Projects & Results

Annual Reports


Current Projects


Establishing a soil health framework for water-limited regions

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

This research aims to understand linkages between key soil health indicators and ecosystems functions (carbon sequestration, water conservation, soil stability) in arid and semiarid areas. We demonstrated improvements in soil health and environmental quality without adversely affecting yield and productivity in limited irrigation cropping systems.

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Carbon Management


Cover Crops and nitrogen use efficiency

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-WSARE

Water and nitrogen are the major limiting factors for crop production in semiarid regions. We aim to examine soil moisture and nitrogen dynamics in the soil profile with diverse cover cropping practices to understand soil water flow and nitrogen loss from soil. The study is expected to enhance nitrogen use efficiency and guide farmers on optimum N management in forage production.

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Carbon Management


Cover crops for soil health and forage production

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-NRCS

This study evaluates how cover crops improve soil health, forage production, and the nutritive value of corn and sorghum silage under irrigated conditions. We demonstrated that cover crops use water but improve the cropping system’s water use efficiency and ultimately increase corn and sorghum biomass production by 22-30% compared with winter-fallow.

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Carbon Management, Water


Tillage management in dryland cropping systems

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-NRCS

The main goal of this project is to improve soil health and increase crop production in drylands through reduced tillage management. However, the no-tillage system also has some limitations. This project is designed to evaluate and optimize soil disturbance intensity and frequency to maximize soil health and agronomic productivity in drylands.

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Carbon Management


Carbon sequestration and global warming mitigation in semiarid cropping systems

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
NMSU-AES

Intensively cultivated soils in the western United States have lost about 28-58% soil organic matter storage in 0-30 cm of soil in the last 100 years. Understanding drivers of such change will help in designing agricultural systems that could conserve soil. This project will investigate SOC sequestration and global warming mitigation potential of two existing semiarid cropping systems by monitoring SOC fractions and carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions.

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Management, Research on Critical Environmental Issues


Alternative forage and perennial cropping for regenerative solutions

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-NRCS

The Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment (2018) revealed increase in annual average temperature over the contiguous United States by 0.7°C over the last few decades, affecting agriculture and the environment. This project aims to develop an alternative cropping system that regenerates soil, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and supports the dairy industry in New Mexico.

Strategic Priority Area:
Research on Critical Environmental Issues


Carbon sequestration in perennial forage production systems

Funding:
ASC Clovis (enhancement)

This project evaluates the adaptability and carbon sequestration potential of winter hardy bermudagrass cultivars with and without interseeded alfalfa. We expect to see enhanced soil C sequestration with perennial forage crops than annual cropping.

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Carbon Management


Agroecosystem resilience in times of drought

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

The primary goal of this research is to work with producers and related stakeholders on innovative cropping strategies to develop sustainable and resilient cropping systems while preserving soil and environmental quality. The project is expected to enhance awareness of soil health and water conservation practices in the arid and semiarid regions. We established demonstration plots on dryland and irrigated cropping systems and disseminated information to approximately 500 farmers and stakeholders per year (2019 to 2021).

Strategic Priority Area:
Soil Health and Carbon Management, Research on Critical Environmental Issues


Nitrogen management in perennial wheat

Dr. Rajan Ghimire, Cropping Systems Agronomist

Funding:
USDA-NRCS

Perennial cropping has been promoted as a frontier technology for climate change mitigation and improving food security. However, their adaptability in semiarid regions and management strategies are not fully understood. This project aims to optimize the nitrogen application rate in a dual-purpose (grain + forage) perennial wheat.

Strategic Priority Area:
Research on Critical Environmental Issues


An Integrated, Inter-Regional Approach to Breeding Valencia Market Class of Peanut for Enhanced Productivity and Sustainability under Water Deficit

Dr. Naveen Puppala, Peanut Breeder

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

Evaluate existing advanced populations of Valencia type mapping population of US peanut production , developed from programs representative from the southwest peanut growing regions.

Strategic Priority Area:
Genetic Improvement


Enhancing the Breeding Potential of Valencia Peanut for Drought and Disease resistance in New Mexico

Dr. Naveen Puppala, Peanut Breeder

Funding:
ASC Clovis (enhancement)

The long-term goal is to restore back the predominant position of New Mexico by providing the peanut growers the Valencia peanut cultivars that produces more with less water and at the same time possesses good seed quality meeting standards of the in-shell peanut trade industry. Additionally, with the availability of high density genetic linkage map (based on intra-specific cross) and markers linked with agronomic and seed quality traits will go a long way assisting peanut breeders to select progenies with beneficial traits in peanut breeding.

Strategic Priority Area:
Genetic Improvement


Screening of Valencia Peanut Lines for Drought Tolerance

Dr. Naveen Puppala, Peanut Breeder

Funding:
National Peanut Board

To screen advanced breeding lines of Valencia peanut for drought tolerance in eastern New Mexico and west Texas.

Strategic Priority Area:
Genetic Improvement


Organic Seed treatment Study in Valencia Peanut

Dr. Naveen Puppala, Peanut Breeder

Funding:
New Mexico Peanut Growers

Perform on-farm seed treatment studies on grower’s field using all commercially available organic products

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering


Cotton Performance Evaluation

Dr. Naveen Puppala, Peanut Breeder

Funding:
Private Seed Companies

Providing unbiased information to producers growers about variety performance provides them with an opportunity to maximize production with the same level of inputs.

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering variety performance to Meet Changes in New Mexico Agriculture


Sorghum Grain and Forage Performance Trials

Dr. Abdel Mesbah, Superintendent-Weed Scientist

Funding:
Several Seed Companies

Evaluate the performance of several grain and forage sorghum varieties grown under dryland and irrigation conditions.

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering


Corn Grain and Forage Performance Trials

Dr. Abdel Mesbah, Superintendent-Weed Scientist

Funding:
Several Seed Companies

Evaluate the performance of several grain and forage corn varieties grown under dryland and irrigated conditions.

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering


Winterwheat forage Performance Trials

Dr. Abdel Mesbah, Superintendent-Weed Scientist

Funding:
Several Seed Companies

Evaluate the performance of several winterwheat varieties grown under irrigated conditions.

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering


Huskie Herbicide for Weed Management in Sorghum

Dr. Abdel Mesbah, Superintendent-Weed Scientist

Funding:
Bayer Crop Science

Evaluated weed control and sorghum response to several rates and application timings of huskie herbicide applied alone or in combination with several sorghum herbicides.

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering


Weed Resistance Management in Corn

Dr. Abdel Mesbah, Superintendent-Weed Scientist

Funding:
Bayer Crop Science

Evaluate the control of roundup resistant weeds in corn by thank mixing Glyphosate with several different mode of action herbicides applied as pre or post emergence.

Strategic Priority Area:
Discovering, Developing and Delivering


Circular Buffer Strips of Perennial Grasses

Dr. Sangu Angadi, Crop physiologist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

The project aims at developing novel cropping system of reintroducing mixture of native perennial grasses as circular buffer strips in center pivot irrigation system to improve multiple ecosystem services (water cycle, soil and water conservation, soil health, carbon sequestration, green house gas emission, biodiversity, resources use efficiency and net primary productivity), management benefits (pivot maintenance and well pressure management) and long term sustainability of irrigated agriculture. Preliminary results are showing potential for large impact in the Southern Great Plains.

Strategic Priority Area:
Natural Resources Conservation, Soil and health and carbon management, Biodiversity


Evaluation of Diverse Perennial Grasses and Forbes for Suitability to Circular Buffer Strips

Dr. Sangu Angadi, Crop physiologist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

To improve circular buffer strips design diverse cool and warm season grasses and forbes species are being assessed individually or in different mixtures. The aim is to maximize ecosystem services improvements, while keeping buffer strips simple enough for easy adoption by producers. Flowering species are evluated to assess insect biodiversity, especially of pollinators and beneficial insects.

Strategic Priority Area:
Biodiversity, Natural Resource Conservation, Soil health and carbon management


Seasonal Radiation Use and Radiation Use Efficiency of Winter Canola

Dr. Sangu Angadi, Crop physiologist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

The project aims at understanding role of leaves, flowers and pods of winter canola, a relatively new crop in the US, in capturing solar radiation during the growing season and utilizing it in photosynthesis and transpiration processes. The project tried to understand albedo, pod photosynthesis, source sink relationships of winter canola to improve breeding efforts.

Strategic Priority Area:
Crop diversification, Nutritional security


Developing Winter Canola as an Alternative Crop

Dr. Sangu Angadi, Crop physiologist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

The main goal of this project is to develop new and well adopted cultivars of winter canola for Southern High Plains. New winter canola cultivars and hybrids evaluation, assessment of new breeding material and agronomic management will be assessed in the project. Two separate USDA-NIFA grants are supporting this research.

Strategic Priority Area:
Crop diversification, Nutritional security


Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions

Dr. Sangu Angadi, Crop physiologist

Funding:
USDA-NIFA

Developing two desert adopted species, guar and guyule, as low input alternative crops for the semiarid and arid regions of New Mexico and Arizona. My focus is on guar agronomy, water management and breeding material evaluation. Guar gum is used in multiple industries including oil and natural gas industries in drilling and fracking purpose. Goal is to develop locally produced guar gum for the local industries. Currently, I have three trials under the project: ‘Fertility and Irrigation Management’, ‘Plant Population Effect’ and ‘Low Temperature Tolerance’.

Strategic Priority Area:
Crop diversification

Circular Buffer Strips of Native Perennial Grasses

Multi State Project Funded by USDA-NIFA; Focuses on Carbon Management
ASC-Clovis faculty, Drs. Sangu Angadi and Rajan Ghimire are members of this project. Overall goal of this project is to develop a technology that can be easily adopted over the entire Great Plain to improve multiple ecosystem services while sustaining Ogallala Aquifer longer.

Simple and elegant concept of Circular Buffer Strips (CBS) utilizes partial pivots (only part of the pivot irrigated) created by declining well outputs and rearranges dryland portion into circles of buffer strips of native cool and warm season perennial grass mixtures alternating with crop strips to enhance multiple ecosystem services. The long term, multidisciplinary, landscape level study is showing promising results to make great impact in the Great Plains. Some of the potential benefits expected from the CBS systems are:

  1. Improve microclimate and productivity (reduce wind, crop stress and protect plants)
  2. Improve water cycle and water use efficiency (capture more precipitation and reduce losses)
  3. Improve carbon sequestration (deeper root, longer growing season, and higher productivity)
  4. Protect soil and crop (reduce wind, soil abrasion injury)
  5. Increase biodiversity (microbial, insects, plants and wildlife)
  6. Circular rings trap agrochemicals, water and soil moving in any direction (improve efficiency)
  7. Better quality of life (reduced pollution, improved air quality, diverse wildlife)
  8. Practical benefits (well pressure, pivot tire, wiper irrigation)



Video on Benefits of Circular Buffer Strips of Native Perennial Grass Mixtures by Mallory Nielson, Paramveer Singh, Sangu Angadi, Mickie Wilkinson, and Rajan Ghimire. 2022.


Circular Buffer Strip Project (labeled)
Circular Buffer Strip
Partial Pivot to Circular Buffer Strip Pivot