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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

ARS 50th Anniversary Celebration

Logo Image for "A R S : The Future Grows Here"Agricultural Research Service
50th Anniversary

Local Event

Northern Plains Area
Fort Collins, Colorado


A Brief History of
The Great Plains Systems Research Unit

Mission and Objectives

Enhance the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Systems. This is accomplished by the following four objectives:

  • Synthesis, Integration, and Quantification of Scientific Knowledge on the Whole System Level
  • Developing Computer Models of Agricultural Systems and Supporting Their Application to Field Research and Analysis of Major Issues
  • Providing Farm-Level Computerized Decision Support Technology Packages
  • National and International Collaboration to Test and improve these Products and Fill Knowledge Gaps

Unit Timeline

1987 – Great Plains Systems Research Unit formed with scientists from the Soil-Plant-Water and Forage and Range Units

1989 – National Resources Research Center is formed, Dr. Don DeCoursey becomes GPSR’s interim research leader

1991 – Dr. Laj Ahuja becomes research leader

1991 – 2004 Products released by the unit include: NLEAP, RZWQM GPFARM, WISDEM, AgSimGIS, and PAL

2004 – Work proceeds on iFARM (the successor of GPFARM) and the Object Modeling System (OMS); Unit wins the Federal Laboratory Consortium 2004 Outstanding Performance Award

National Programs Served

  • Integrated Agricultural Systems
  • Water Quality and Management
  • oil Resource Management
    · Rangeland Pasture and Forages
    · Global Change





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Last Modified: 9/8/2015
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