Sustainable intensification of agricultural drainage

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2019-10-07
Authors
Archontoulis, Sotirios
Poffenbarger, Hanna
Six, Johan
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Agronomy

The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

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The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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1902–present

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

History
In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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1905–present

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Artificial drainage is among the most widespread land improvements for agriculture. Drainage benefits crop production, but also promotes nutrient losses to water resources. Here, we outline how a systems perspective for sustainable intensification of drainage can mitigate nutrient losses, increase fertilizer nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is an immediate opportunity to realize these benefits because agricultural intensification and climate change are increasing the extent and intensity of drainage systems. If a systems-based approach to drainage can consistently increase NUE while maintaining or increasing crop production, farmers and the environment will benefit.

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This is a manuscript of an article published as Castellano, Michael J., Sotirios V. Archontoulis, Matthew J. Helmers, Hanna J. Poffenbarger, and Johan Six. "Sustainable intensification of agricultural drainage." Nature Sustainability 2, no. 10 (2019): 914-921. doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0393-0. Posted with permission.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019
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