Research Category: Water Quality

Interseeding Cover Crops While Applying In-Season Nitrogen

(2016)
Keith Hartmann

This project will build a 12-row, 30-inch row spacing, cover crop interseeder that can apply liquid nitrogen and seed a cover crop in one pass. This will expand upon ongoing farm research using a small scale prototype interseeder that was built using commonly sourced Yetter Manufacturing strip freshener units, incorporating the seeds and a Gandy seeder. The project focus is to show farmers how they can successfully establish a cover crop in a northern climate and efficiently do that with one pass across the field during an in-season nitrogen application.

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Root River Stream Bank Stabilization

(2016)
Root River Soil Water Conservation District/Dave Walter

This project complements the many other collaborative effort occurring in the larger watershed. Unfortunately, stream and near stream sediment sources are a significant contributor to chronic turbidity and habitat degradation in the Root River, yet little has been done to address this resource concern. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) Fisheries and Trout Unlimited have done a great job to improve stream and habitat conditions where fisheries exist. However, the region needs a strategy that is feasible to address stream sedimentation and habitat degradation at a larger scale.

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Vegetative Cover Crops as a Nitrate Reduction Strategy for Tile Drainage

(2016)
University of Minnesota/Jeff Vetsch

Nitrogen (N) is an essential input for profitable corn production. Previous research (Randall and Mulla, 2001, Dinnes et al., 2002) has shown subsurface tile drainage systems deliver nitrate-N to surface waters and thereby degrade water quality. Row crop agriculture in the Midwest is under scrutiny to reduce NO3 concentrations and loads in tile drainage. The use of cover crops and applying appropriate rates of N for corn are potential management strategies to reduce NO3 losses in tile drainage water (Dinnes et al.,

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Optimizing Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Minimizing Nitrification-Induced N Leaching and Gaseous Losses with PostPlant Fertilizer Applications: Field and Lab Studies

(2014)
University of Minnesota/Rodney Venterea

The aim of the project is to overcome some of the limitations of post-plant nitrogen (N) applications through the use of post-plant inhibitor applications, and to document the environmental and agronomic benefits of the practice. In a two-year field study, we will measure soil nitrate and nitrite concentrations, nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, soil temperature and moisture, grain yield and N fertilizer recovery efficiency.

In addition to testing these management practices under field conditions subject to highly variable weather effects,

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Role of Structural Modifications along the Mississippi River on Sediment Transport to Lake Pepin

(2014)
University of Minnesota/Satish Gupta

The overarching goal of this research is to assess how the installation of wing dams and closing dams might have affected the downstream movement of sediments to Lake Pepin. The specific objective of this study will be to summarize information gathered from the U.S. Geological Survey and Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), various consultants the USACE has used over the years, and published literature. This study will form the basis for additional studies if it appears that wing dam and closing dams significantly reduced the river-flood plain interactions and someway contributed to an increase in sedimentation rate in Lake Pepin.

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How is Climate Change in Minnesota Affecting the Sustainability of Corn Production?

(2014)
University of Minnesota/Tim Griffis

The goal of this project is to develop a state-of-the-art large mesocosm facility to examine how climate change will impact agricultural productivity and other environmental impacts in Minnesota. The results will provide important knowledge to Minnesota corn growers with respect to climate change adaptation. Better understanding of how current cultivars respond to changing climate will help with developing an integrated climate change adaptation plan and guide future research efforts.

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Quantifying Hydrologic Impacts of Drainage Under Corn Production Systems in the Upper Midwest

(2014)
University of Minnesota/Jeff Strock

This research will use a combination of field research and modeling to quantify the water balances of corn production systems, with and without the presence of subsurface drainage, along a precipitation gradient from eastern South Dakota to south central Minnesota. Understanding the hydrologic response of drainage and crop water consumption at both the field and watershed scale will help corn growers be economically competitive while also informing development of tools and management approaches that can minimize their environmental impact under various climate conditions.

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Tracking Conservation Success

(2013)
Houston Engineering, Inc/Brian Fischer

This project will result in an online conservation/ best management practice (BMP) tracking database and web mapping application that is designed and operated to meet the needs of Minnesota’s agricultural community. The applications will be developed in collaboration with the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center (MAWRC) and the Wisconsin Discovery Watershed program to support the needs of their on-going initiatives while also serving Minnesota’s larger agricultural community

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Permanent Living Mulches for Farmable Vegetative Buffers and Waterways

(2013)
University of Minnesota/John Baker

The objective of the research is to show that perennial living mulches can be established in sensitive locations within cropped fields and managed so that they can support continued row crop production while conferring environmental benefits.

 

A secondary project titled “Recycling nitrate with electrodialysis” is ongoing. The current progress report if for that project focus. Jan 19th, 2017

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