Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research
Project Number: 3012-12210-001-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2019
End Date: May 31, 2022
First objective is to assist ARS in producing future U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventories and assess the impacts of different crop management practices ranging from field to national scales. Second objective is to provide IT support for the USDA Agricultural Collaborative Research Outcomes System (AgCROS) data management system. These efforts will facilitate collaborative efforts between ARS and the Cooperator to continue simulation model development, testing, and refinement of databases used for model i evaluation and to better predict the impacts of changing climate and management on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, crop yields and soil carbon content.
Major products so far include the third edition of the USDA GHG inventory published in 2011, the fourth edition published in 2016, the web accessible GRACEnet/REAP database released in 2013, and the initial release of the Agricultural Collaborative Research Outcomes System (AgCROS) data discovery, retrieval and management system in 2019. Major improvements in the fourth edition of the GHG inventory include using annual survey data from the USDA National Resources Inventory (NRI) for most cropped and grazed systems, reconciling nitrogen additions to soils from grazing animals to be consistent with N excretion data, improving estimates of nitrous oxide fluxes, nitrogen gas volatilization, nitrate leaching, improved estimates of methane emissions from flooded rice soils, and more rigorous uncertainty calculations. The GRACEnet/REAP database was essential for improving and evaluating the DayCent model which is used to calculate soil GHG fluxes. In addition to model input and soil GHG data, the AgCROS system provides more complete nitrogen loss data which is essential for more rigorous model testing and better quantification of indirect nitrous oxide emissions. In addition to producing and improving future editions of the USDA GHG Inventory and enhancing the AgCROS database, general goals for the next 5 years include evaluating additional cropping systems (e.g., cover crops), improving software to automate model simulations and comparisons of outputs with measurements, and further investigating how changes in land use and climate impact crop yields, GHG fluxes, and other variables impacting air and water quality. Production and improvement of the U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory requires applying and improving the models used to calculate emissions and their associated uncertainty ranges. Use of more refined model input data, further comparison of model outputs with field measurements from the AgCROS and other databases, and increased computing capacity lead to more accurate national scale estimates and better characterization of the regional and temporal patterns of emissions. ARS will interact with the Cooperator to incorporate programming expertise, high capacity computing clusters, and data collection into the inventory analyses. The Cooperator will assist ARS in evaluating the impacts and feasibility of different cropping systems by implementing and testing the ability of models to represent the impacts of improved nutrient management technologies and perform regional analysis to identify local best management practices.