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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The purpose of this agreement is for ARS to support the implementation, enhancement, and debugging of the Wind Erosion Prediction System as NRCS implements WEPS in their field offices.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS Tasks to be completed: 1. ARS “Support Related” Tasks to be performed on a continual basis during the term of this agreement: 1.1. Provide technical support to NRCS throughout the term of this Agreement, including addressing auto-generated bugs from the field or other problems with the WEPS model. 1.2 Keep the NRCS Responsible Person (currently Rick Fasching) informed of all changes to WEPS as well as progress and resolution on submitted issues. 1.3 Train the key NRCS personnel responsible for WEPS database development and maintenance. 1.4 Support NRCS in maintaining the content of WEPS databases, which include the Crop, Operation, Management and Barrier databases as well as the CLIGEN and WINDGEN records and supporting GIS files. ARS “Feature Request” Tasks to be completed: 2. Complete programming to operate WEPS in a “Confidence Interval” (CI) mode. 3. Continue multi-year field and laboratory research required for development of a method to model organic soils in WEPS. 4. Incorporate a "tapered stem" approach into WEPS to better simulate the distribution of stem mass by height for most crops. (May not be addressed pending a reevaluation of our Project Plan milestones) 5. Revise the WEPS management files to conform to an XML-based format and providing the ability to read that file format natively within the WEPS science code. (May not be addressed pending a reevaluation of our Project Plan milestones. This is concurrent with Task 4 above) 6. Discuss possible approaches to handle multi-harvested crops for “calibration” with NRCS.

3. Progress Report:
The intent of this agreement is to provide NRCS science related support of WEPS and address WEPS related maintenance and bug fix requests as reported to ARS. ARS has provided such programming and scientific support as outlined in the Agreement with the identified NRCS wind erosion liaison. This included training of pertinent NRCS personnel on WEPS database related issues. In addition, a Confidence Interval report has been coded and included in the public release of WEPS. It is planned to be fully enabled for access by NRCS field office users with the next NRCS WEPS release. Basic field and laboratory research with organic soils is continuing as outlined above. A manuscript has been drafted that covers the issues related to “calibration” of multi-harvested crops in WEPS and the benefits and weaknesses perceived for several approaches has been listed. A suggested recommendation to NRCS on the best approach to take is identified with a corresponding list of reasons why. The “tapered stem” approach and the “XML file” tasks have been removed from the list of issues to be addressed by ARS during the term of this agreement. It was determined that additional identified issues with the WEPS interface were more important to address. They included completion of a new NRCS WEPS release, addressing all known Java 7 issues with WEPS, adding “cumulative days for each Crop Interval” reported, provide some crop water balance into the current Crop Report, enable Confidence Interval report access for NRCS users, as well as additional minor interface improvements and documentation updates.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/27/2017
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