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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Research Project #438430

Research Project: Agroecosystem Sustainability in Upper Mississippi River Basin: Crop, Soil, and Water Resources

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Project Number: 5030-13000-012-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

1. Design and implement an edge-of-field monitoring system to measure water, sediment, and dissolved nutrients from a conventional and alternative pasture systems. 2. Implement programs for meteorological, soil, and water monitoring to complement Objective 1 to quantify carbon, nutrients, and sediment entering and leaving the systems in Objective 1. 3. Conduct stream monitoring to compare conventional water sampling and analysis with in-situ technology. 4. Create a database that covers Long-term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) background data at cooperator's farm.

The Long-term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR) is a national network that aims to develop sustainable, resilient, and profitable farming systems. The Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB) node in the LTAR includes ARS and the cooperator. For Objective 1, we will use an experimental design that is consistent with similar experimental comparisons of conventional and alternative systems in the UMRB. Hydrologic and water quality measurements include discharge, nitrate and ammonia, total phosphorus, and sediment in runoff waters. Meteorological measurements include rainfall, wind speed and direction, air temperature, solar radiation, and relative humidity. Soil measurements include texture, bulk density, total organic carbon and nitrogen, extractable phosphorus, and mineral nitrogen. Plant measurements (biomass, grain) will be made to determine nutrient fluxes in and out of the two production systems. Data collection and archiving procedures will be jointly developed and consistent with LTAR requirements.