Root Zone Water Quality Model 2 (RZWQM2) is a whole-system model for studying crop production and environmental quality under current and changing climate conditions. It emphasizes the effects of agricultural management practices on physical, chemical and biological processes. RZWQM2 is a one-dimensional model with a pseudo 2-dimensional drainage flow. Crop simulation options include the generic plant growth model, DSSAT-CSM 4.0 and HERMES SUCROS models. It also can simulate surface energy balance with components from the SHAW model and water erosion from the GLEAMS model. An automated parameter estimation algorithm (PEST) was added to RZWQM2 for objective model calibration and uncertainty analysis.

Plants and Crops

Data from: Starch and dextrose at 2 levels of rumen-degradable protein in iso-nitrogenous diets: Effects on lactation performance, ruminal measurements, methane emission, digestibility, and nitrogen balance of dairy cows.

This feeding trial was designed to investigate two separate questions. The first question is, “What are the effects of substituting two non-fiber carbohydrate (NFC) sources at two rumen-degradable protein (RDP) levels in the diet on apparent total-tract nutrient digestibility, manure production and nitrogen (N) excretion in dairy cows?”. This is relevant because most of the N ingested by dairy cows is excreted, resulting in negative effects on environmental quality. The second question is, “Is phenotypic residual feed intake (pRFI) correlated with feed efficiency, N use efficiency, and metabolic energy losses (via urinary N and enteric CH4) in dairy cows?”. The pRFI is the difference between what an animal is expected to eat, given its level of productivity, and what it actually eats. The goal was to determine whether production of CH4, urinary N or fecal N is a driver of pRFI.

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ComBase: A Web Resource for Quantitative and Predictive Food Microbiology

ComBase includes a systematically formatted database of quantified microbial responses to the food environment with more than 60,000 records, and is used for:

  • Informing the design of food safety risk management plans
  • Producing Food Safety Plans and HACCP plans
  • Reducing food waste
  • Assessing microbiological risk in foods
Ag Data Commons

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.

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Drainage Index and Productivity Index

This website is designed to help you calculate the Drainage Index (DI) and Productivity Index (PI) of all soils that are classified within the US system of Soil Taxonomy. These data aid in the identification of areas at risk to various forest insects and diseases because of their ability to identify regions of potential tree stress.

Maps and Multimedia

Microbial community structure is affected by cropping sequences and poultry litter under long-term no-tillage

Soil microorganisms play essential roles in soil organic matter dynamics and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems and have been used as soil quality indicators. The response of soil microbial communities to land management is complex and the long-term impacts of cropping systems on soil microbes is largely unknown. Therefore, changes in soil bacterial community composition were assessed in response to cropping sequences and bio-covers at long-term no-tillage sites.

Agroecosystems & Environment

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.

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