Location: Dairy Forage Research
Project Number: 5090-21500-002-029-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Jun 30, 2027
The ARS PI and the Cooperator will work collaboratively to: Objective 1. Identify methods for identifying low yielding, low stability, low return-on-investment, and/or high risk areas with which to create management zones to be converted to perennial systems. Objective 2: Develop an assessment framework for soil health and other ecosystem services metrics and economic metrics with the integration of perennial systems in an annual crop-dominated landscape.
This 4-year project will be launched in Fiscal Year 2023 with the establishment of the Strategic Integration of Perennials (SIPs) project. As part of the project, we will utilize a two-phased approach to integrate perennials on the landscape. First, we will utilize precision tools and yield and input records to identify ARS and private fields and areas within fields that should be taken out of annual crop production with the goal of improving farm-scale profitability and resilience. Second, we will utilize information from phase one as a decision tool to convert selected areas to three different perennial systems; 1) native prairie, 2) dual-use intermediate wheatgrass (grain and forage), and 3) a perennial mixture that may be harvested for forage when needed or left for unharvested, and measure productivity and ecosystem services.