Other Access

The information on this page (the dataset metadata) is also available in these formats:


Data Extent

Sustainable Corn CAP Research Data (USDA-NIFA Award No. 2011-68002-30190)

The Sustainable Corn CAP (Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project: Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation in Corn-based Cropping Systems) was a multi-state transdisciplinary project supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Award No. 2011-68002-30190). Research experiments were located through the U.S. Corn Belt and examined farm-level adaptation practices for corn-based cropping systems to current and predicted impacts of climate change.

Research data were collected from 2011 to 2015 at research sites in 8 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The research coverage area spanned 95.3°W to 81.9°W and 38.5°N to 44.7°N. Research sites encompassed a varying set of management practices including crop rotation, cover crop, tillage, drainage, and nitrogen management, with several sites having landscape position incorporated as an additional treatment. These treatments were typically arranged in a randomized complete block design as a complete factorial or main-split plot with 3 to 4 replications per site. It should be noted that none of the sites were identical in terms of treatment structure or data collected as sites were a combination of previously and newly established experiments that aligned with project research goals.

The dataset contains agronomic, soil, water, greenhouse gas, crop disease, and pest data collected from 30 sites. Standardized protocols were developed and followed by the project team for estimating C, N, and water footprints of corn production in the region and performing baseline monitoring. Variables measured during the five-year period include: grain and biomass yield, C and N content in crop grain and vegetation, soil water moisture and temperature, C and N concentration in soil, greenhouse gas fluxes, drainage water quality and quantity, groundwater table and others. Hourly or sub-hourly weather data are also provided for each location.

In addition, the dataset includes site description (e.g. site location, plot area, soil type), field management information (e.g. planting, harvesting, tillage and fertilizer application dates, seeding rate, fertilizer and pesticide type and application rate), and experimental design (e.g. plot identifiers, experimental treatments, variables measured).

Users can query and download data from the Sustainable Corn CAP research web-accessible application. At this website, users can also access site-specific weather data and select the time period of interest for water data (here they are uploaded at a daily interval). In addition to the research data, the web tool also provides a list of over 100 referred journal articles as well as theses and dissertations related to the dataset. Other project-related materials such as fact sheets, videos, and extension publications are available for free download through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach website and project reports through the Iowa State University Digital Repository.

A complete list of refereed journals, theses, dissertations, and reports published by the Sustainable Corn CAP project team members can be accessed at https://datateam.agron.iastate.edu/cscap/

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Abendroth, Lori J.
Herzmann, Daryl E.
Chighladze, Giorgi
Kladivko, Eileen J.
Helmers, Matthew J.
Bowling, Laura
Castellano, Michael
Cruse, Richard M.
Dick, Warren A.
Fausey, Norman R.
Frankenberger, Jane
Gassmann, Aaron J.
Kravchenko, Alexandra
Lal, Rattan
Lauer, Joseph G.
Mueller, Daren S.
Nafziger, Emerson D.
Nkongolo, Nsalambi
O'Neal, Matthew
Sawyer, John E.
Scharf, Peter
Strock, Jeffrey S.
Villamil, Maria B.
Product Type
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POINT (-92.1967 38.8914)
POINT (-85.16 40.266)
POINT (-94.4952 42.7477)
POINT (-95.5383 44.3469)
POINT (-95.5504 44.3727)
POINT (-89.353 43.298)
POINT (-92.2019 38.8892)
POINT (-92.2089 38.9042)
POINT (-92.205 38.8792)
POINT (-92.1053 38.5794)
POINT (-95.5593 44.3387)
POINT (-83.7667 41.2167)
POINT (-93.7806 42.0094)
POINT (-93.75929 42.02133)
POINT (-85.3684 42.4145)
POINT (-90.7887 42.8297)
POINT (-90.0982 44.761)
POINT (-84.4352 42.6293)
POINT (-81.7942 40.3703)
POINT (-81.782 40.3675)
POINT (-81.7796 40.3671)
POINT (-81.787 40.3649)
POINT (-90.7273 40.9308)
POINT (-90.8212 39.8011)
POINT (-85.54 39.0258)
POINT (-91.4829 41.1938)
POINT (-84.0843 40.5559)
POINT (-83.0424 40.0181)
POINT (-81.8433 40.7813)
POINT (-81.9064 40.7635)
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin
Temporal Coverage
Intended Use
This project generated data that can provide an integrated understanding of agronomic and environmental (soil, water, GHG) processes in corn-based agroecosystems across the Corn Belt region. Scientists, modelers, producers and policy makers can gain unique insight into the impacts of selected crop management practices on crop yield, greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, methane), soil carbon sequestration, and nitrogen content in drained water. The data will be of great use for calibrating or validating biophysical models at ever-larger scales (field, farm and landscape), which can be coupled with projections from regional climate models to extrapolate the observed results to climate regimes not included within the study period.
Use Limitations
To ensure compatibility and integrity of the data, standardized protocols were developed and utilized by the project team to collect baseline C, N and water data from all 30 research fields. Occasionally, the protocols were not adhered to because of technical or environmental constraints resulting in missing or non-standard measurements (e.g. soil samples collected at different depths due to soil freezing). Monitoring instrument and data logger malfunctioning or failure were main reasons for missing water data (e.g. depth of water table), hence care should be taken when interpolating or aggregating those data (e.g. when estimating monthly tile flow). It should be noted that dielectric probes used to measure volumetric soil water content did not have soil-specific calibration. Therefore, syntheses of soil moisture data from different sites should be done with caution. Users should also be aware that some sites were established at the onset of the project while others were in crop production for decades. Hence the treatment effect and dynamics of certain measurement can differ based on previous history of the site. We encourage everyone to familiarize with each research site's history (available via the web tool) before starting data analysis.
National Agricultural Library - ARS - USDA
Contact Name
Abendroth, Lori J.
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Preferred Dataset Citation
Abendroth, Lori J.; Herzmann, Daryl E.; Chighladze, Giorgi; Kladivko, Eileen J.; Helmers, Matthew J.; Bowling, Laura; Castellano, Michael; Cruse, Richard M.; Dick, Warren A.; Fausey, Norman R.; Frankenberger, Jane; Gassmann, Aaron J.; Kravchenko, Alexandra ; Lal, Rattan; Lauer, Joseph G.; Mueller, Daren S.; Nafziger, Emerson D.; Nkongolo, Nsalambi ; O'Neal, Matthew; Sawyer, John E.; Scharf, Peter; Strock, Jeffrey S.; Villamil, Maria B. (2017). Sustainable Corn CAP Research Data (USDA-NIFA Award No. 2011-68002-30190). National Agricultural Library - ARS - USDA. http://dx.doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1411953
Related Article

Barker, D. and J. Sawyer. 2017, Variable rate nitrogen management in corn: Response in two crop rotations. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue on Sustainable Corn Production Systems. 72(3): 183-190.

Behler, J., J. Fry, W. Negassa and A.N. Kravchenko. 2017, Impact of cover crop on soil carbon accrual in topographically diverse terrain. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue on Sustainable Corn Production Systems. 72(3): 272-279.

Campbell, B., L. Chen, C. Dygert and W. Dick. 2014, Tillage and crop rotation impacts on greenhouse gas fluxes from two long-term agronomic experimental sites in Ohio. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue for Climate and Agriculture. 69(6): 543-552. 

Daigh, A.L., M.J. Helmers, E. Kladivko, X. Zhou, R. Goeken, J. Cavadini, D. Barker and J. Sawyer. 2014, Soil water during the drought of 2012 as affected by rye cover crop in fields in Iowa and Indiana. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue for Climate and Agriculture. 69(6): 564-573. 

Dunbar, M., A. Gassmann and M. O'Neal. 2017, Impacts of rye cover crop on beneficial arthropods. Environmental Entomology. 46(2): 284-290. 

Fry, J., A.K. Guber, M. Ladoni, J.D. Munoz and A.N. Kravchenko. 2016, The effect of up-scaling soil properties and model parameters on predictive accuracy of DSSAT crop simulation model under variable weather conditions. Geoderma. 287: 105-115. 

Haruna, S.I. and N.V. Nkongolo. 2014, Spatial and fractal characterization of soil chemical properties and nutrients across depths in a clay-loam soil. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 45(17): 2305-2318. 

Haruna, S.I. and N.V. Nkongolo. 2013, Variability of soil physical properties in a clay-loam soil and its implication on soil management practices. ISRN Soil Science. 2013: 1-8. 

Iqbal, J., D. Mitchell, F. Miguez, J. Sawyer, J. Pantoja, D. Barker and M.J. Castellano. 2015, Does nitrogen fertilizer rate to corn affect N2O emissions from the rotated soybean crop? Journal of Environmental Quality. 44: 711-719. 

Kumar, S., A. Kadono, R. Lal and W. Dick. 2012, Long-term tillage and crop rotations for 47-49 years influences hydrological properties of two soils in Ohio. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 76(6): 2195-2207. 

Kumar, S., A. Kadono, R. Lal and W. Dick. 2012, Long-term no-till impacts on organic carbon and properties of two contrasting soils and corn yields in Ohio. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 76(5): 1798-1809. 

Kumar S., T. Nakajima, E.G. Mbonimpa, S. Gautam, U.R. Somireddy, A. Kadono, R. Lal, R. Chintala, R. Rafique and N. Fausey. 2014, Long-term tillage and drainage influences on soil organic carbon dynamics, aggregate stability, and corn yield. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. 60(1): 108-118. 

Ladoni, M., A. Basir, G.P. Robertson and A.N. Kravchenko. 2016, Scaling-up: cover crops differentially influence soil carbon in agricultural fields with diverse topography. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 225: 93-103 

Maas, E.D.v.L., R. Lal, K. Coleman, A. Montenegro and W.A. Dick. 2017, Modeling soil organic carbon in corn-based systems in Ohio under climate change. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue on Sustainable Corn Production Systems. 72(3): 191-204. 

Mitchell D.C., M.J. Castellano, J.E. Sawyer and J.L. Pantoja. 2013, Cover crop effects on nitrous oxide emissions: Role of mineralizable carbon. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 77: 1765-1773. 

Nakajima, T. and R. Lal. 2014, Tillage and drainage management effect on soil gas diffusivity. Soil and Tillage Research. 135: 71-78. 

Nakajima, T., R. Lal and S. Jiang. 2015, Soil quality index of crosby silt loam in central Ohio. Soil and Tillage Research. 146(B): 323-328. 

Necpálová, M., R.P. Anex, A.N. Kravchenko, L.J. Abendroth, S.J. Del Grosso, W.A. Dick, M.J. Helmers, D. Herzmann, J.G. Lauer, E.D. Nafziger, J.E. Sawyer, P.C. Scharf, J.S.Strock and M.B. Villamil. 2014, What does it take to detect a change in soil carbon stock? A regional comparison of minimum detectable difference and experiment duration in the North-Central United States. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue for Climate and Agriculture. 69(6): 517-531. 

Negassa, W., R. Price, A. Basir, S.S. Snap and A.N. Kravchenko. 2015, Cover crop and tillage system effects on soil CO2 and N2O fluxes at contrasting topographic positions. Soil and Tillage Research. 154: 64-74. 

Panday D. and N.V. Nkongolo. 2016, Comparison of models for predicting pore space indices and their relationships with CO2 and N2O fluxes in a corn-soybean field. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 96: 328-335. 

Panday, D. and N.V. Nkongolo. 2015, Soil water potential control of the relationship between moisture and greenhouse gases fluxes in corn-soybean field. Climate. 3(3): 689-696. 

Pantoja, J.L. and J.E. Sawyer. 2016, Winter rye cover crop biomass production, degradation, and nitrogen recycling. Agronomy Journal. 108(2): 841-853. 

Pantoja, J.L., K.P. Woli, J.E. Sawyer and D.W. Barker. 2015, Corn nitrogen fertilization requirement and corn soybean productivity with a rye cover crop. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 79(5): 1482-1495. 

Pease, L.A., N.R. Fausey, J.F. Martin and L.C. Brown. 2017, Projected climate change effects on subsurface drainage and the performance of controlled drainage in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue on Sustainable Corn Production Systems. 72(3): 240-250. 

Rorick, J.D. and E.J. Kladivko. 2017, Cereal rye cover crop effects on soil carbon and physical properties in southeastern Indiana. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue on Sustainable Corn Production Systems. 72(3): 260-265. 

Schott, L., A. Lagzdins, A. Daigh, C. Pederson, G. Brenneman and M. Helmers. 2017, Drainage water management effects over five years on water tables, drainage, and yields in southeast Iowa. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Special Issue on Sustainable Corn Production Systems. 72(3): 251-259. 

S. Saadat, J. Frankenberger, L. Bowling and K. Brooks. 2017, Effect of controlled drainage on water table recession rate. Transactions of the ASABE. 60(3): 1-9. 

Zuber, S.M., G.D. Behnke, E.D. Nafziger and M.B. Villamil. 2015, Crop rotation and tillage effects on soil physical and chemical properties in Illinois. Agronomy Journal. 107(3): 1-8. 

Methods Citation

E.J. Kladivko, M.J. Helmers, L.J. Abendroth, D. Herzmann, R. Lal, M.J. Castellano,D.S. Mueller, J.E. Sawyer, R.P. Anex, R.W. Arritt, B. Basso, J.V. Bonta, L.C. Bowling,R.M. Cruse, N.R. Fausey, J.R. Frankenberger, P.W. Gassman, A.J. Gassmann,C.L. Kling, A. Kravchenko, J.G. Lauer, F.E. Miguez, E.D. Nafziger, N. Nkongolo,M. O'Neal, L.B. Owens, P.R. Owens, P. Scharf, M.J. Shipitalo, J.S. Strock, and M.B. Villamil. 2014. Standardized research protocols enable transdisciplinary research of climate variation impacts in corn production systems. J. Soil Water Cons. 69(6): 532-542.

Herzmann, D.E., L.J. Abendroth, and L.D Bunderson. 2014. Data management approach to multidisciplinary agricultural research and syntheses. J. Soil Water Cons. 69(6): 180A-185A.

Related Content
Funding Source(s)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Dataset DOI (digital object identifier)
Modified Date
Release Date
Ag Data Commons Keywords: 
  • Agroecosystems & Environment
  • Agroecosystems & Environment
  • Management
  • Agroecosystems & Environment
  • Soil
  • Agroecosystems & Environment
  • Weather and Climate
  • Plants & Crops
  • Plants & Crops
  • Crop production
  • Plants & Crops
  • Crop production
  • Cropping system
ISO Topic(s):