Evaluating impacts and benefits of cover crops in Nebraska
We are working with the cropping systems platform APSIM to answer questions about cover crop management in Nebraska and the broader Corn Belt. We are specifically working with field data from Nebraska evaluating a range of relative maturity corn hybrids that might extend the growth window for cover crops. This work is being led by Nilovna Chatterjee, postdoctoral research fellow. The Nebraska Environmental Trust is supporting a related project that in collaboration with Katja Koehler-Cole and Daren Redfearn will develop a decision-support tool for producers in Nebraska. Andrea is also working on a collaboration to understand the impact of cover crops on weeds in the Corn Belt.
Understanding soil health practice adoption and management
We are collaborating the Nebraska Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to support research and outreach activities with their Soil Health Demonstration Farms across the state. Fernanda Krupek is leading our work on this project, and more information about this initiative can be found at ttps://cropwatch.unl.edu/soilhealth.
Andrea is also a Co-PI on a National Science Foundation funded collaboration supported by the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) working to map the “where” and “why” of soil health practices. The goal is to better understand the important social, biophysical and economic factors that drive or deter conservation to support more resilient agricultural systems. Learn more about the project at soilhealthfeedback.org.
Answering fundamental agronomic questions about perennial grains
We are working with collaborators around the Midwest and across the U.S. to evaluate the management and production of kernza®, a perennial grain crop developed by the Land Institute. Currently we are participating in a kernza variety trial with seven other collaborators and will be initiating research on organically-managed kernza in 2019. We will also be evaluating existing data on nitrogen rates and kernza performance.
Cropping systems and water quality
We are investigating the relationships between different crop and land use patterns in Nebraska and their relationship to water quality. This work is part of Brittany Kirsch’s MS projects. Brittany is a student in the National Science Foundation National Research Training (NRT) program led by University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists.