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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Research Project #440338

Research Project: NRATE: Nitrogen Research for Agriculture Transformation and Enhancement

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Project Number: 3042-12630-004-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2021
End Date: May 31, 2026

To help local producers improve on-farm Nitrogen (N) use-efficiency (NUE), profitability and soil health while reducing environmental footprints, and to nationally contribute to increased social stability and health via a systems approach to transform grain crop management practices through sensor-based, data-driven solutions coupled with conservation practices and innovations in fertilization products. Specific research objectives are: 1) Develop and incorporate data-driven solutions and technologies to provide incremental, cost-effective solutions for responsive, in-season N applications to assess 4R (i.e., timing, rate, source and placement) impacts on NUE and corn yields and perennial/forage production 2) Assess pathways of N losses including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under differing combinations of conventional and proposed innovative nutrient management practices, EEFs, and conservation systems. 3) Partner with ARS local teams, and use/co-create targeted experiments and small field plots to discern impacts on soil health (including soil microbial N species impacts). 4) Conduct economic analyses to determine performance thresholds necessary for promoting adoption of the practices assessed.

Leverage existing Cooperator research infrastructure with education, extension and outreach expertise by partnering with ARS 212 project team (3042-12630-003-00D), and the Long Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) and USDA-ARS to integrate ongoing efforts with innovative, novel approaches to nutrient management. We will employ data-driven solutions to evaluate conventional versus innovative N and nutrient management practices to enhance NUE, improve corn and perennial/forage productivity, mitigate for weather extremes and climate change while at the same time reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint. Focus will be on N leaching and runoff, gas fluxes (N2O, H2O and CO2), soil health, soil microbes and other indicators under rainfed and irrigated systems. We will assess economic outcomes and factors to promote adoption of these enhanced practices.