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July 29-130-Mike Kucera

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July 29-130-Mike Kucera

  1. 1. State and Transition Models on Cropland: Examples, Emerging Principles and Challenges Mike Kucera NRCS Agronomist Lincoln, NE
  2. 2. Use of Ecological Sites and STMs on Cropland Nine Steps of Planning (three phases) – Resources/Inventories, Applicable Systems/Practices, Monitoring/Feedback Suitability/Limitations for Land Uses and Practices Response to Management and Disturbance Resilience and Sustainability Spatial Relevancy Challenges and Priorities for development STMs Provide – Range of dynamic soil properties (soil health indicators) – Transitions (Practices, Adaptive Mgt, Common Mistakes) – Land use decision tree first tier (conversion of land use) – Nested STMs (i.e. orchards/vineyards vs. row crop) – Decision-making support for cropland
  3. 3. Ecological Sites (Conservation Planning on all Landuses) Basis for aggregating soil map unit components across state and county boundaries Similar ecological/management response, climate, soils, hydrology, physiography, and other factors Consider other land uses when developing ES concepts Similar forest productivity index/TSI, crop production indexes/crops, forage species/production, & management response/practice effects. Aggregate STMs on similar ecological sites for use on alternative land uses (i.e. Loamy and Clayey Upland for irrigated pasture/cropland with high energy inputs) Linked to Soil/Site Limitations for equipment and conservation practices (i.e. shallow soils, wetness, salinity)
  4. 4. Cropland STMs Across Ecological Sites
  5. 5. State and Transition Models For Conservation Planning on all Landuses Blue print for conservation planning for common land uses (from local planners) Start simple but allow for more complex STMs as knowledge is gained (especially for alternative land uses) Support local priorities and programs (invasive species, restoration, wildlife, water quality, soil health, hydrology impacts, etc.) Local expertise/knowledge used to establish common states = Similar resource concerns, based on SWAPA thresholds for common state scenarios for each landuse in the local area Transitions and Pathways describe how changes in states occur (conservation practices, management, climate, & time) Separate STMs for each landuse (allow for states to focus on land uses that are most applicable for planning and programs) Restoration pathways (i.e. wetland restorations, Declining Habitat Restorations) Indicators for Common States (Physical, Chemical and Biological)
  6. 6. (1) define clients decision context; (2) identify measurable objectives; (3) formulate alternative management strategies; (4) explore the consequences of alternatives in relation to objectives; (5) select alternative but make trade-offs among objectives.
  7. 7. LANDUSE CONVERSIONS AND RESTORATION PATHWAYS (general more detailed options/information will be developed) T1, T9 Cultivation/chemical kill, Irrigation Well and Irrigation Application System if irrigated T2 Cultivation and reseeding, abandoned or combination of fertilizer, seeding, heavy summer grazing T3, T7 Encroachment by Red cedar, Siberian elm and/or Locust and lack of fire or brush management; Cultivation Tree planting and Forest Stand Management T4 Clearing and cultivation T5 Abandonment and tree encroachment; Tree planting and Forest Stand Management T6 Site preparation and Pasture Seeding T8, T11 Clearing, and pasture seeding or range seeding T10 Site Preparation and Range seeding T1 T2 T3 T4 T6 T5 T7 T8T9 Loamy Upland Loess Mixed Grass Prairie Rangeland Ecotype (ESD) Tier 1 STM (Nested Land Use Decision Tree - Land Use Conversion) T1 1T10 T12 LANDUSE INTERPRETATIONS (general information for each major landuse) Range: Refer to rangeland ESD, STM and other major range interpretations Crop: Cropping limitations, equipment limitations, crop yields, crop adaptability, management limitations, other general cropland interpretations for site. Pasture: Forage suitability group information, landuse limitations, equipment limitations, productivity, grass/legume adaptability, management limitations, other general pasture interpretations for site. Forest: Tree and shrub group information, landuse limitations, equipment limitations, wildlife, production timber indexes, tree/shrub adaptability, management limitations, other general forest interpretations for site Pasture (Irrigated or rain fed) Crop (irrigated or rain fed) Range Forest
  8. 8. CROPLAND INTERPRETATIONS/LIMITATIONS/SUITABILITY • Conservation practice limitations and suitability for the site • Cropping limitations, equipment limitations, crop yields, crop suitability, management limitations, site limitations (wetness, soil depth, etc.) • General cropland interpretations wetnesseroded
  9. 9. 3. Low 1. High 2. Medium 1.1 Short Term High level SHMS following range, pasture 1.2 High Managed Perennial Hayland (long term) 1.3 High Level Soil Health Management System (long term) 3.1 Corn Soybean Conventional Tillage 3.2 Silage/Stover Harvested, Overgrazed CT 2.1 Mulch Tillage/Short term no-till 2.2 Medium Managed/Per. Hayland 3.3 Low condition Hayland Dryland Crop (Loamy Upland) T2A T1A T3A T2B
  10. 10. On-Site Soil Health Indicators Dynamic Soil Properties
  11. 11. Healthy vs Degraded Soil Properties and Indicators of Soil Health
  12. 12. Degraded Cropland State: Management (Highly Erodible) Conventional Tillage (fall chisel spring disk) 328: Corn-Soybean Rotation No Cover Crops No Field Borders Standard Nutrient Management Herbicide Resistant Weeds What are the onsite indicators and range of dynamic soil properties of this state/condition? What are the limitations for this landuse? What conservation practices and management will work for severe storms? Drought Resilience?
  13. 13. Healthy Cropland State: Conservation Practices 329: Continuous No-till 328: Diverse crop rotation C-SB-W/CC rotated from perennial hayland 330: Contour Farming 340: Cover Crops 528: Prescribed Grazing 386: Field Borders 600: Terraces 412: Grassed Waterway 620: Underground Outlets 590: Nutrient Management (soil testing, zone mgt liming, 4Rs) 595: Pest Mgt (Scouting, Thresholds, Herbicide Resistance Management) Perennial Hayland (2000-2009 same field
  14. 14. Degradation / Resilience Threshold Resource Concern Threshold SoilFunctions/EcosystemServices Disturbance within one Agricultural Production Group Ecological Potential (example graph) Attainable for Grain Rotations Production Group GrainRotations Rotation, short term no-till, no cover crops Organic system w/ cover crops Monocrop, Residue removal tillage Continuous no-till rotation, w/ cover crops Diverse rotation, tillage Continuous no-till perennial crops in rotation, w/ cover crops
  15. 15. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Soil Loss tons/ac/yr Runoff Inches per season High Management Medium Management Low Management Example Numerical Graphs -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 SCI High Management Medium Management Low Management
  16. 16. Challenges for Cropland STM Development • STMs designed originally for Range and Forest • Tier 1 concepts starting with land uses are new • Similar management practices utilized across ecological sites within an entire field (crop rotation dependent)? • Defining states (thresholds, range of conditions)? • Level of detail for transitions? • Information to include in cropland STMs so they are useful to planners? • Use of similar STMs across ecological sites? • STMs on energy dependent land uses? • Soil health indicators, modeled data, and dynamic soil properties (impacts of practices)? • Staff time and priorities? • Are the benefits of cropland STMs worth the investment for conservation planning use by states?
  17. 17. Conclusions(STMs for Cropland) • Spatially relevant • Ecosystem services/management response • Conservation practice recommendations • Common conditions within cropland • Limitations-suitability • Common transitions (negative & positive) • Conservation decision-making • Restoration & land use conversion • Monitoring conditions and trends (indicators- range of dynamic soil properties) • Limitations on funding and staff time
  18. 18. Questions? Mike Kucera: michael.kucera@lin.usda.gov

Editor's Notes

  • Topic and Name/Title
  • Basis for building STMs on cropland
  • Concepts for STMs on all land uses
  • Most of the time the same rotations, tillage are used across ESs, Producers may use precision ag to adjust plant population or fertility.
  • Background on STMs for conservation planning on all land uses
  • Structured decision making use is a must for all STMs
  • Example land use tier 1 STM with land use conversions built into it.
  • Ability to include land use limitations and/or suitability within in nested/tiered concepts
  • Example STM on cropland with state boundaries based on soil functioning
  • Example of platy structure do to compression tillage
  • Indicators from an actual site in Minnesota on same soil type poor soil structure, aggregate stability, structure and soil color differences
  • Low level management that is not practicing four SH principles
  • Example of High level SHMS with optimal soil functions
  • Example graph with disturbance regimes and impact on soil function which is main emphasis of soil health mgt
  • Example graphs with data modeled in WEPP
  • Challenges, briefly discuss each challenge
  • conclusions
  • Ecological Site Descriptions contain all of the information necessary to support conservation planning by objective and can be set up for common landuses. The challenge is to develop a way of organizing information that is accessible, logical and testable for cropland conservation planning.

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