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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #425378

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Project Number: 3064-21660-003-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 1, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2018

Objective 1: Develop strategies to increase production and selected non-provisioning ecosystem services while increasing socio-economic performance of grazing, crop, and integrated crop/livestock systems. Objective 2: Develop options for integrated agricultural systems that reduce production risks, and enhance economic viability and ecosystem services under extreme weather conditions. Objective 3: Assess the effects of management strategies aimed at enhancing ecosystem services on the nutrient content of crop and livestock products. Objective 4: Operate and maintain the Northern Great Plains LTAR network site using technologies and practices agreed upon by the LTAR leadership. Contribute to the LTAR working groups and common experiments as resources allow. Submit relevant data with appropriate metadata to the LTAR Information Ecosystem.

The concept of sustainable intensification or increasing food production on the same area while minimizing environmental impacts and increasing the flow of ecosystem services has been advocated as a means to address the challenge of greater agricultural production demands. This project will fill significant information gaps related to genotype by environment by management (GxExM) interactions in sustainably intensifying agricultural production systems on the northern Great Plains. We will: 1) evaluate different methods to intensify current agricultural systems common in the northern Great Plains; 2) quantify ecosystem services of dryland agriculture production systems and associated tradeoffs among production, economic and environmental outcomes; and 3) develop guidelines for implementing management practices which enhance soil function and increase agroecosystem resilience. Successful conclusion of this project will provide producers, policy makers and government agencies with potential methods to sustainably intensify dryland agricultural production systems in the northern Great Plains. The research will contribute expanded research databases for model validation and prediction of greenhouse gas flux and soil carbon stock change. The research will also contribute to key ARS collaborations including the LTAR network, GRACEnet, REAP, and MAGGnet.