Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation in Corn-Based Cropping Systems
Soil Drainage Research
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Quantify water and nitrate fluxes out the bottom of the rootzone into tile drains. This contributes to monitoring of water and N flux and storage, for “footprints”.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Our comparison is Drainage Water Management (DWM) vs. conventional “free” drainage. We will be using a farmer cooperator site we have already established, building on regional work started in the recent Conservation Innovation Grant that just ended.
Treatments: DWM vs. free drainage. Rotation: corn-soybean, only one phase each year. Tillage system: all sites are some form of conventional till, appropriate for that area. Treatment areas are large production fields or portions of fields. DWM reduces drainflow and nitrate loads from tile drained fields. It may also in some years, increase crop yield.
This research was initiated in March 2011 following notification by National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of their decision to provide funding. Soil samples have been taken to describe the physical and chemical properties of the site. Instruments have been installed to continuously record soil moisture status at 5 depths within the soil profile. Drainage water management was initiated on half the field on June 30th. Data collection is ongoing. The Authorized Departmental Officer's Designated Representative (ADODR) visits with the project manager at Iowa State University during monthly conference calls and completes quarterly progress reports. The ADODR visits with the farmer cooperator on a regular basis as a means of relaying information and obtaining management input data. Additionally, the ADODR prepares annuals reports and makes presentations to various stakeholders summarizing the research findings.