Output Tool Technical Report 2
Jingwei Ke, Pexels

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Quantifying resilience to drought and flooding in agricultural systems

May 2021

Soil has physical properties that affect its ability to retain water in periods of drought, and drain water in times of extreme or prolonged rainfall. Regenerative agriculture practices have been suggested to manage soil to increase resilience to flood and drought conditions, which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity over the coming decades.

This report proposes a series of soil health measurements to understand the impact of regenerative management practices on resilience (including soil macroporosity, infiltration rates, aggregate stability, soil carbon, plant cover, nutrient availability, and food webs). Using remote-sensing measurements from satellite is also proposed.

This framework consists of: measurements of soil properties known to indirectly support resistance to, or recovery from, drought and flood; direct measurements of productivity and quality throughout periods of disturbance; remote sensing measurements of vegetation quality. In capturing all three approaches, we can identify whether RA practices alter resilience to drought and flood compared to current management practices at field, farm, and landscape scales; and identify which mechanisms are supporting such resilience.

Contract Report: LC3954-14

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