No comprehensive protocols exist for the collection, standardization, and storage of agronomic management information into a database that preserves privacy, maintains data uncertainty, and translates everyday decisions into quantitative values. This paper describes the development of a relational database intended to meet the agronomic and ecosystem interests of potential users from a long-term experimental watershed located in Pennsylvania, United States' Ridge and Valley physiographic province. We discuss the type and complexity of the data, which has historically been documented in free-form surveys collected through discussion with farmers. We detail the development process of a spatially and temporally explicit land management database and discuss the challenges in standardizing, without generalizing, 13 years of historic free-form data for 13 farms and 315 fields. Finally, we provide examples at field, farm, and watershed scales of how this database serves as a foundation for other data sets and modeling efforts that support research aimed at helping farmers meet long-term production, land stewardship, and water quality goals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Water Science and Technology
- Soil Science
- Nature and Landscape Conservation