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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364786

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Title: The LTAR croplands common experiment: long-term research for improved agricultural sustainability

item Liebig, Mark
item ROBERTSON, PHIL - Michigan State University
item Archer, David
item AWADA, TALA - University Of Nebraska
item Baker, John
item Cavigelli, Michel
item Collins, Harold
item Dell, Curtis
item Huggins, David
item Jaradat, Abdullah
item Johnson, Jane
item King, Kevin
item Kleinman, Peter
item Kovar, John
item Locke, Martin
item Maul, Jude
item McCarty, Gregory
item Mirsky, Steven
item Moorman, Thomas
item Pisani, Oliva
item Smith, Douglas
item Starks, Patrick
item Strickland, Timothy - Tim
item Sudduth, Kenneth - Ken
item Veum, Kristen
item Wienhold, Brian

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2019
Publication Date: 11/10/2019
Citation: Liebig, M.A., Robertson, P., Archer, D.W., Awada, T., Baker, J.M., Cavigelli, M.A., Collins, H.P., Dell, C.J., Huggins, D.R., Jaradat, A.A., Johnson, J.M., King, K.W., Kleinman, P.J., Kovar, J.L., Locke, M.A., Maul, J.E., Mccarty, G.W., Mirsky, S.B., Moorman, T.B., Pisani, O., Smith, D.R., Starks, P.J., Strickland, T.C., Sudduth, K.A., Veum, K.S., Wienhold, B.J. 2019. The LTAR croplands common experiment: long-term research for improved agricultural sustainability. Meeting Abstract. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Contemporary cropland agriculture in the United States is dominated by an emphasis on provisioning services by applying energy-intensive inputs to uniform production systems across variable landscapes. This approach to cropland use is not sustainable and has contributed to negative environmental impacts at multiple spatial scales. Despite this challenging context, cropland agriculture has the potential to provide many ecosystem services in addition to yield, including clean water, flood protection, pest/disease suppression, soil fertility, climate regulation, habitat conservation, and recreational and aesthetic amenities. Understanding how cropland agriculture affects the balance of ecosystem services under different forms of management over the long-term is largely unexplored. In response to this need, the Long-term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network has included a Croplands Common Experiment (CCE) in its portfolio of coordinated research activities that seeks to 1) develop and evaluate production systems that promote the sustainable management of cropland, 2) identify, quantify, and understand mechanisms underlying tradeoffs and synergies among ecosystem services, and 3) use common measurements across multiple systems in different regions to understand and model ecosystem service outcomes. The CCE uses a simple design, contrasting ‘Business as Usual’ and ‘Aspirational’ cropping systems over a proposed 30-year timeline. Among the 18 current LTAR sites, 13 are involved in the CCE. Management components comprising ‘Aspirational’ systems include extended crop rotations, cover crops, no-tillage, precision and/or adaptive nutrient management, integrated pest management, and water management. Focus areas at CCE sites are strongly biased toward assessment of economic and environmental attributes, while assessment of social attributes portends opportunities for external collaboration. With time, outcomes from the LTAR CCE will provide multi-regional, science-based information to enable the deployment of cropland production systems that support the delivery of multiple ecosystem services for enhanced food security, environmental quality, and rural prosperity.