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Human Dimensions of Nutrient Cycling in Agriculture

Nutrient management is a key consideration for the sustainability of agricultural systems, social science research can help lead to the retransformational management changes, connection of inputs and outputs within these systems, ultimately increasing their sustainability.

Transformative Soil Management Innovation

  • PI: Claire Friedrichsen; co-PI: J.D. Wulfhorst; Collaborators: Washington State University
  • This research will provide insight into communication gaps between stakeholders related to adoption or barriers to adoption of aspirational soil management innovations (e.g. soil health, intercropping, biosolids) by farmers. Semi-structured interviews and inductive research methodology will drive the research plan to develop a holistic understanding of adoption of aspirational soil management innovations across LTAR case sites (e.g. CAF, LMRB, TBD). The results will provide insight on the social dimensions of adoption of aspirational systems. LTAR sites will be empowered to develop relevant, aspirational innovations to match local contexts that will have widespread of adoption of these innovations beyond progressive farmers. LTAR network collaborators will gain input regarding framing ARS-based research and outreach to match local perspectives of challenges facing the food system.

Manureshed Social Dimensions

  • PI: Gwendŵr Meredith; in collaboration with the LTAR Manuresheds working group; co-PIs: Claire Friedrichsen, J.D. Wulfhorst
  • This project will identify the social vicinity of selected confined animal feeding operations and the social barriers to functioning ‘manuresheds’, or areas surrounding livestock operations where producers can recycle excess manure nutrients. A recent LTAR-led project has identified Phosphorous source and sink counties within the contiguous United States which may outline manuresheds. To understand the capacity of producers to connect across P sources and sink areas, we will examine social networks of producers in several potential manuresheds. This research will advance the network’s understanding of the social structure of areas with successful and limited manure recycling and where to target efforts in promoting efficient manuresheds.


College of Natural Resources

Physical Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho
Rm: CNR 16B

Mailing Address:
975 W. 6th Street
Moscow, Idaho

Phone: 208-885-7428