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.
This was the second complete year of the five year project. The joint field plots of the project have been established at the Rosemount Experimental Station, along with 3 other sites (IL, MI, and PA). Soil incubations examining the temperature and moisture sensitivity of corn stover degradation have been initiated. A poster on the overview of the project was presented at the 2012 ASA/SSSA/CSSA annual conferences in Cincinnati, OH. ARS PI monitoring activities to evaluate research progress included: phone calls/conference calls, email communications.