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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Research Project #445487

Research Project: The USDA ARS Climate Hubs – Increasing Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability by Impactful Development and Communication of Climate Smart Agricultural Research and Practices – Ames, Iowa

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Project Number: 5030-21600-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Nov 1, 2023
End Date: Oct 31, 2028

Objective 1. Enable climate-smart decision-making by developing science-based, region-specific information, tools and technologies for agricultural and natural resource managers, and provide assistance where possible to enhance adoption and implementation of the same. The work will be conducted as the Midwest USDA Climate Change Hub and will be coordinated with NRCS, FS, and other USDA and non-USDA organizations in accordance with guidance found in the USDA Climate Change Hubs Charter, and Terms of Reference. Objective 2. Expand and enhance each Hub’s research and communication capacity and ensure integration of ARS research outcomes from across the region into Hub outreach assets. Objective 3: Provide capacity to expand and enhance the hub’s climate-science, social-science, and economic-science resources and tools via enhanced collaboration with ARS research teams and other research partners to ensure impactful integration of ARS research outcomes from across the region into Hub outreach assets.

To fulfill the objectives of supporting climate-smart agriculture and agricultural adaptation to a changing climate, the Midwest Climate Hub (MCH) will work in three main areas: 1) Development and delivery of current condition/monitoring products and services to guide improved management and agricultural decision-making under climate change and climate extremes. 2) Development of new products and information i.e., a system-of-systems to describe and understand the changing climate and its impacts on agriculture. 3) Creating and sharing new adaptation/mitigation strategies for climate-smart agriculture and agricultural intensification under climate change in various agricultural systems, including row crop, livestock, and specialty crop systems. The MCH will work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and other federal and state partners to monitor and share information about potential climate risk issues across the range of agricultural production systems in the Midwest. These issues will include extreme issues such as drought, extreme rains, freezes and others to mitigate potential damages. The information will be shared via webinars, email lists, various social media, websites, and traditional media as necessary. We will also work with USDA-internal partners to create and share information appropriate to internal partners. The MCH will work with federal and state partners to create and develop new climate monitoring products for tracking changes in climate and agricultural issues and developing new climate summary information for different geographical regions and various specific agricultural issues. The new data climatologies could include information such as evapotranspiration and soil temperature/moisture climatologies to provide context and changes over time. The goal of publications will be to inform land managers about climate change issues in agriculture and potential impacts to their production systems. The MCH will work with partners to create and share additional information on new strategies for climate-smart farming to help producers to adapt and mitigate issues related to climate changes. The work will include reviewing current management systems and developing work with changing or new management systems to adapt to changing conditions or mitigate greenhouse gas issues. Partners would include current ARS projects, other partners in USDA, land grants/extension, and others to develop alternatives and share possible management/cropping changes coupled with USDA policies. The MCH will help facilitate collaboration and communication among ARS projects, the Climate Hubs and among the Fellows through the ARS Liaison. The Liaison will expand connections on research and use of appropriate information from ARS project research to support Climate Smart Agriculture practice development and use of information. Various projects will be tracked to determine impacts including usage of information, changes in practices and possible implementation on landscapes across the region.