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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #413358

Research Project: Enhancing Cropping System and Grassland Sustainability in the Texas Gulf Coast Region by Managing Systems for Productivity and Resilience

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: The LTAR cropland common experiment at the Texas Gulf

item Krecker-Yost, Jenifer
item Smith, Douglas
item Adhikari, Kabindra
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item Collins, Harold
item Flynn, Kyle
item Hajda, Chad
item Menefee, Dorothy
item MOHANTY, BINAYAK - Texas A&M University
item Schantz, Merilynn
item Thorp, Kelly
item White, Michael

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2024
Publication Date: 6/13/2024
Citation: Yost, J.L., Smith, D.R., Adhikari, K., Arnold, J.G., Collins, H.P., Flynn, K.C., Hajda, C.B., Menefee, D.S., Mohanty, B.P., Schantz, M.C., Thorp, K.R., White, M.J. 2024. The LTAR cropland common experiment at the Texas Gulf. Journal of Environmental Quality. 1-8.

Interpretive Summary: Texas Gulf is one of the eighteen LTAR Network sites and conducts cropland and grazingland research. This paper outlines two cropland experiments located in the Blackland Prairie in Central Texas aiming to improve farming practices and address environmental challenges. The plot-scale study was developed to quantify the long-term effects of tillage practices on greenhouse gas emissions and crop production. The field-scale study was developed to quantify the effects of adaptive management and adoption of precision conservation guided through precision agriculture technologies to optimize field scale management for yield, profitability, and environmental footprint outcomes. In addition to site descriptions for those two projects, this paper also talks about stakeholder engagement and the future research direction at Texas Gulf.

Technical Abstract: Texas Gulf is one of the eighteen sites that is part of the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network and focuses on cropland and grazingland research in Central Texas, addressing challenges posed by soil characteristics, climate variability, and urbanization. This paper provides brief site descriptions of the two cropland common experiments being conducted at Texas Gulf, emphasizing conservation tillage practices and precision agriculture techniques. The plot-scale study is located in Temple, Texas, at the USDA-ARS Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory and examines conventional tillage, strip tillage, and no tillage practices. The field-scale study is located in Riesel, Texas, at the USDA-ARS Riesel Watersheds and assesses the impact of adaptive management and precision conservation on crop yield, profitability, and environmental footprint. Key measurements include soil and plant samples, greenhouse gas fluxes, and field operations recorded with precision agriculture equipment. Stakeholder engagement is essential for knowledge dissemination and research applicability. Despite challenges posed by urban encroachment, future research aims to incorporate new technologies to enhance sustainability and productivity in the face of changing agricultural landscapes. These experiments provide valuable insights for stakeholders, contributing to the development of sustainable agricultural practices tailored to the unique challenges within the Texas Gulf region.