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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #443024

Research Project: Long Term Agroecosystem Research Network (LTAR) Croplands Common Experiment

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 8070-13000-015-019-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

The ARS Long-Term Agroecosystems Network (LTAR) Common Experiment aims to identify aspirational crop production practices that increase productivity, while minimizing the environmental impacts of production. PSWMRU and Penn State have collaboratively established and maintained experimental plots to facilitate the comparison of an aspirational dairy forage cropping system (including a diverse crop ration with winter crops, manure injection, and cover crop interseeding) with a typical dairy forage production system for the region (business as usual). Crop productivity and agronomic and environmental factors will be compared between systems to determine benefits of the aspirational practices.

Replicated field plots are maintained with each phase of the aspirational and business as usual rotations grown each year. Measurements of multiple plant, soil, and environmental parameters are made at key times throughout the year. Statistical analysis is used to compare parameter values between aspiration and business as usual cropping systems. Measured crop productivity, forage quality, and soil parameters are modelled to estimate and compare milk production between cropping systems.