1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To establish a general framework for cooperation and coordination between the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (ARS), and the Washington State University College of Agricultural, Human and Resource Sciences, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences (CSS). This Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement (NFCA) defines in general terms the basis for which the Parties will cooperate. Individual projects may be developed between the Parties which outline specific research projects. The Parties have a long history of collaborative research on crop and soil sciences, which formally began in the 1930's. This collaboration has been, and continues to be, a vital, synergistic relationship wherein ARS scientists are able to expand their crop and soil science research capacity through their relationship with CSS and its Members, and the CSS and its Members are engaged in collaborative opportunities with ARS crop and soil scientists. The Parties share an interest in the accomplishment of sound research and development in crop and soil sciences, including as key components, research in mitigation of particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from sustainable switchgrass and hybrid poplar systems for bioenergy, nitrogen cycling in different soil systems, decomposition potential of canola cultivars and their effect on soil quality, integrating canola as a biofuel crop into regional cropping systems, no-till technology to improve soil quality and reduce particulate matter emissions, tillage effects on carbon sequestration, microbial control of weeds, agro-ecological zones (AEZs), operation of the Palouse weather station, climate friendly farming and best practices for preserving agricultural soils; as well as the dedication to the advancement of cropping systems through science based research and leading educational programs. The Parties also share an interest and are dedicated to more effectively meeting the changing needs of growers and the public they serve, leading to increased efficiency of production while preserving the environment and promoting sustainability in the US and worldwide. This will be a joint effort between ARS, who is conducting research on crop and soil science related projects and CSS, who is dedicated to the advancement of crops and soils through science based research and leading educational programs.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS is actively conducting research in crop and soil sciences. CSS desires to provide direct and indirect research support to ARS. It is in the interest of both parties to continue their close working relationship so that research can be better directed toward meeting the needs of the United States and other nations, and can be more expeditiously accomplished at less cost. ARS and CSS will work together to produce the highest quality basic and applied research to meet the changing demands of growers and stakeholders by: 1. Researching ways to mitigate particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils. 2. Establishing cropping system best practice technologies established via ARS research that may be brought into widespread use by growers promptly, efficiently and at less cost. 3. Promoting research to develop better soil management, through an increased understanding of particulate emissions, no-till technology to increase organic matter and improve water retention, and improved cropping systems. 4. Increasing the understanding of microbial communities in soils and their effects on weed management. 5. Evaluating, characterizing, and utilizing AEZs (agro-ecological zones) to improve understanding of the different growing conditions in the diverse rolling hills of the Palouse.
3. Progress Report:
This agreement was established to support collaborative research opportunities between ARS and University personnel. This research relates to objectives 1 and 4 of the parent project, “Characterize key environmental and management drivers of agricultural wind-blown dust and PM10/PM2.5 emissions that will improve process-oriented models and decision aids”, and “Develop agricultural PM10/PM2.5 and GHG mitigation strategies and management decision aids for Pacific Northwest cropping systems”. Research plans were developed and experiments carried out in collaboration with University personnel for furthering technologies in controlling weeds, enhancing environmental quality, and diversifying cropping systems across the Inland Pacific Northwest. Investigations carried out included examining the efficacy of soil bacteria in controlling growth of cheatgrass and other weeds, identifying management practices to minimize loss of nitrogen associated with windblown dust and leaching/runoff, and evaluating the performance of oilseed crops in the Inland Northwest.