help making the decision of when to terminate easier. Using local weather data and a rye development prediction model created by Dr. Steven Mirsky of the USDA-ARS, the app provides information on optimal planting windows and termination dates to assist decision-making for rye cover crops.

Rye Prediction Tool Tutorial Video

About the Project Team


Dr. Marty Williams. Marty is a research ecologist for the USDA-ARS in Urbana, IL. Marty helps growers sustainably produce affordable and nutritious vegetables for consumers. He is an international leader in framing high-caliber research, explaining critical problems in weed management and crop production, and delivering solutions to the vegetable seed and processing industries in the U.S. and beyond.

Dr. Hamze Dokoohaki. Hamze is an assistant professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Dokoohaki focuses on developing novel data-driven approaches at the interface of computer science, statistics, and crop science with the goal of improving and protecting our food production systems.

Dr. Teerath Rai. Teerath is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on bridging the gap between field experiments and crop modeling.

Dr. Erin Silva. Erin is an Assistant Professor with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Plant Pathology. Her program focuses broadly on organic agricultural production, including vegetables, row crops and pastures. Erin is a member of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council and is involved with organic agriculture at both the local and national levels.

Léa Vereecke. Léa is a field and lab technician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She manages trials at Arlington Research Station in WI and conducts research on organic no-till and cover cropping systems.

Michael O’Donnell. Michael works for Purdue University Extension in Muncie, IN as an Organic and Diversified Agriculture Educator. Michael works with farmers of all scales and enterprises looking to shift acres into certified organic production. He works closely with Indiana grain farmers transitioning acreage into organic grain production, and offers educational programs on organic field crop/grain production for farmers and other agricultural professionals. He is also passionate about the application of regenerative agriculture principles in all types of farming systems.

Benjamin Eaton. Ben works as a resource specialist for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture in Crown Point.

Will Glazik. Will Glazik is an organic farmer at Cow Creek Farms in Paxton, IL and co-founder of the IDEA Farm Network, which promotes regenerative agricultural practices throughout the Midwest.

Dr. Charles Linville. Charlie is the President of Ploughman Analytics, based in Champaign, IL. During his 20 years of work in the computer industry, he saw a growing need for more advanced methods of retrieving and analyzing business data. He founded Ploughman Analytics to offer intelligence tools and services that will help clients make better business decisions.

Dr. Deborah Swanson. Deb is Ploughman Analytics’s Senior Scientist. She previously held research positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Human Genome Research Institute of the NIH, and Johns Hopkins University. Deb has Bachelor degrees in Biology and Computer Science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins.

Kim Erndt-Pitcher. Kim is the Habitat and Agriculture Programs Specialist for Prairie Rivers Network in Champaign, IL. Kim’s work for Prairie Rivers Network focuses on regenerative agriculture and pollinator habitat conservation. She lives in Southern Illinois on a small farm with her husband Len and their two sons.

Nicole Lee. Niki is a PhD student in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her work with the Rye Decision Support Tool project Niki conducts research on extension worker education in Sub-Saharan Africa.