Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Research Project #439678

Research Project: Novel Commercial Farm-field Network to Quantify Emissions and Carbon Storage from Agricultural Bio-energy Feedstock Production - Morris

Location: Soil Management Research

Project Number: 5060-11610-004-002-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2020
End Date: Feb 29, 2024

The overarching objective of this project is to establish and monitor green house gas emissions at the farm field level.

This objective will be accomplished by quantifying environmental, production and economic impacts of commercial feedstock for bio-energy production and optimizing decisions to simultaneously meet bio-energy, environment and rural community goals. In addition, this objective will be integrated with ongoing research efforts of high resolution ground truth data monitoring and acquisition at the AmeriFlux and the Long-term agricultural research (LTAR) sites for corn/soybean production in Minnesota and Iowa that represent conventional and reduced tillage corn/soybean production practices. Ground truth data include surface energy balance components of evapotranspiration fluxes, sensible heat flux, net radiation and soil heat fluxes. Ancillary surface meteorological data include air temperature, relative humidity, radiometric surface temperature, soil temperatures, soil water content and precipitation amounts using tipping rain gauge sensors. In addition to the full surface energy balance components, additional instrumentation will include the deployment of a methane eddy covariance and nitrous oxide sensor package to monitor trace gas emissions from agricultural surface to the atmosphere. The project will utilize both eddy covariance flux towers and static chamber methods to quantify field scale emissions (eddy covariance flux towers), simultaneously quantifying emissions from fertilizer and biomass (static chambers). Project partners are combining these data with site-specific precision agricultural data (collected via telemetry connected to agricultural equipment) to understand management, soil, greenhouse gas, surface energy balance exchange, water use, carbon dioxide exchange, water quality and production interactions in feedstock production for bio-fuels. The ARS Ames and Morris sites have multiple eddy covariance towers instrumented to measure carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes as well available energy (net radiation and soil heat fluxes) and a suite of ancillary meteorological measurements installed on-farms with multi-year access contracts. Contingent upon farmer consent one (or more) of these towers will be instrumented with additional sensors for monitoring nitrous oxide and methane. In collaboration with a collaborator, automated static chambers will be deployed to capture nitrogen fertilizer episodic events at the Minnesota location. The chambers will be installed using a statistically viable manner with randomization replication subsection of the field, which is proximal to the towers. Furthermore, these chambers will be located so they do not interfere with the producer’s field scale operations. Electric lines will be installed as needed to support the continuous operation of the chambers. The chambers will be closely monitoring during the deployment. The eddy covariance data will be shared with ARS scientists at Ames, Iowa for processing and with the parent LTAR.