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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research » Research » Research Project #430537

Research Project: Production System and Climate Change Effects on Soil/Air/Water Quality for the Eastern Corn Belt

Location: National Soil Erosion Research

2016 Annual Report

Objective 1: Quantify short- and long- term impacts of drainage water management, cover crop and manure application on soil and water quality, and greenhouse gas emissions of the Eastern Corn Belt. Objective 2: Assess climate change impacts on erosion and water quality for the Eastern Corn Belt using projected climate scenarios with the WEPP and SWAT models.

1. Monitor and assess changes in soil and water quality and greenhouse gas emission under different drainage water management, cover crop and manure applications at university research farms as well as farmer fields as a part of the Long-Term Agro-ecological Research (LTAR) network for the Eastern Corn Belt. 2. Downscale global climate change scenarios for the Eastern Corn Belt and perform simulations using the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess the climate change effects on erosion and water quality at the region.

Progress Report
New field sites for cover crop and manure applications have been identified at the St. Joseph River watershed and the cooperating farmers have agreed to implement these practices when appropriate. This work is a part of the Eastern Corn Belt LTAR effort. A new control drainage site in a production farm has been identified and the layout and control structure are being designed. Downscaled climate data from global climate models are being assembled for erosion and water quality assessments under future climate scenarios.


In 2016, the research unit hosted students from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), a Hispanic serving institution, for one-week ‘Spring Immersion’ in March, two-day field trip in July and 10-week Summer Research Internship. The students were able to experience how research programs are formulated and implemented. The two summer interns have specific research projects and have submitted abstracts to the SACNAS conference to be held in October in Long Beach, CA.

Review Publications
Zhang, L., Liu, R., Gung, B.W., Tindall, S., Gonzalez, J.M., Halvorson, J.J., Hagerman, A. 2016. Polyphenol-aluminum complex formation: Implications for aluminum tolerance in plants. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64:3025-3003. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00331.