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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Research Project #442354

Research Project: Remote Sensing to Quantify Benefits of Cropping System Diversification

Location: Integrated Cropping Systems Research

Project Number: 3080-12620-006-007-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 8, 2022
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

Use remote sensing to quantify benefits and trade-offs among crop health, productivity, and quality when diversifying corn-soybean cropping systems with small grain-forage intercrops. Benefits include increased biomass light and water utilization, improvement of soil quality, reduced needs for synthetic nitrogen inputs. Tradeoffs include reduced water availability for a corn crop and reduced milling quality in small grains. The ability to predict these benefits and tradeoffs will facilitate high-throughput prototyping of next-generation cropping systems that increase the productivity, reliability, and sustainability of Northern Plains agriculture.

Cooperator will collect multispectral data at critical growth stages using a multispectral sensor mounted on an unmanned aerial system, and from these data derive indices of plant health, stress, and performance. These indices will be compared with destructive samples that directly assess plant health and performance collected by ARS.