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Wednesday, April 11 • 1:30pm - 1:45pm
PROCESSES IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: Blue and Green: Modeling Rain-fed and Irrigated Agriculture on the Landscape

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AUTHORS: Sarah Goslee, USDA Agricultural Research Service

ABSTRACT: Given an increasing human population but a stable land base available for agricultural production, more food must be produced from the same area, without increasing adverse environmental impacts. The site potential for such sustainable intensification depends on climate, soils, and socio-economic factors. Current crop distributions may provide some insight into future possibilities. Daily weather data, the USDA Census of Agriculture, and Cropland Data Layer cover information for 2014-2016 were used to characterize the climatic envelopes for irrigated and rain-fed distributions of several major crops in the eastern United States. Projected climate data were then used to identify the future spatial locations of those envelopes. The locations where rainfed agriculture is highly productive will shift, in some cases moving away from the areas of most productive soils. These novel combinations of climate and soils will require new agricultural management strategies. Increased irrigation could compensate in some cases, but water availability concerns may make increased irrigation infeasible. Shifting climate, soil fertility patterns, and water availability all must be taken into account when considering the future of US agriculture.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 1:30pm - 1:45pm CDT
Adams Room

Attendees (4)