The Dashboard for Agricultural Water Use and Nutrient Management

MCAP is part of the Dashboard for Agricultural Water Use and Nutrient Management (DAWN) project, a multi-year, multi-institutional effort to create "a predictive decision support tool to sustain food and energy crop production in the U.S. Corn Belt." Scientists on the DAWN project come from the University of Maryland, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, the University of Nebraska, Colorado State University, and the Family Farms Group.

The DAWN team is divided into five parts: Extension, System Development & Forecasting, Decision Support Systems, Information Delivery Systems, and Education. Because MCAP is part of the University of Minnesota's Extension school, its role in the DAWN project is similarly with Extension. The Extension team works to ensure that DAWN products are co-built with stakeholder needs in mind through several strategies: establishing a Stakeholder Working Group to advise and collaborate with the various DAWN teams; surveying stakeholders to understand when and how they make decisions with which climate data, and; evaluating how DAWN products are used. 

More information can be found on the DAWN website.

Project Highlights

DAWN map
The corn and soybean-growing areas of the U.S. on which the project is focused. Relevant DAWN partner institutions, advisory groups, and farm partners are also shown.

The DAWN project has several goals: 

1. Work with stakeholders to design a decision support and information delivery platform.

2. Generate reliable climate forecasts that help stakeholders to optimize crop productivity while minimizing environmental impacts.

3. Build decision support tools that translate climate predictions into concrete recommendations useful to stakeholders.

4. Produce content for experiential, interdisciplinary education to train students in agricultural water use and nutrient management.

Project Team

Heidi Roop

Heidi Roop

Melissa Kenney

Melissa Kenney
Director of Research & Knowledge Initiatives,
University of Minnesota
Institute on the Environment 




"A Dashboard for Water and Nutrients" (DAWN) is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Grant number: 2020-68012-31674.