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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING SOIL AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINED PRODUCTIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Project Number: 5402-12130-008-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: May 06, 2006
End Date: May 05, 2011

Objective:
1. Elucidate management practices and techniques to improve soil properties whereby soil organic matter (SOM), biology and ecology, and rhizosphere processes are maintained or enhanced; movement of soil contaminants are minimized; and presence of soil borne pathogens and pests are minimized. 2. Develop sustainable irrigated crop, tillage, and nutrient management practices and tools that lead to improved water and nutrient use efficiencies (NUE) with sustainable crop yields and enhanced crop quality compared with conventional practices; and reduced NO3-N leaching potential. 3.(REVISED, 05-2007). Develop sustainable soil management strategies for crop production (including crops for conversion to biofuel) and to maintain and increase soil organic carbon sequestration (SOC), reduce fossil energy use, and reduce/mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural production systems.

Approach:
Laboratory, greenhouse, and micro/small-plot, and field studies are conducted in various locations with various cooperators. Stable C and N isotope technology is used to understand basic soil and biological processes. Agronomic and horticultural crops are used, depending on study objectives. Water management includes sprinkler and furrow irrigation. Nutrient management (especially N) techniques include models, GIS, remote sensing, yield monitoring, and quick field tests to increase nutrient use efficiency (NUE). Low/no-till are incorporated into soil and crop rotation management practices. Bioremediation studies are conducted on methods to remove excess contaminant using innocuous C sources. Evaluations are made of practices to enhance microbial mediation, protect the environment, and remediate contaminated soil and groundwater. Plant-microbe interactions will be studied in the field and laboratory using advanced technologies to reduce the effects of pests on crop yield. The applicability of models and decision tools to provide real-time, on-farm management approaches will be evaluated.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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