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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #403988

Research Project: Linkages Between Crop Production Management and Sustainability in the Central Mississippi River Basin

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: USDA Long Term Agroecosystem Research: Carrying out multi-site research in the Cropland Common Experiment

item Abendroth, Lori
item Liebig, Mark
item ROBERTSON, PHIL - Michigan State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2023
Publication Date: 6/20/2023
Citation: Abendroth, L.J., Liebig, M.A., Robertson, P. 2023. USDA Long Term Agroecosystem Research: Carrying out multi-site research in the Cropland Common Experiment [abstract]. Association of Applied Biologists Conference: Rothamsted Research, Long Term Experiments: meeting future challenges, June 20-22, 2023, Hertfordshire, UK

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The USDA Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Network was established to measure productivity and environmental footprints of agriculture across the U.S. Understanding how cropland agriculture affects the balance of ecosystem services under different forms of management over the long-term is largely unexplored. The LTAR network has a Croplands Common Experiment (CCE) within the portfolio of coordinated research activities 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. A major research goal within the CCE is to compare commonly used practices, termed “Business-As-Usual (BAU)”, to those considered more novel within a region, termed "Aspirational (ASP)”. This simple design maximizes participation, longevity, and comparability over the intended 30-year timeline at two scales (plot and field). Within this design, primary metrics are collected and based on standardized protocols. Although the specific treatments defined as “BAU” or “ASP” vary across sites, the metrics have been developed with variation in experimental design, treatments, and site nuances in mind. Development of primary metrics, standardized protocols, and implementation have also facilitated the design of the data infrastructure to align with these metrics for greater ease of entry by team members and greater long-term usability of data due to this upfront harmonization. This presentation will highlight the primary metrics, protocol weblinks, and initial outcomes from the CCE.