ARDN wrap up meetings

Oct. 31, 2022


The Agricultural Research Data Network (ARDN) is a USDA-funded project that David and Kristina have worked on since 2019. Their role was to make data from the TERRA-REF project available in a standard format at the National Agricultural Library's Ag Data Commons. The standard was developed by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project (AgMIP) to facilitate modeling with common data sets. We previously wrote about one of our monthly virtual hackathons for this project.

As the project was drawing to a close, Kristina and David participated in two meetings in June. The first was a hackathon to test that the data could be used by crop models. The second was a workshop in which project participants demonstrated the datasets and tools that we developed to a broader community. Project presentations were recorded and are available on the USDA NAL YouTube channel.

Two types of products from this project may be of particular interest to the reader:

  1. Datasets published on Ag Data Commons as a collection, under the ARDN tag, including: 
    1. Our team’s TERRA-REF data published in BrAPI format
    2. 30 years of agricultural data from the Kellogg Biological Station from the Michigan State group (Bruno Basso, Brian Baer, Sven Bohm)
    3. Multi-state, USDA-funded Sustainable Corn CAP Research Data (Lori Abendroth) 
    4. Georgia Variety Trials (Daniel Mailhot)
  2. Tools developed or improved upon for the data harmonization pipeline. The newest tool used in this project is the Vmapper (Variable Mapper), that helps data providers annotate their tabular data with standard ICASA vocabulary terms in a format that facilitates reuse, including by different crop models. Once a dataset has been annotated, the Data Factory tool can be used to convert data into formats used by crop models including DSSAT, APSIM, and STICS.

As part of making TERRA REF data available in this format, the UA team worked with the Breeder's API (BrAPI) community to develop a specification for agronomic management events. This new BrAPI specification uses the ICASA vocabulary and has been deployed as part of the BrAPI v2.1 specification.