|2004 Annual Performance Report|
1 - Introduction
2 - Table of Contents
3 - Goals 1 and 2
4 - Goal 3
5 - Goal 4
6 - Goal 5
7 - Goal 6
GOAL 5: PROTECT AND ENHANCE THE NATION’S NATURAL RESOURCE BASE AND ENVIRONMENT
Analysis of Results: This goal focuses on a wide range of environmental issues related to agriculture. Under Goal 5, 14 Indicators are aligned under 7 Performance Measures. As the National Programs evolve, the Agency will report more accomplishments achieved by collaborative research at multiple locations involving more than one scientific discipline. Thus, we anticipate reporting fewer accomplishments, but accomplishments that are broader in scope that make greater contributions to American agriculture. While it is not possible to report research accomplishments numerically, the progress projected in these Indicators was completed or substantially completed during FY 2004. Fifty significant accomplishments are reported below.
OBJECTIVE 5.1: Provide Science-Based Knowledge and Education To Improve the Management of
During FY 2004, ARS will
provide increased understanding of genetic resources, genomics, and molecular processes of grasses, legumes, and other herbaceous plants that affect establishment, persistence, production and use so improved germplasm and cultivars can be released for pasture, harvested forages, turf, biofuels, rangeland restoration, and conservation.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS plant breeders at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: To remain economically competitive, producers must maintain production with fewer inputs while adapting more effectively to climatic extremes. Big Bluestem is a native prairie grass well adapted to the climate and pests of the region. Improving its productivity gives producers more options for economic viability while creating more favorable conditions for wildlife.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Bluebunch Wheatgrass is a premier native grass widely used for revegetation across the Western States. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Land managers are increasingly required to conserve biodiversity within a species to ensure sufficient genetic variability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Forage and grain legume producers sustain significant losses from diseases. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Breeding resistant cultivars is an important way to reduce these losses without having to use expensive pesticides. But breeding projects traditionally require long, expensive greenhouse evaluations to identify and evaluate disease-resistance plant materials suitable for crosses. This new assay will greatly shorten the time and costs to breeders in selecting breeding germplasm with desirable traits and evaluating the new cultivars.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Stem rust is the most damaging disease in grass seed production in the
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Alfalfa and some grasses have significant protein loss during the ensiling process. This results in economic losses because additional protein supplementation for the livestock can be required. It also results in adverse environmental impacts because nitrogen compounds are released into the environment instead of being retained in the forage. Commercializing alfalfa with the PPO gene will increase economic and environmental sustainability.
provide forage and pasture management technologies and strategies that reduce inputs while improving livestock performance and sustaining the environment.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The traditional grazing system in the southern
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Pasturelands were assumed to be a major source of phosphorus pollution in southern
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS researchers at Beaver, West
They found that using the recently introduced Kiko meat goat as the male sire in crosses with Spanish and Myotonic breeds produced consistently small, lean carcass more effectively than the traditionally used Boer breeds. They also found that the offspring finished most efficiently when supplemented with daily feed at a rate between 2 and 3 percent of body weight.
IMPACT/OUTCOME: One option for increasing profitability on small farms is efficiently serving niche markets such as the one for meat goats on the East coast. These research results help producers select the best breeding stock and feeding supplementation rates to improve profitability.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Livestock grazers in the Northeast face periods when environmental stresses lead to forage deficits that result in lower livestock production. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Maintaining profitability requires that the forage deficit periods be reduced without using fertilizers, herbicides, and other expensive inputs. Establishing pastures with a mix of plants with different characteristics helps to maintain production without additional use of expensive inputs that often have adverse environmental impacts.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Producing liquid fuels from forage biomass offers opportunities to increase national energy independence, diversify rural economies, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: This information will help public and private managers develop more accurate estimates of potential production at the farm and processing plant, and nationally so investment options can be more effectively evaluated.
provide rangeland management technologies and strategies that reduce inputs while improving livestock performance and sustaining the environment including reducing the risks of wildfires, invasive weeds and other threats by stabilizing, restoring, and monitoring degraded rangeland in an affordable and sustainable manner.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The lack of basic ecological information about the sagebrush steppe limits developing and assessing management guidelines for integrating livestock grazing and wildlife habitat conservation for species like the sage grouse. ARS scientists at Burns,
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Over estimating the potential of land areas to support a wildlife species can result in poor management and regulatory decisions. Increasing the amount of science-based information available to managers will result in more effective decisions on livestock and wildlife management. This includes more accurately identifying ecological sites where livestock grazing was thought to be adversely affecting wildlife numbers, but in fact, is not.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Because there are hundreds of millions of acres of rangelands, the cost of monitoring and assessing the condition of these ecologically diverse lands is a major concern. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Applications of these findings are expected to result in savings of as much as 25 percent in NRCS rangeland field data collection.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is a serious invasive weed that fuels wildfires and degrades rangeland ecosystems. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Knowledge that increased carbon dioxide levels increase cheatgrass growth provides land managers with additional insights into the complex mix of factors contributing to the spread of invasive weeds and potential limits on restoring ecological sites, particularly to pre-industrial conditions. Screening out excessively simplistic solutions will save managers time and resources.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Mountain big sagebrush canopies can become too dense and suppress other vegetation important to wildlife and livestock. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Using livestock to manage vegetative cover to achieve environmental objectives is an ideal management option because it provides an economic resource (livestock) while improving the environment. However, these results indicate that using grazing to target a specific plant species should to be carefully monitored to ensure there are no unexpected impacts on other ecosystem values.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at Miles City, Montana, collected information on forage growth over many growing seasons with a variety of climatic conditions including droughts. They found in the northern
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Using this information, ranchers can determine if they are entering a period of drought and low forage production early in the summer and adjust their livestock grazing plans at that time instead of keeping animals through the summer, hoping for summer rain, and then finding themselves in a forage crisis.
OBJECTIVE 5.2: Provide Science-Based Knowledge and Education To Improve Quality and Management of Soil, Air, and Water Resources.
During FY 2004, ARS will
develop and demonstrate the use of new irrigation and drainage management practices that improve water conservation and water quality.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The application of fertilizer in irrigation water (fertigation) can be used efficiently for all irrigation methods. Fertigation brings both nutrients and water to plants and at the same time saves money by combining two tasks into an efficient system. ARS scientists at three locations have found different ways to improve the application of fertilizer and at the same time apply water more efficiently for the three irrigation methods. Researchers from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Current estimates are that various fertigation techniques will be used on 50 percent of the irrigated lands in the
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Phosphorus (P) transport with surface runoff can cause eutrophication (an increase in algae and other plants) in receiving water bodies. Phosphorus losses from furrow and simulated sprinkler irrigation were measured in field and laboratory tests at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Controlling soil erosion is essential for reducing phosphorus losses from irrigated land, but additional economically viable practices are needed to reduce soluble phosphorus losses from irrigated land.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Although drip irrigation systems have been used to effectively and practically apply nutrients and a few pesticides, volatile soil fumigants have not been applied with irrigation water. With the phase-out of methyl bromide, there is a need to develop alternative soil fumigants. Registration of fumigants requires application methods that minimize worker and neighborhood exposure from these toxic substances. ARS developed and refined methods to apply volatile fumigants through drip irrigation systems. The closed application systems minimize worker exposure; and application in water through subsurface drip to plastic covered beds reduces air emissions and neighborhood exposure. ARS developed application equipment and procedures; tested chemicals, formulations and mixing techniques; verified fumigant distribution in the soil profile; quantified efficacy of the treatments; and demonstrated the technique in over 25 grower field trials. In addition, ARS researchers evaluated 39 strawberry drip irrigation systems, found that about half of the systems needed improvement, and presented six workshops on methods to improve strawberry irrigation uniformity. Three drip-applied fumigants have been registered for use in the
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Based on ARS’ research, the current estimate is that 25 percent of the Nation's commercial strawberries, with a value of $300 million, were drip fumigated in 2004. Over the next few years, the strawberry acreage that is fumigated through drip irrigation systems could easily double and provide a savings to the grower of over $15 million dollars compared to more expensive alternatives. The drip technique is also being used to fumigate melons, peppers, and tomatoes, and is being tested for orchards, vineyards, and nursery crops.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Water treatment facility residues help reduce water pollution. ARS scientists in Florence, South Carolina, and University Park, Pennsylvania, have found that residue from water treatment processes, often discarded as waste and placed in landfills, may make a great soil amendment for preventing loss of phosphorus (P) in runoff from agricultural fields. ARS scientists have found an alum-based water treatment residual that can increase the soil's capacity to bond phosphorus, a vital plant nutrient. The results should benefit States along the Nation's mid-to-southern-Atlantic seaboard, where sandy soils generally take up and hold less P than finer-textured soils. In laboratory tests with sandy soil, the treatment increased P-binding potential four- to five-fold over that of untreated soil.
IMPACT/OUTCOME: If successful, the use for waste from water-treatment processing not only could get rid of the waste, but would also hold P on the land until a crop uses it. Economic benefits to the
develop models and decision support systems that quantify the economic and environmental impact of conservation practices at field, farm, and watershed scale.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: There is increasing concern regarding the impact of water-borne pathogens on human health. Enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 is a serious health threat, particularly in children. At present, the risk from water-borne transmission of E. coli O157:H7 cannot be estimated because there are no reliable methods for the detection and enumeration of small numbers of these organisms in water samples. ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), entitled “Development of Integrated Waveguide Biosensor for Pathogen and Toxin Detection in Water,” was initiated with Creatv MicroTech. Hopefully it will be available soon to the public as a fast and economical means of testing for pathogens in public drinking water supplies.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The structures reduce sediment transport, triggering natural deposition to heal channels enlarged by years of erosion. Also, the structures cost about $25 per foot of treated bank, or 20 to 50 percent of the cost of recent stone bank stabilization projects in the region.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In response to mounting water quality concerns, many States have developed guidelines for land application of phosphorus (P) based on the potential for P loss in agricultural runoff. These actions have been spurred, in part, by a Federal initiative in which the Environmental Protection Agency and USDA created a joint strategy to implement Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs) on Animal Feeding Operations by 2008, which considers both agronomic and environmental impacts of applied P. To address this need, ARS led the development and refinement of a P Index to rank the vulnerability of fields to P loss in runoff and identify those at greatest risk for loss. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has adopted the use of the P index in 47 States as the basis for development of CMNPs, and over 2000 NRCS field agents and nutrient management consultants across the
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Widespread adoption and use of the P Index is resulting in the first significant reduction in the threat to water quality from non-point sources of P. Economic benefits of using this approach are estimated at $204 to $355 million and include increased recreational use of waters, better shellfish harvest, fewer fish kills, lower drinking water treatment costs, and reduced loss of livestock to disease.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Soil salinization is a major problem, causing decreased crop production and water quality problems, in irrigated lands of arid and semiarid regions of the world including the
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The primary end users of this technology include technical specialists from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Natural Resource Conservation Service along with water district personnel throughout the
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Scientists from the
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The Umatilla River TMDL is one of the first Oregon TMDLs completed and approved by EPA for implementation. The effort was a multi-agency effort involving private concerns, local municipalities, county, state, tribal, and Federal agencies and is now considered the standard for TMDL development within
provide technical support to NRCS and the
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The NWS has determined that the ARS-derived technique has greatly improved the accuracy and precision of rainfall estimation and has therefore reprogrammed its radar system in 2004.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The U.S. Army was looking for a way to determine real-time accurate estimates of surface soil moisture to help it plan where and when they can drive vehicles without getting stuck in the mud. The U.S. Army turned to ARS scientists in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: This new procedure was found to be superior to the more complex and expensive model currently used by the U.S. Army because it can account for the high rocks content commonly found in desert soils.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: SWAT, which stands for Soil and Water Assessment Tool, is being used worldwide to assess environmental benefits. It was developed over the past 30 years by a team of ARS researchers at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The newest version of SWAT has been distributed to hundreds of scientists and engineers at universities, government agencies, and consulting firms throughout the world.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Natural Resources Conservation, and
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Once enhanced soil moisture predictions and measurements are part of daily weather forecasts, it should help predict when rainstorms will occur; provide better assessments of drought stricken areas; provide needed information for assisting in alerting the public to potential floods; and help farmers determine when to plant, fertilize, and harvest crops with more precision and accuracy than has every been available before.
During FY 2004, ARS will
develop management practices and decision tools which make more efficient use of plant nutrients from fertilizers and other sources while protecting the environment.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Elevated levels of nitrate nitrogen are found in ground water in areas where vegetables are grown in rotation with corn, alfalfa, soybeans, sorghum and wheat. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: This information can be used by crop consultants, extension agents, and Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel as they make fertilizer recommendations to producers. Lower nitrogen fertilizer application rates will result in improved water quality and greater profits for producers.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Excessive application of ammonia fertilizer can be attributed in part to farmers compensating for poor application uniformity of current equipment. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Efficiency of anhydrous application to agricultural lands has been advanced. This innovative product received an award from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
develop management practices and decision tools which improve soil conditions and crop growth.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Compacted soil layers limit yield and reduce overall productivity of soils. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Continuous measurement of soil compaction will allow tillage to be adjusted to target depths of soil compaction rather than setting a uniform depth of tillage that may be either too deep, wasting energy, or too shallow, ineffectively tilling the soil. A patent has been received and a partnership with industry developed to produce equipment that will enable farmers to make continuous tillage depth adjustment-based on depth to the compacted layer.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Rangeland assessments and monitoring based solely on vegetation indicators often fail to detect degradation until it is too late for management intervention. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: These soil quality indicators enable rangeland managers to generate more useful information on the status and changes of both private and public rangeland. The soil stability kit is the only quantitative soil quality protocol used in the Natural Resources Conservation Service-Natural Resources Inventory. It has been adapted as a standard monitoring tool by groups within Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, and the Nature Conservancy.
During FY 2004, ARS will develop methods to reduce emissions of harmful gases from crop production systems and postharvest/quarantine treatments.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists in Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with University of Florida scientists, studied the dispersion patterns and emissions of the methyl bromide alternative pre-plant soil fumigants: 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), chloropicrin, and methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), the active breakdown product of metam sodium. These were applied to a
IMPACT/OUTCOME: These findings indicate that the use of VIF film row covers could increase the efficacy of fumigants and might decrease the required amount of material to be applied, while decreasing the volatilization to the atmosphere. This would decrease the hazard to adjacent human habitations and perhaps decrease the set-back requirements of the treated field borders. Shank injection appeared to be better than either rototilled incorporation or drip-tube application in
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Scientists in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: In a 50-acre trial that was conducted four consecutive years in the same field, yields in the fourth year under the alternative were higher than in adjacent fields fumigated with methyl bromide. The incidence of soilborne diseases was lower than in adjacent fields fumigated with methyl bromide.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Apple replant disease is a significant factor limiting production and profitability of orchards rejuvenated with new trees. Studies were conducted by ARS scientists in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Rapeseed, but not soybean, seed meal amendment suppressed infection of apple roots by this fungal pathogen, and disease control was associated with an increase in populations of Streptomyces spp. bacteria naturally resident to orchard soils, and specifically those Streptomyces spp. that possess the capacity to produce nitric oxide, a chemical known to induce plant defense responses. These studies provide further evidence that sustainable, environmentally friendly systems can reduce apple replant disease.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists in Parlier, California, in collaboration with the University of California tested several methyl bromide alternatives in replanted peach and plum orchards and vineyards in a series of field trials located at the SJVASC research station and in growers' fields in Dinuba, California.
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Emulsified formulations of alternative fumigants 1,3 dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin applied through subsurface drip irrigation systems produced tree growth and yields equal to that treated with methyl bromide. Control of plant parasitic nematodes in vineyard replant plots treated with drip-applied 1,3-D or shank-injected iodomethane was comparable to control achieved by methyl bromide after six growing seasons.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Strategies to replace methyl bromide use for suppression of nematodes and other soilborne plant pathogens are needed for vegetable growers. In a three year field study scientists in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Biologically-based production systems are an economically feasible alternative to production systems reliant on methyl bromide fumigation, are friendlier to the environment, and contribute significantly to soil fertility.
develop methods and control technologies which reduce particulate matter emissions from crop and animal production systems.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: A number of factors control ammonia emissions from wasteful lagoons. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The results suggest that ammonia emissions from lagoons can be managed by reducing turbulence and controlling water temperature. Two statistical ammonia emissions models have been developed that are limited in scope, but accurate in the geographic area where they were developed.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Elevated ammonia levels in high rise laying hen houses can threaten bird and worker health, and reduce egg production. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The system improved worker safety and bird health. Egg production was increased 3.3 percent and feed conversion was improved, resulting in a net return of $426 per house per week.
During FY 2004, ARS will
assess the potential risks and benefits to agricultural systems that may arise from global change, and develop agricultural management practices and decision support strategies that enable producers to take advantage of beneficial effects and mitigate adverse impacts.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at several locations have found increased risks to rangeland systems arising from increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. At
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Results of many studies have shown that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere can stimulate plant growth, which may be beneficial for crop production in some cases. However, results of recent ARS studies show that there are some risks as well. Changes in plant communities and the composition of plant tissues may have economic impacts via frequency and intensity of fires or by reducing the value of forage in grazing lands. Such impacts could require modifying current range management practices, such as fire management and animal stocking rates.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists have demonstrated that continued global warming can be detrimental to the production of a variety of crops. At
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Although studies have shown that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can benefit some crop plants because they capture more carbon from the air, recent experiments by ARS scientists show that environmental changes accompanying carbon dioxide increases have detrimental effects that offset the benefits. Increasing carbon dioxide causes global warming, and the increased temperatures adversely impact yields. Further increases in both carbon dioxide concentration and temperature are expected during the 21st century, so management options such as choosing stress-tolerant crop varieties must be considered, along with other techniques, to sustain yields.
identify the processes that control the rate at which agricultural systems release and absorb greenhouse gases, and develop agricultural management practices that contribute to reductions in the Nation’s net greenhouse gas emissions.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Sequestering carbon from the atmosphere into soil offsets emissions of greenhouse gases implicated in global climate change. Results of these studies show that certain management practices for forage and livestock can maintain a productive agricultural system even while enhancing the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, contributing to improvements in environmental quality and potentially developing carbon credits that may be traded to enhance farm income.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The goal for carbon sequestration in dryland agricultural soils is to return the soils to pre-management levels of organic matter. In contrast, carbon sequestration may exceed native amounts in properly managed arid zone soils. ARS researchers in
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Results show that choosing the right combination of management options can benefit not just yield and soil productivity in arid production areas, but also raise carbon sequestration to new levels, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and slows global climate change. Enhanced soil carbon may become an increasingly tradable commodity.
During FY 2004, ARS will
develop management practices and treatment technologies which reduce nutrient losses from animal manure to the environment.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Beef cattle in feedlots are typically fed diets that contain a constant concentration of protein. ARS scientists from Bushland, Texas, found oscillating dietary crude protein concentrations between moderately deficient (10 percent of dry water) and adequate (14 percent of dry water) at 48 hour intervals resulted in nitrogen retention by the animal and a 5 percent improvement in the average daily gain by finishing cattle
IMPACT/OUTCOME: This feeding system has the potential to decrease the quantity of nitrogen fed by 5 to 15 percent, resulting in decreased feedlot nitrogen losses through runoff and volatilization.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Soluble phosphorus in manure can impact water quality through runoff and leaching. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: The results have been transferred to the Zero Waste Alliance and are being recommended as a phosphorus recovery strategy for dairies in the
develop management practices and treatment technologies which reduce gaseous and particulate matter emissions from animal production operations.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions from manure storage systems are considered environmental and potential health problems. ARS scientists from
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Lagoon covers can provide a cost-effective method for reducing emissions from lagoon systems and benefit producers who need to reduce emission while operating their current manure storage systems.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: There is insufficient paucity of
IMPACT/OUTCOME: These results will be useful to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and private consultants as they develop nutrient management plans. Results from these studies have contributed to the development of an ammonia volatilization decision support system that is being used to update ammonia loss estimates in
During FY 2004, ARS will develop new production practices and decision support tools that increase profitability and improve environmental quality.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Due to excessive cultivation and wind erosion in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, soil organic matter has decreased from 4 percent at the time of settlement to as low as 0.3 percent today. To improve soil productivity, ARS Scientists at the Kika de la Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center,
IMPACT/OUTCOME: These conservation practices protected the soil from wind erosion. Farmers have accepted these practices because production costs have been reduced, giving them greater profits. An added benefit of this research was the conservation tillage systems were more productive during drought periods. Because of these multiple benefits, this integrated system has been adopted on more than 100,000 acres in the
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Research by scientists at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center,
IMPACT/OUTCOME: Using the ARS Integrated Farm System Model, researchers predicted
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: ARS scientists at the Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit, Corvallis, Oregon, are not only determining the benefits of direct seeding and vegetative buffers to reduce agricultural nutrient and sediment movement from fields to waterways, but also how agricultural drainages and nearby trees can benefit wildlife. Working with partners from Oregon State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, it was shown that native fish use seasonal streams near grass seed fields during the winter. Nutrient and sediment concentrations in these south
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