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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Research Project #427876

Research Project: Advancing Sustainable and Resilient Cropping Systems for the Short Growing Seasons and Cold, Wet Soils of the Upper Midwest

Location: Soil Management Research

Project Number: 5060-11610-002-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 4, 2015
End Date: Nov 2, 2016

1. Determine crop residue needs to protect soil resources and identify management strategies that enable sustainable production of food, feed, and biofuel. 2. Develop options for managing crop systems to reduce GHG emissions and increase C storage. 3. Evaluate impacts of environmental changes (water, CO2, temperature) on traditional, biofuel and alternative crops to develop a model-based risk assessment of crop production under the most likely medium-term (10-30 yr) climate change scenario for the upper Midwest. 4. Evaluate availability of N in organic production systems across different crops and soils and as compared to relevant conventional practices.

The project will generate information for balancing crop production goals with harvest of biomass for biofuel; develop management options to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase C storage in soil; evaluate an approach to remediate eroded soils; and provide information on crop response to climate change. Plot and on-farm approaches will be used to assess changes in soil carbon, greenhouse gas emission, soil quality indicators and production as a consequence of crop biomass harvest. This information will be identified locally and contribute to the national GRACEnet database on greenhouse gas emission and carbon storage. It will also contribute to national recommendations and guidelines through the REAP project. A farm-scale evaluation of field-scale soil movement (conducted to decrease soil spatial variability) will be used to develop improved management practices that restore productivity to eroded soils. This information will improve predictions of water and agrochemical transport in eroded soils, the response of soil biological communities to soil disturbance, and the short-term impact of soil erosion on soil C dynamics and soil productivity. This project will identify physiological and biochemical markers to develop or select cultivars adapted to climate change to develop environmentally- and economically-sustainable and diversified cropping systems that reduce risk and increase the probability of profitable crop production.