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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Research Project #427279

Research Project: Managing Water for Increased Resiliency of Drained Agricultural Landscapes-CFDA No. 10.310

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Project Number: 5030-13000-011-41-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 1, 2015
End Date: Feb 28, 2020

Our overall goal is to develop, assess, and deliver water management systems for increasing the resilience of drained agricultural landscapes to climate change and climate variability. These engineered systems will store water during wet periods and make it available to increase crop yield during dry periods, and moreover, provide water quality benefits. Specific Objectives: 1. Investigate the effects of drainage systems management and drainage water recycling on the water balance and water quality at the field level. 2. Determine the effects of the proposed drainage water management systems on crop growth and yield across climatic regimes of the northern Corn-belt, to assess the potential for increasing the resiliency of agriculture on drained land in this region. 3. Develop and implement methods to manipulate these practices at the landscape scale to optimize benefits. 4. Effectively disseminate findings of the project to agricultural producers, policy makers, stakeholders, and the general public.

We will monitor field sites in each of seven participating states, using equivalent measurements to assess impacts across a wide climate range. Each site will include at least one of the key practices of drainage water management, saturated buffers, or water recycling. Data from each site will be stored in a regional database, with protocols developed to ensure comparable data and publication of single-site results by individual researchers, and multiple-site findings that integrate findings across climate regions. We will leverage field sites from previous projects and also the database from the Corn Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project in which several investigators participate, to significantly reduce start-up costs of this project. Simulation modeling and analysis techniques will be applied to our field monitoring data to address objectives 1 through 3. Results will be disseminated to agency and producer stakeholders throughout the project through a variety of outlets including a project website, Extension publications, workshops, meetings with agency staff, and field days. The entire project team will meet regularly by web meetings and in person at least once per year to discuss analysis methods.