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Cropping Systems & Water Quality
USDA Soil & Water Conservation Research since 1929
ARS – Columbia, Missouri
ARS Research
Natural Resources & Sustainable Agricultural Systems
 Water Availability &
 494 Scientists
 159 Research Projects
 62 Locations
Watershed Management
Climate Change, Soils, and
Bioenergy and Energy
Agricultural and Industrial
Pasture, Forage, and
Rangeland Systems
Agricultural System
Competitiveness and
Water Availability & Watershed Management
 Effectiveness of Conservation
Total Projects: 39
Total Locations: 26
Total Scientists: 133
Irrigation Water Management
Drainage Water Management
Integrated Erosion and
Sedimentation Technologies
Watershed Management, Water
Availability, and Ecosystem
Water Quality Protection
Climate Change, Soils, and Emissions
 Enable Improvements of Air
Total Projects: 38
Total Locations: 29
Total Scientists: 99
Quality via Management and
Mitigation of Emissions from
Agricultural Operations
 Develop Knowledge and
Technologies for Reducing
Atmospheric Greenhouse
Gas Concentrations Through
Management of Agricultural
Emissions and Carbon
 Enable Agriculture to Adapt
to Climate Change
 Maintain and Enhance Soil
Bioenergy and Energy Alternatives
 Feedstock Development (Enable
Total Projects: 14
Total Locations: 6
Total Scientists: 45
new varieties and hybrids of
bioenergy feedstocks with
optimal traits)
 Sustainable Feedstock
Production Systems (Enable
new optimal practices and
systems that maximize the
sustainable yield of high-quality
bioenergy feedstocks)
 Biorefining (Enable new,
commercially preferred
biorefining technologies)
Agricultural and Industrial Byproducts
 Management,
Total Projects: 16
Total Locations: 14
Total Scientists: 50
Enhancement, and
Utilization of Manure
Nutrients and
Manure Pathogens and
Pharmaceutically Active
Compounds (PACs)
Atmospheric Emissions
Developing Beneficial
Uses of Agricultural,
Industrial and Municipal
Pasture, Forage, and Rangeland Systems
 Rangeland Management
Total Projects: 36
Total Locations: 24
Total Scientists: 116
Systems to Improve
Economic Viability and
Enhance the Environment
Pasture Management
Systems to Improve
Economic Viability and
Enhance the Environment
Sustainable Harvested
Forage Systems for
Bioenergy and
Sustainable Turf Systems
Agricultural System
Competitiveness and Sustainability
 Agronomic Crop
Production Systems
 Specialty Crop
Production Systems
 Integrated Whole Farm
Production Systems
 Integrated Technology
and Information to
Increase Customer
Problem Solving Capacity
Total Projects: 16
Total Locations: 16
Total Scientists: 50
How We Got Here
1929 USDA
Bureau of Soils & Chemistry, Bureau of Public Roads
1930 Bethany Erosion Plots started
1933 Dept of Interior - Soil Erosion Service
1935 USDA-Soil Conservation Service
1937 McCredie Erosion Plots started
1961 North Central Hydrology Research Watershed
Added Treynor IA Deep Loess station
1971 Goodwater Creek Experimental Watershed
1988 Merged Watershed and Crop Production
1990 MSEA project, followed by ASEQ project
2000 Irrigation research started at Delta Center
2003 CEAP project
John Sadler, Research Leader
Claire Baffaut, Hydrologist
Newell Kitchen, Soil fertility
Bob Lerch, Soil chemistry
Bob Kremer, Microbiology
Ken Sudduth, Sensor engineering
Earl Vories, Irrigation engineering
Scientific and Administrative
Support Staff
• Technical expertise:
– Production
– Hydrology
– Soil fertility, physics,
and microbiology
– Water and soil
– Molecular biology
– Machining and
– Electronics
– Computer
– Modeling
– Databases
– Image analysis
– Statistical analysis
• Offices and laboratories
– Agricultural Engineering
– Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources
– Delta Research Center
• Support buildings
– Field Research Building, South Farm
– Tee Building, South Farm
– Centralia Research Support Building
Goodwater Creek
Experimental Watershed
• General description
– Start of record April 1971
– Located north of Centralia
– Area of 28 mile2 (72.5 km2)
• Measurements and flow sites
3 stream weirs, Weir 1 remains in service
3 fields with weirs, Field 1 remains in service
30 plots 0.85 acre (0.34 ha)
9 rain gages
Weather station
5 Groundwater well nests
• Data in STEWARDS database system
Research in Other Space
• MU South Farm
– N-sensing plots
• MU Bradford Farm
– Rainfall simulator plots
– Kremer plots
• Mark Twain Lake/Salt River basin CEAP
• Tucker Prairie, Prairie Fork Cons. Area
• MU Delta Research Center
– Marsh, Lee, Rhodes Farms
• Producer fields
Leveraging with MU
• Division of Food Systems and
Biological Engineering
Agricultural Systems Management
WQ Extension
Delta Center Irrigation Engineering Extension
• School of Natural Resources
– UM Center for Agroforestry
– Soils, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences
– Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences
• Division of Plant Sciences
– Agronomy
– Soils Extension
– Delta Center DPS researchers
Leveraging outside projects
Mississippi River Basin Initiative
Active light sensing for N management
CAP biomass proposal
White River Irrigation District
Howard G. Buffet Foundation
Brazil Center for Advanced Studies in
Weed Research, Univ.of Maringá
• LTAR network planning
In Conclusion
Productive staff with key skillsets
Good facilities
Modern instruments and laboratories
Key long-term infrastructure
Many stakeholders
Highly collaborative research
Access to very large talent pool in MU
Acknowledged as productive unit