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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443027

Research Project: Uniting the Regional Cover Crop Councils to Build National Cover Crop Decision Support Tools - Un of MD

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21660-005-061-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 15, 2022
End Date: Jun 14, 2027

In order to make agriculture more precise and sustainable, farmers need site-specific recommendation systems to aid in their decision making. The overall goal of this project is to develop web-based decision support tools on cover crop management practices used by farmers. Specifically, cooperator will: 1. Partner on the development of a cover crop species selection tool with emphasis on species selection, seeding rates, and implementation requirements. Economics, water and nitrogen management will also be emphasized for cover crop management specifically. 2. Develop training materials and provide training and extension and outreach materials to agricultural professionals, industry, and farmers. 3. Provide project management support.

The suite of decision tools that are being integrated into a single conservation vegetation management tool will require extensive data verification to expand regional tools to cover the entire US. For expert-based tools, this will include weekly data verification meetings with domain experts from public and private sector. For process-based models this includes acquiring and structuring additional data for calibration for regions not yet captured. Linking this data to soil and climate data is necessary for having national focused tools. Furthermore, the decision tools will be adapted to provide a user-experience that enables interoperability between tools. Lastly, graphic designers, videographers, and content generators will develop learning modules for the DSTs.