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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #430229

Research Project: Development of COMET-Farm and Greenhouse Gas Accounting for Specialty Crops

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Project Number: 2032-21220-008-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 28, 2018
End Date: Nov 30, 2021

This scope of work represents the third year of this ongoing project. The first objective is to partner with University of California at Davis, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Colorado State University (CSU), and the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to summarize previous and ongoing specialty crop research datasets on plant growth, yield, soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. This work will support completion of a scientific review of these processes in Almonds, Strawberries, Walnuts, Pistachios, Processing tomatoes, Grapes, Lettuce, Cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, related crops), Citrus, Cotton, Alfalfa, and Corn. The second objective is to focus on publishing the development and verification of the DayCent model for these specialty crops, which was executed in the recent expansion of COMET-Farm for specialty crops. When necessary, these publications on the development of DayCent for specialty crops will include documentation on the changes in parameters that may include 1) soil characteristics, 2) crop characteristics and factors that control root or shoot death, 3) tillage intensity as it relates to soil C storage, and 4) soil water availability and other factors that highly influence nitrous oxide production. This work will inform efforts among other entities to identify soil conservation practices that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil health and carbon storage within California’s working lands, including agriculture. In summary, key products that are anticipated from this work include a review of this scientific literature that was used to expand DayCent for specialty crops and two to three peer-reviewed publications documenting the parameterization, calibration and validation process for specialty crops. These products from this proposed scope of work build upon the outputs from the first two year’s of work on this project.

This effort is intended to leverage all existing and ongoing research efforts to complete scoping work of available data published in the scientific literature, parameterize the DayCent model for the crops listed above, and perform model verification. No new field-based research is required in this project. Availability of work completed by CSU colleagues on DayCent will drive the content in the publications on DayCent performance in specialty crops. The trace gas emissions datasets and other related data for these specialty crops will drive CSU's ability to implement in COMET-Farm the soil nitrous oxide method from the USDA Methods document. Other means of gathering information could include interviews producers, extension specialists, university and ARS researchers, and NRCS conservationists. Compiled content on Specialty Crops gathered for the COMET-Farm tool will be used in a written synthesis of existing research, knowledge gaps, and voluntary conservation-based GHG mitigation and carbon sequestration opportunities for these cropping systems. This analysis will be published as a USDA-ARS white paper and published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.