Living Field Lab


Research at KBS is devoted to learning how microbes, insects, and plants interact with each other and their environment in important U.S. row crops. By better understanding these complex interactions over time, our research helps inform management and policy to help make farming more profitable and provide environmental benefits.

KBS researchers ask fundamental questions about how cropping systems function:

  • how do microbes and other soil organisms make nutrients available to crops;
  • how are pest populations kept in check;
  • how does plant diversity contribute to agricultural productivity;
  • what regulates the loss of nitrogen and other pollutants from agricultural fields & landscapes;
  • how can the benefits society receives from agricultural landscapes be economically valued?

More information about our short- and long-term research experiments addressing these questions can be found here.

Resources for Ag Professionals

LTER tour from The China Agricultural University

Educational materials, including fact sheets and online tools, are available free of charge on our educational resources page. Our climate change and agriculture fact sheet series is an example of the resources we provide:

Climate Change & Agriculture Extension Bulletins

Workshops and Presentations for Ag Professionals

Throughout the year we host professional development workshops and training sessions. If you are interested in collaborating to host an educational program for your stakeholder group or if you would like to request a speaker for an event you are holding, please contact us. Subscribe to our RSS feeds or connect with us in social media to stay updated with KBS LTER events.


The KBS LTER is collaborating with Iowa State University to increase the adoption of prairie strips on agricultural landscapes across the Midwest. Through the development of the MiSTRIPS program, the KBS team will work alongside seven other contributing states to form a regional partnership that delivers programming and networking opportunities to increase the scale and adoption of prairie strips conservation practices on farms. To learn more, visit the page here.

Tours at KBS

The LTER field experiments are available for guided tours for groups wishing to know more about LTER research and how it is conducted. Tours generally take about an hour and are tailored to the group’s interests. For tours of the LTER please contact us.

A self-guided tour of our Main Cropping System Experiment is available May 1 through November 1, free of charge.

Click to more information on our tours >>