Increasing food production while simultaneously reducing environmental impacts is a critical challenge facing humanity. Our research aims to develop effective crop management strategies that can be used to enhance the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of agricultural systems. We utilize a combination of field experimentation, data synthesis, remote sensing, and crop modeling to address sustainability challenges facing agronomic systems.
Key research areas include i) sustainable intensification – options for increasing yields while minimizing soil greenhouse gas emissions, water quality impacts, and energy and carbon footprints of agriculture, ii) cropping systems analysis – holistic approaches for quantifying efficiency gains and sustainability tradeoffs of agricultural intensification efforts, and iii) improved nitrogen management practices – enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and yields while minimizing nitrogen losses to the environment.
Example research projects
Cropping Systems Analysis
Assessing the eco-efficiency of rice production in Uruguay at a national scale
Life-cycle assessment of traditional and intensified rice production systems in Bangladesh
Cover crop impacts on corn and soybean yields at the field-scale using UAVs
Reduced- vs. high-input soybean production: yield, energy balance, and estimated GHG emissions
Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Evaluating fertilizer N sources for mitigating N2O emissions while increasing nutrient utilization
Effects of long-term crop residue removal and tillage practices on soil N2O emissions in continuous corn
4R Nutrient Stewardship and cover crop impacts on soil N2O emissions, tile drainage nitrate losses, and corn yield (Dudley Smith Project in collaboration with Dr. Laura Christianson and Dr. Rabin Bhattarai)
Yield-scaled N leaching losses as a function of N rate in corn-soybean rotations
Biochar effects on soil N availability and N use efficiency in maize