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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OBJECT MODELING AND SCALING OF LANDSCAPE PROCESSES AND CONSERVATION EFFECTS IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

Location: Agricultural Systems Research Unit

Title: The AgES-NLEAP tool for precision nitrogen conservation management

Authors
item Ascough, James
item Delgado, Jorge

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 2011
Publication Date: July 18, 2011
Citation: Ascough II, J.C., Delgado, J.A. 2011. The AgES-NLEAP tool for precision nitrogen conservation management. Soil and Water Conservation Annual Meeting, July 17-20, 2011, Washington, D.C. p.13.

Interpretive Summary: Experimental evaluation of nitrogen (N) management practices can be expensive and time-consuming; therefore, computer simulation models are often used to predict N dynamics across fields and productivity zones within fields (often delineated using precision agriculture technologies). This paper presents the development and preliminary evaluation of the AgES-NLEAP tool for evaluating and assessing precision N conservation practices. AgES-NLEAP integrates two advanced and distinct modeling technologies: 1) the AgroEcoSystem (AgES) object-oriented modeling framework for GIS-based model integration including parameterization, execution, and geospatial output visualization; and 2) the Nitrate Leaching and Economic Analysis Package (NLEAP) model for site-specific evaluation (e.g., crop N uptake, soil N biogeochemical transformations, water budgets, and inorganic NO3-N content) of N management practices. AgES-NLEAP was used to spatially assess the efficacy of various N conservation practices on preservation of water quality for irrigated fields in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado. In addition to AgES-NLEAP statistical evaluation, various features of the AgES modeling framework for enhancing and supporting GIS-based simulation and display of N losses to the environment will be highlighted. In addition, the potential for extending AgES-NLEAP to incorporate new technologies [e.g., a spatial N index and Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT) methodology] will be critically appraised and discussed.

Technical Abstract: Experimental evaluation of nitrogen (N) management practices can be expensive and time-consuming; therefore, computer simulation models are often used to predict N dynamics across fields and productivity zones within fields (often delineated using precision agriculture technologies). Furthermore, geographic information system (GIS) technology can be used to explicitly account for N spatial variability to develop advanced conservation practices that increase N use efficiency and reduce nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) leaching. This paper presents the development and preliminary evaluation of the AgES-NLEAP tool for evaluating and assessing precision N conservation practices. AgES-NLEAP integrates two advanced and distinct modeling technologies: 1) the AgroEcoSystem (AgES) object-oriented modeling framework for GIS-based model integration including parameterization, execution, and geospatial output visualization; and 2) the Nitrate Leaching and Economic Analysis Package (NLEAP) model for site-specific evaluation (e.g., crop N uptake, soil N biogeochemical transformations, water budgets, and inorganic NO3-N content) of N management practices. AgES-NLEAP was used to spatially assess the efficacy of various N conservation practices on preservation of water quality for irrigated fields in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado. In addition to AgES-NLEAP statistical evaluation, various features of the AgES modeling framework for enhancing and supporting GIS-based simulation and display of N losses to the environment (e.g., integrated NASA WorldWind technology and fully integrated tools for spatial statistical analysis) will be highlighted. Finally, the potential for extending AgES-NLEAP to incorporate new technologies [including a spatial N index and Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT) methodology to calculate N savings from varying agricultural practices] will be critically appraised and discussed.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014