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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #436321

Research Project: Conservation Effects Assessment Project - 2019, 2020, 2021

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Project Number: 3098-13610-008-080-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 15, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

Objective:
ARS will provide modeling tools, documentation, and technical support for parameterizing and calibrating watershed output for HUC 12 watersheds; support agency landscape initiatives, and continue development of the SWAT model for improved water quality estimates. ARS will also continue development of modeling the effects of conservation practices on grazing lands, wetlands, and wildlife to more fully address the multiple resource concerns of the Agency. Additionally, ARS will develop a CEAP-informed product using real time weather forecast intended to assist landowners in field operations decision making. This includes: 1) literature review and conceptualizing models for legacy sediment and phosphorus; 2) providing national water, sediment and nutrient budgets for the APEX and SWAT models; 3) providing new tools for calibrating and providing efficient linkages between the APEX and SWAT models. This work will continue support of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), a multi-agency effort led by NRCS to provide policy and decision makers with an assessment of the environmental benefits of implementing conservation practices; 4) develop prototype of real time CEAP for manure application guidance; and 5) design and implement first year of long term study of the benefits of conservation planning combined with precision agriculture. Continue implementation and expansion of long term study of the benefits of conservation planning combined with precision agriculture.

Approach:
1. Complete modeling and documentation for HUC 12 watersheds. 2. Model Parameterization--Continue development of soil/land use overlays for upland and flood plain zones in all 12 digit watersheds. Develop or update other watershed data needed for the 12 digit simulation including weather, channel, reservoir and point sources. 3. Calibration and Validation--Update stream gage data and develop water, sediment and nutrient budgets for use as ‘soft data’ constraints in calibration. Develop ‘soft budgets’ by region and build this data into calibration tools. 4. Scenario Tools--Continue development of a library of APEX and SWAT simulations to use as export coefficients and delivery ratios. Develop an interface to display and run the export coefficient/delivery ratio simulations. 5. Model /Tool Development--Continued development and testing of gully erosion, flood plain deposition, legacy/lag load estimations, and riparian wetlands. Incorporate tools for displaying water, sediment and nutrient budgets. 6. Develop research plan and a conservation plan with local NRCS planners. Acquire access to technology necessary to implement concepts of precision agriculture that includes variable rate fertilization. Implement first year of long-term study in collaboration with Texas Agrilife. 7. Develop and submit quarterly and annual reports. AMENDMENT 01) Continue development of modeling the effects of practices on croplands, grazing lands, wetlands, and wildlife to more fully address the multiple resource concerns of the agency. Develop dynamic algorithms for harmful algal blooms; continue providing plant growth parameters for the APEX, ALMANAC and SWAT models; development of precision agriculture benefits in the context of a comprehensive conservation plan. AMENDMENT 02) No Cost Extension only. (2020) AMENDMENT 03) (2021) Continue development of modeling the off-site effects of conservation practices on working lands and wetlands to more fully address the multiple resource concerns of the agency. Strengthen on-site dedicated computing capacity to ensure national scale model runs are processed efficiently on a near-real-time basis. Continue development of datasets, methods and software to support national scale modeling efforts using SWAT+. Continue providing plant growth parameters for APEX, SWAT and ALMANAC; add economic and agronomic performance measures to metrics; evaluate within field rooting depth variability and how that may impact agronomic and environmental performance of fertilizers in a precision ag context.