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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Precision Zonal Management Systems for Resilient Cereal Yields under Variable Climates

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Our objective in this project is to advance understanding of physical processes and plant-soil microbial interactions that are the basis of functional differences between active-turnover and soil-building zones biology, and to examine the implications of these processes for resilience and adaptation to variable climates in cereal production systems.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We hypothesize that, relative to uniform management systems, precision zonal management systems change both physical and microbiological processes so as to substantially increase N- and water-use efficiency, improve soil C storage, and maintain high yield potential under more variable climate conditions. Our long-term goal is to understand the functional agroecology of precision zonal management systems that build upon current precision farming approaches (e.g. GPS guidance, variable rate fertilizer/agrochemical applications) to create highly resilient and sustainable field crop production systems.


3.Progress Report:

This was the first complete year of the proposed five year project. The joint field plots of the project have been established at the Rosemount Experimental Station. The baseline soil sampling at all four sites (MI, PA, MN, and IL) has been completed and sample analysis was coordinated through the ARS lab. Soil incubations examining the temperature and moisture sensitivity of corn stover degradation have been established for the initial soil samplings as well as established on-farm research sites. A poster on the overview of the project will be presented at the 2012 ASA/SSSA/CSSA annual conferences in Cincinnati, OH. This project relates to sub-objective 2d of the parent water research project: Determine factors that control the fate and transport of agrochemicals and contaminants of emerging concern.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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