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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #388618

Research Project: Long-term Management of Water Resources in the Central Mississippi River Basin

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Paired field and water measurements from drainage management practices in row-crop agriculture

item Abendroth, Lori
item CHIGHLADZE, GIORGI - Iowa State University
item FRANKENBERGER, JANE - Purdue University
item BOWLING, LAURA - Purdue University
item HELMERS, MATTHEW - Iowa State University
item HERZMANN, DARYL - Iowa State University
item JIA, XINHUA - North Dakota State University
item KJAERSGAARD, JEPPE - Minnesota Department Of Agriculture
item PEASE, LINDSAY - University Of Minnesota
item REINHART, BENJAMIN - Purdue University
item STROCK, JEFF - University Of Minnesota
item YOUSSEF, MOHAMED - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Scientific Data
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2022
Publication Date: 6/1/2022
Citation: Abendroth, L.J., Chighladze, G., Frankenberger, J., Bowling, L., Helmers, M., Herzmann, D., Jia, X., Kjaersgaard, J., Pease, L., Reinhart, B., Strock, J., Youssef, M. 2022. Paired field and water measurements from drainage management practices in row-crop agriculture. Scientific Data. 9. Article 257.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural data that describe drainage conservation practices are not readily available for use by a broader audience such as educators, other researchers, or those working with farmers. A complete set of data describing water quantity and quality measures paired with agronomic and soil measurements can help advance understanding and implementation of conservation practices. This paper describes data from a project funded by USDA NIFA, referred to as the Transforming Drainage team, for 39 research sites from 1996 to 2018. Three conservation practices have been studied and measured including controlled drainage, drainage water recycling, and saturated buffers. These practices are placed into farmer fields and edges with two goals: reducing the amount of nitrogen leaving the field and retaining water for crop use (when applicable). This dataset is expansive with over 200 years of daily drainage flow and water quality measurements across these practices. As greater emphasis is placed on minimizing off-site losses of nutrients as well as increasing resiliency of agriculture systems to climate change, these data have the potential to be used as a basis to inform policy decisions and make recommendations to farmers, drainage contractors, and agribusiness.

Technical Abstract: This paper describes a multi-site and multi-decadal dataset of artificially drained agricultural fields in seven Midwest states and North Carolina, USA. Thirty-nine research sites provided data on three conservation practices for cropland with subsurface tile drainage: saturated buffers, controlled drainage and drainage water recycling. These practices utilize vegetation and/or infrastructure to minimize off-site nutrient losses and retain water in the landscape. A total of 219 variables are reported, including 90 field measurement variables and 129 management operations and metadata. Key measurements include subsurface drain flow (206 site-years), nitrate-N load (154 site-years) and other water quality metrics, as well as agronomic, soil, climate, farm management and metadata records. Data are published at the USDA National Agricultural Library Ag Data Commons repository and are also available through an interactive website at Iowa State University.