Project Number: 6064-21660-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: Oct 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2023
1. Develop more sustainable long-term soil health management systems for improved yields from humid, Southeast Agroecosystems. 1.1. Increase row crop yields in the upland soils of the South and Southeast by agronomic practices that improve soil physical and biological properties including application of organic- and inorganic-amendments and planting cover crops. 1.2. Develop soil water management strategies to increase the capture and storage of rain water in soil, minimize yield-robbing drought effects, and increase dryland and irrigated crop production in the South and Southeast. 1.3. Determine the environmental impact in soil, water, and air of proposed novel agronomic approaches on antibiotic resistance, emissions, and nutrient risks. 2. Develop improved decision support tools and technologies based on GxExM to optimize water use efficiency of rainfall and irrigation water for better yields from humid, Southeast Agroecosystems. 2.1. Develop techniques that utilize and integrate high resolution row crop canopy spectral images gathered during the growing season for in-season water management in cropping systems and fields characterized by high soil variability. 2.2. Implement databases, modeling tools, and decision-making paradigms for optimizing water management and crop yield. 3: Develop, optimize, and streamline a UAS operational system for agricultural research and pilot a regional ARS resource for improved data collection from UAS. The system will include: UAV selection process; UAV sensor selection process; flight planning; holistic software system to generate mosaics; handling potential PII information; and UAS-agronomic software that produces specific agronomic data from mosaics. The goals of this holistic system include data standardization and integration, development and release of new UAS technologies and capabilities, and increased ability for our UAS research to rapidly adapt to evolving technologies and policies. (NP216 C1: P1A; C4: P4A, P4B)
Several multi-year field plots will be established. These include a) cover crops for the major row cropping systems in then the southeast, b) planting various configurations of mixed cover crop species, c) cropping systems for land leveled fields, d) stabilizing dryland soybean production using cover crops and poultry litter, e) deep rooted cover crops and soil amendments and, f) cover crops and water use efficiency. From these field experiments we will measure effects on environmental quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and economics of each of the systems; environmental quality and antimicrobial resistance in each of the systems; contribution of soil organic matter to plant available water content in each of the systems; we will optimize yield by managing field variability, we will utilize high resolution thermal imaging to optimize irrigation management and we will model soil water requirements in each of the systems.