Tools

The tools presented below represent a portion of the tools available for the climate, agriculture and forestry sectors. The tools range from specialized calculators to maps, models and datasets estimating a variety of outputs (e.g., crop production, greenhouse gas flux, and species distribution). Certain tools may be more relevant to land managers to aid in year-to-year decision-making, while others are more useful for researchers studying agriculture and climate change. Keep in mind that all tools have limitations and make assumptions that may not be appropriate for an entity’s climate/region/crop/soil type. USDA does not endorse the tools presented below. The tool list is provided for informational purposes only, and is not exhaustive.

Through its research, engagement of Corn Belt farmers, and publications, the project has provided farm management strategies, which farmers can put in place throughout the Corn Belt to make corn-based cropping systems more resilient to the current and predicted impacts of climate change. Specifically, researchers studied the impacts of corn-soybean rotation, cereal rye cover crops within the corn-soybean rotation, extended and diverse crop rotations, organic corn cropping system, drainage water management, canopy nitrogen sensing, tillage management (no-till and conventional), and landscape position. Research data were collected over 5 years from 35 field research sites throughout the project area and integrated with climate science data. The management practices were evaluated by multi-disciplinary teams of project researchers. Published results included 119 findings and 59 recommendations. For example... • Controlled drainage can reduce offsite nitrate loss to surface water from drained cropland; the systems do not reduce the nitrate concentration in tile drains, rather a reduction in nitrate loss is a result of reduced drain flow from the land • Cereal rye cover crops are effective for reducing nitrate and sediment losses from a variety of cropland landscapes • To reduce nitrous oxide emissions in a corn-soybean system, replacement of corn with another crop, such as soybean or wheat, can achieve a greater reduction than what can be achieved solely through improved crop management • Farmers are generally confident in their capacity to adapt to adverse weather; highly confident farmer are less likely to have experienced negative impacts of extreme weather. These and many other findings have been reported in 154 refereed journal articles, 212 extension publications and 995 presentations to farmers, farm advisers, K-12 educators and others, resulting in a total audience reach of ~89,824. A legacy of educational publications and videos for agricultural stakeholders and educators have been made available via land-grant university Extension online stores as free downloads. See http://store.extension.iastate.edu/Topic/Crops/Climate-and-Agriculture.

Sustainable Corn