Data from: Agro-environmental consequences of shifting from nitrogen- to phosphorus-based manure management of corn.

This experiment was designed to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and related agronomic characteristics of a long-term corn-alfalfa rotational cropping system fertilized with manure (liquid versus semi-composted separated solids) from dairy animals. Different manure-application treatments were sized to fulfill two conditions: (1) an application rate to meet the agronomic soil nitrogen requirement of corn (“N-based” without manure incorporation, more manure), and (2) an application rate to match or to replace the phosphorus removal by silage corn from soils (“P-based” with incorporation, less manure). In addition, treatments tested the effects of liquid vs. composted-solid manure, and the effects of chemical nitrogen fertilizer. The controls consisted of non-manured inorganic N treatments (sidedress applications). These activities were performed during the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons as part of the Dairy Coordinated Agricultural Project, or Dairy CAP, as described below. The data from this experiment give insight into the factors controlling GHG emissions from similar cropping systems, and may be used for model calibration and validation after careful evaluation of the flagged data.

Dairy CAP logo

Organic Beef Data from Integration of Crops and Livestock Project

As the organic forage-finished beef industry continues to grow, it is important to understand factors that affect meat quality, characteristics of beef that influence human health, and sensory attributes of cooked beef. Research on alternative breeds and forage types that influence meat quality, FA and AA profiles, and sensory attributes in an organic forage-finished production system, as well as comparisons with alternative breeds is lacking. Data release is part of data management plan with USDA-NIFA funding. Data is from organic dairy beef steers collected at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN.

photo of cows

Useful to Usable: Developing usable climate science for agriculture

Useful to Usable (U2U): Transforming Climate Variability and Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers, was a USDA-funded research and extension project designed to improve the resilience and profitability of U.S. farms in the Corn Belt amid a changing climate. Over a six-year period from April 2011 - April 2017, 122 faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students from ten Midwestern universities contributed to this interdisciplinary project. Our team integrated expertise in applied climatology, crop modeling, agronomy, cyber-technology, agricultural economics, sociology, Extension and outreach, communication, and marketing to improve the use and uptake of climate information for agricultural decision making. Together, and with members of the agricultural community, we developed a series of decision support tools, resource materials, and training methods to support data-driven decision making and the adoption of climate-resilient practices.

Plants and Crops

Data from: Underestimation of N2O emissions in a comparison of the DayCent, DNDC, and EPIC 1 models

Process-based models are increasingly used to study mass and energy fluxes from agro-ecosystems, including nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural fields. This data set is the output of three process-based models – DayCent, DNDC, and EPIC – which were used to simulate fluxes of N2O from dairy farm soils. The individual models' output and the ensemble mean output were evaluated against field observations from two agricultural research stations in Arlington, WI and Marshfield, WI. These sites utilize cropping systems and nitrogen fertilizer management strategies common to Midwest dairy farms.

Dairy CAP logo


The Next Generation Cassava Breeding (NEXTGEN Cassava) project aims to significantly increase the rate of genetic improvement in cassava breeding and unlock the full potential of cassava, a staple crop central to food security and livelihoods across Africa. The project will implement and empirically test a new breeding method known as Genomic Selection that relies on statistical modeling to predict cassava performance before field-testing, and dramatically accelerates the breeding cycle.

Ag Data Commons

Data from: Gas emissions from dairy barnyards

To assess the magnitude of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, nutrient runoff and leaching from dairy barnyards and to characterize factors controlling these fluxes, nine barnyards were built at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center Farm in Prairie du Sac, WI (latitude 43.33N, longitude 89.71W). The barnyards were designed to simulate outdoor cattle-holding areas on commercial dairy farms in Wisconsin. Each barnyard was approximately 7m x 7m; areas of barnyards 1-9 were 51.91, 47.29, 50.97, 46.32, 45.64, 46.30, 48.93, 48.78, 46.73 square meters, respectively. Factors investigated included three different surface materials (bark, sand, soil) and timing of cattle corralling. Each barnyard included a gravity drainage system that allowed leachate to be pumped out and analyzed. Each soil-covered barnyard also included a system to intercept runoff at the perimeter and drain to a pumping port, similar to the leachate systems.

DairyCAP logo

Low-Disturbance Manure Incorporation

The LDMI experiment (Low-Disturbance Manure Incorporation) was designed to evaluate nutrient losses with conventional and improved liquid dairy manure management practices in a corn silage (Zea mays) / rye cover-crop (Secale cereale) system. The improved manure management treatments were designed to incorporate manure while maintaining crop residue for erosion control. Field observations included greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from soil, soil nutrient concentrations, crop growth and harvest biomass and nutrient content, as well as monitoring of soil physical and chemical properties. Observations from LDMI have been used for parameterization and validation of computer simulation models of GHG emissions from dairy farms (Gaillard et al., submitted). The LDMI experiment was performed as part of the Dairy CAP.

Dairy CAP logo

Manure application methods for alfalfa-grass

The MAMA experiment (Manure Application Methods for Alfalfa-Grass), from the USDA-ARS research station in Marshfield, WI was designed to evaluate nutrient and pathogen losses with conventional and improved liquid dairy manure management practices for alfalfa-grass production. Observations from MAMA have also been used for parameterization and validation of computer simulation models of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dairy farms.

Dairy CAP logo