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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: The global land-potential knowledge system (LandPKS): Supporting evidence-based, site-specific land use and management through cloud computing, mobile applications and crowdsourcing

Authors
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Urama, Kevin -
item Karl, Jason
item Boos, John -
item Johnson, Mari-Vaughn -
item Shepherd, Keith -
item Hempel, Jon -
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Davies, Jonathan -
item Guerra, Jorge -

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 12, 2012
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57164
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Urama, K.C., Karl, J.W., Boos, J., Johnson, M., Shepherd, K.D., Hempel, J., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Davies, J., Guerra, J.L. 2013. The global land-potential knowledge system (LandPKS): Supporting evidence-based, site-specific land use and management through cloud computing, mobile applications and crowdsourcing. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 68(1):5A-12A.

Interpretive Summary: The rapid expansion of internet accessibility through mobile phone networks together with simple mobile applications and expert knowledge systems provide new opportunities to connect farmers, extension and development workers, and policymakers with site-specific knowledge and information. The amount of electronically available knowledge and information about land potential, including resilience, is also rapidly increasing through the efforts of a number of organizations throughout the world.This paper describes how a new cloud-based Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS; www.landpotential.org) will allow land potential to be defined explicitly and dynamically for unique and constantly changing soil and climate conditions and to be updated based on new evidence about the success or failure of new management systems on different soils. The proposed Land-Potential Knowledge System will leverage emerging trends to connect land managers committed to sustainable land management with the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge and information available.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural production must increase significantly to meet the needs of a growing global population with increasing per capita consumption of food, fiber, building materials, and fuel. Consumption already exceeds net primary production in many parts of the world. In addition to reducing consumption, there are two options to meet these needs: production intensification and land conversion. The largest gains achievable through agricultural intensification will likely occur on lands with the largest unrealized production potential, or yield gap. These lands have high potential production and low current production. Similarly, the highest returns on investments to be gained by land conversion should occur on lands with the highest potential production, assuming similar infrastructure, per acre conversion costs, and other market conditions. This paper describes how a new cloud-based Land-Potential Knowledge System (LandPKS; www.landpotential. org) will allow land potential to be defined explicitly and dynamically for unique and constantly changing soil and climate conditions and to be updated based on new evidence about the success or failure of new management systems on different soils. The knowledge engine, together with simple applications for mobile phones, will also facilitate more rapid and complete integration and dissemination of local and scientific knowledge about sustainable land management.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014