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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #445427

Research Project: Developing Climate Based Ag Management Operation Scheduling and Natural Infrastructure Practices in the National Agroecosystem Model

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Project Number: 3098-13610-009-098-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2023
End Date: Nov 30, 2024

To parameterize agricultural field operations and natural infrastructure practices for input to the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model. Field operations will include planting and harvest, tillage, fertilizer applications, and irrigation. The scheduling of operations will be based on climate and crop conditions and sensitive to changes in climate. Natural infrastructure practices include wetlands, water and sediment control basins, beaver dams, and saturated buffers. Methodologies will be developed to incorporate the natural infrastructure practices into the National Agroecosystem Model (NAM). The model will be available for use in developing national conservation policy as part of CEAP (Conservation Effects Assessment Project) and for business-as-usual and aspirational scenarios as part of LTAR (Long Term Agroecosystem Research).

A common set of decision tables will be developed for scheduling field operations to input to SWAT. The decisions on when to schedule the operations will be conditioned on heat units, crop phenological stage, and soil conditions. Decision tables for common cropping, tillage, and fertilizer systems in the U.S. will be considered. Algorithms will be developed to realistically simulate natural infrastructure practices and methods for simulating scenarios within the NAM framework will be conceptualized and implemented. These new modules will enhance NAM prediction capabilities under changing climatic conditions and will provide a new set of scenario capabilities for LTAR and CEAP.