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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Research Project #435651

Research Project: Understanding Regional Linkages Between Production Agriculture, Air Quality, and Climate

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Project Number: 5030-11610-005-76-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Objective:
Synthesize the current state of knowledge regarding air quality impacts on production agriculture, and vice-versa, within the context of weather conditions and a changing climate. Identify specific regional and national opportunities to facilitate ARS and other USDA agencies’ and partners’ research on air quality, agricultural production, weather variability, and climate change. Translate current and emerging science outcomes regarding air quality and agriculture into management applications, such as practice standards and reference materials.

Approach:
A nationally relevant synthesis of the state of knowledge regarding air quality and production agriculture will be conducted. Two regional sets of activities - (1) Midwest-Northern Plains, with emphasis on herbicide/pesticide drifts, and (2) Southern Plains-Southwest, with an emphasis on dust - will provide “science-to-services” investigations specific to air quality concerns in these geographic areas. Observed and modeled data on low level temperatures in the Midwest will be collected in order to determine the frequency of inversion conditions, strength and temporal and seasonal changes. Data being collected from Midwest state mesonets (state weather station networks) will form the basis of the analysis. A web site will be developed for display of this information for agricultural stakeholders, specifically producers and chemical applicators to understand and use as a guide in spray drift decisions. Regional meetings of mesonet operators, weed scientists, climatologists, extension and federal scientists will be convened to educate various staff on the existing capabilities of monitoring for inversions and their impact on chemical and odor drift issues.