Implementing Statewide Adaptive Cover Crop Management Tools in the State of Maryland and Piloting Support for Adjacent States
Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
Project Number: 8042-13610-028-23
Start Date: Jun 01, 2011
End Date: Dec 31, 2013
1. To develop and implement tools to routinely measure winter cover crop productivity and nutrient uptake at the landscape or statewide scale, providing timely data output that can used by conservation program managers to more effectively manage winter cover crop programs for water quality protection.
2. To expand the use of adaptive management toolkits within two important physiographic regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed (Coastal Plain and Piedmont) which will include work in the Monocacy watershed (MD), Smith Creek watershed (VA) and, Conewago Creek watershed (PA), with appropriate coordination through local partners and local soil conservation districts.
3. To create a web-based framework to provide geospatial reporting of cover crop performance, along with additional useful geospatial data sets, to Chesapeake Bay partners, thereby increasing the amount of useful, accessible knowledge and supporting the promotion of sustainable agricultural management practices.
Using existing methodologies recently developed by HRSL, we will combine remote sensing estimates of vegetation biomass with farm records for fields enrolled in the MACS cover crop program, deriving estimated nitrogen sequestration totals for each field. Additional on-farm sampling will be conducted to calibrate image interpretation and to work out issues with image pixel size. This project centers on the use of satellite remote sensing data and GIS analysis to monitor cover crop performance and provide adaptive management feedback for improved conservation program implementation. It will also involve development of software to automate aggregation of privacy protected conservation implementation data so that the aggregated product can pass through privacy firewalls for use by watershed managers.