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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Research Project #441780

Research Project: EXCHANGE: Expanding the Conversion of Habitat in the Northern Great Plains Ecosystem

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Project Number: 3042-21600-001-006-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2022
End Date: Mar 31, 2027

The specific goals of this project are: 1. Determine the production potential for perennial grasses within a biodiverse landscape. 2. Determine which crops and biofuel species are optimum for specific niches on marginal lands. 3. Determine the soil health and greenhouse gas mitigation potential of using perennial grasses, including changes to soil carbon and soil greenhouse gas emissions. 4. Determine the major incentives for adopting these rotations, as well as potential obstacles.

This project will quantify the ecosystem services generated by the targeted deployment of native switchgrass and other perennial grasses in irrigated annual crop landscapes in central and western Nebraska as a representative area for the larger Northern Great Plains region. In addition to annual crop production, this area in Nebraska also supports a strong livestock industry, where forage production is another key market. Specifically, ARS scientists will use a transdisciplinary research approach including the design of biodiverse farming systems that integrate annual crops and perennial grasses for biofuels or livestock which make highly efficient use of available resources on marginal lands. The ARS will evaluate soil organic carbon response, greenhouse gas emissions, and perform a life-cycle analysis of a biodiverse farming system.