2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
This research develops sustainable farming systems that will enhance (i) soil quality, (ii) soybean yield and yield stability under environmental and biotic stresses, and (iii) environmental quality and sutainability; and that will accommodate expected climate variability.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We propose to conduct studies in several locations in the U.S. to (i) develop best management practices that include no-till, cover crops, crop rotations, gypsum, and reduced levels of mineral fertilizers; (ii) characterize their effectiveness in improving soil and crop productivity, and carbon sequestration and in reducing green house gases and pollutant load to the environment; (iii) analyze the cost and benefits of the system that includes the increased yield, reduced input, and enhanced environmental quality and sustainability; and (iv) develop education and outreach program for sharing knowledge and understanding of climate change to youth and adults that results in adaptation of management technology and practices that increase soybean productivity while maintaining environmental sustainability.
Field plots were located at the Davis Purdue Agricultural Center (DPAC) near Farmland, Indiana in early 2012, and soil samples collected. Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) gypsum was applied to plots at rates of 0, 1000, and 2000 lbs/acre. Two varieties of soybeans are being studied: regular field crop and high oil content. Greenhouse gas sampling equipment was constructed, and installed on the field plots in June 2012. Gas samples are being collected every two weeks and analyzed for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide content. Plant tissue samples will be collected in August 2012, and crop yields measured and grain samples will be collected at harvest in fall 2012. Extremely hot and dry weather during the summer of 2012 has negatively impacted the growth and possibly the yield potential of all crops planted in this experiment.