Simulating the Effects of Conservation Ag Practices
DNDC: The Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) model was used to simulate carbon and nitrogen soil dynamics in the US corn belt as a function of the soil health management practices monitored by OpTIS (crop diversity, conservation tillage, and cover crops). Results are presented for observed (by OpTIS) adoption levels of these soil health management practices and for alternative scenarios where only conventional tillage and/or no cover cropping are practiced.
DNDC performs process-based simulations of nitrogen and carbon dynamics in agroecosystems. Based on environmental drivers (inputs like soil characteristics, temperature and precipitation data, crop characteristics, and crop management) the model predicts crop growth and yield, greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide), and other environmental effects (like nitrogen leaching and runoff). DNDC is used widely around the world and has been tested against many field datasets in the US and abroad.
A new dataset released in December 2021 covers additional geography with notable expansions into Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The data are also now presented in the context of a two-year crop rotation with options to review by the previous and following cash crop for both tillage and winter cover. Both the OpTIS and DNDC pages have been updated with new charts and maps to further enhance identification of trends and opportunities to promote the adoption of conservation practices.
CTIC is leading a new effort to pilot a phosphorus load reduction market in the Western Lake Erie Basin (Maumee, Sandusky, and Cedar-Portage watersheds, see map). Growers within the indicated watersheds are now being sought to
participate in this pilot market.