Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2002
Publication Date: April 13, 2002
Citation: Gish, T., Daughtry, C., Walthall, C., Dulaney, W., Kaul, M., Lu, Y-C., McCarty, G. 2002. Optimizing Production inputs for Economic and Environmental Enhancements (OPE3) [abstract]. Soil and Water conservation Society Annual Meeting. p. 77-78. Technical Abstract: OPE3 is an interdisciplinary ARS Experimental Watershed project focused on interactions between crop production systems and the environment. Research is lead by the USDA-ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), Beltsville, Maryland with co-investigators from many Federal agencies, universities, and commercial organizations. The site consists of four, 4 ha ahydrologically-bounded watersheds feeding a wooded riparian wetland and first-order stream. The fields have similar geologic settings and yet exhibit significant soil and crop parameter spatial variability. Objectives are: i) determine atmospheric, surface and subsurface watershed-scale fluxes of water, plant nutrients, and pesticides; ii) determine the behavior and environmental impact of agrochemicals on adjacent ecosystems; iii) develop geospatial analytical techniques for measuring and managing the spatial variability of crops and soils; and iv) determine and evaluate long-term economic and environmental impacts from crop production systems. Three of the watersheds have similar surface and subsurface soil, and water flow characteristics and are used to evaluate alternative crop production systems: i) conventional, uniform-broadcast of agrochemicals; ii) site-specific application of agrochemicals; and iii) uniform application of liquid manures. Corn (Zea mays L.) will be grown for the first 5 years. Instrumentation includes soil moisture probes, flumes, suction lysimeters, and micrometeorological towers. Surface and subsurface hydrologic components have been characterized. Field boundaries, instrument locations, and a master sampling grid have been GPS-located. Remote sensing image acquisitions and yield mapping occurs every year. The location is also the center of the BARC NASA EOS-Validation CORE site.