1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop a decision support tool to incorporate environmental and conservation effects into forage species placement in the landscape.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The choice of where to use annual vs. perennial species in the landscape, and which species to use, depends on species characteristics, soil and climatic conditions, and production and conservation goals. Tools currently exist to inform placement of species based on the effects of species and site characteristics on forage production. However, expansion of these tools is needed to incorporate conservation goals into species placement recommendations. Under this objective, existing multi-species models will be identified and reviewed to determine their suitability for use in conservation planning for northeastern USA pastures. Existing forage production and conservation effects data sets will be collected and used to identify gaps in the existing tools, and research strategies for filling those gaps will be identified. This research will lay a sound foundation for development of a robust and defensible decision support tool that incorporates conservation goals into species placement.
3. Progress Report:
A preliminary report comparing the efficacy of three models, ALMANAC, PHYGROW, and APSIM, was prepared and presented to NRCS as part of Grazingland CEAP. The post-doctoral researcher engaged on this project left the position before preparing a scientific publication on the project. The remaining funds will be used for field data collection in support of modeling efforts in Spring Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania.