USDA-ARS Long-term Agroecosystem Research Network: A new initiative for long-term monitoring, research, and collaboration in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

Author(s): Rigby, J.; Locke, M.

The Lower Mississippi River Basin is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country links agricultural practices and associated runoff and nutrient loads from the Upper Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio basins with the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. In 2013 the USDA-ARS founded the Long-term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network consisting of 18 member locations across the United States to address long-term research and monitoring goals for U.S. agriculture. The Lower Mississippi River Basin (LMRB) is a member location of the network administered by the USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory. The LTAR network will focus activity on development of agroecosystem observatories with common standards for cross-site monitoring at all locations as well as a set of experiments to address the long-term sustainability of agriculture and the broader agricultural landscape in the U.S. A number of sustainability challenges face the Lower Mississippi River Basin including increased concerns around water quantity and quality issues.
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