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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #442333

Research Project: Designing and Developing the Cyberinfrastructure and Web-Based Decision Tools for Conservation Vegetation Management in Agriculture

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21660-005-057-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 30, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

The overall goal of this project is to develop web-based decision support tools on cover crop management practices used by farmers. Specifically, ARS will: 1. Conduct human-centered design on decision tool to ensure tools that are both useful and usable; 2. Homogenize and expand the currently available apps in collaboration with NRCS to build a National Conservation Vegetation Management decision tool; 3. Create a robust product that is easy to maintain and expand in the future; 4. Develop the ability to store user interactions and facilitate interactions with NRCS Personnel; 5. Construct web-applications that are both desktop and mobile compliant; and 6. Build geo-spatial module to the decision tool to enable recommendations that vary across a given field.

A team of full-stack developers, designers, and applied domain experts will collaborate on the development of web-based tools for agricultural conservation management. Several design sprints will be initiated for select tools. After several iterations, the finalized designs will be provided to programmers. The back end of all tools will be integrated to enable data sharing between apps by building an API network and shared databases. A geo-spatial module will be integrated for ingesting satellite and low-cost camera images or other spatial data layers to drive too responses. To ensure maintainability of the code base, a "continuous integration/continuous deployment" pipeline will be implemented that ensures that the apps can be improved over time and that security is maintained as web protocols evolve. A uniform documentation system will be employed so that NRCS can choose to take over app maintenance if/when they choose.