Gregg A. Johnson, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN, Forrest izuno, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN, Robert Ford Denison, Ecology Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN and Jeffrey S. Strock, Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota, Lamberton, MN
The University of Minnesota recently launched a Long-Term Agricultural Research Network (LTARN) comprising three field sites across Minnesota. The focus is on consistent protocols and overlaps in cropping systems across sites allowing for a coordinated network approach to research and outreach that is systems-oriented, multidisciplinary, and geographically scalable. Geographic scalability is further enhanced by large main-plot size (24 x 24 m) supplemented with plots strategically located at different landscape positions nearby. The LTARN emphasizes outcome-based results using a combination of short-, mid-, and long-term experiments to address long-term goals. The LTARN intentionally studies the biophysical and biogeochemical effects on, and of, agricultural production systems over time and space simultaneously. Understanding the full range of economic and environmental values and functionsderived from a given crop or crop sequence and how these values can contribute to our understanding trade-offs among economic, social, and environmental drivers in the design of resilient agricultural systems is an important goal of the LTAR. We will discuss the LTARN model concept and provide an overview of current site design.