Rushville Republican

Agriculture

May 9, 2014

Purdue team aims to increase agricultural resilience amid climate change

(Continued)

Agronomy professor Phillip Owens is working to increase understanding of the role of soil variability in soil health and agricultural resilience.

Professors Jane Frankenberger in agricultural and biological engineering and Laura Bowling in agronomy are evaluating drainage water management, sometimes called controlled drainage, for its effect on conserving water that otherwise would drain away in the early growing season.

Some of the water can be stored within the soil itself by raising the outlet of the drainage system immediately after spring planting. The crops then would have increased availability to water during dry periods.

“While that system has shown only small increases in crop yields in some years, the potential benefits may become more important in the future due to climate variability and change,” Kladivko said.

The Purdue team includes three Purdue Extension county educators - Hans Schmitz of Gibson County, Jon Neufelder of Posey County and Bryan Overstreet of Jasper County. They work help to educate farmers in their counties about corn production and climate. Kladivko and Frankenberger will report some of their findings at the Resilient Agriculture Conference Aug. 5-7 in Ames, Iowa.

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