Croplands Common Experiment

The LTAR Croplands Common Experiment (CCE) is designed to provide the knowledge needed to sustainably intensify U.S. row crop production. The objectives of the Croplands Common Experiment are to:

  • Develop and evaluate production systems that promote the sustainable intensification of cropland agriculture;
  • Identify, quantify, and understand mechanisms underlying tradeoffs and synergies among ecosystem services; and
  • Use common long-term measurements and observations to understand and model ecosystem service outcomes under future projections of climate variability and change.

The LTAR Common Experiment at all sites compares common agronomic systems and practices (Business as Usual) to Aspirational systems and practices that have the potential to achieve sustainable intensification goals. Treatments within the Common Experiment at KBS are slated to begin in 2022 and include a conventionally managed corn-soybean system compared to a more diverse cropping system with livestock integration and conservation practices. The Aspirational treatment is designed to increase productivity, including yields and yield stability profitability; produce positive environmental outcomes related to soil health, climate change, and biodiversity; and promote rural prosperity, including farm and community well-being.

This aspirational cropping system was developed and is continually refined using a collaborative approach that brings together stakeholders and scientists to define intended outcomes and specific practices.

The LTAR Common Experiment design includes both fields (to replicate the spatial variability faced by farmers) and plots (to provide the more controlled environments needed for some measurements).

 

2022 LTAR Main Site Plot map           LTAR ACSE Field Map with Prairie Strips 2022