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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PROTECTING SURFACE AND GROUND WATERS IN EMERGING FARMING SYSTEMS OF THE NORTH CENTRAL UNITED STATES

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Project Number: 3640-12130-005-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 21, 2007
End Date: Jun 20, 2012

Objective:
1. Integrate knowledge of retention, transformation, and transport of agrochemicals, including newer pesticides and veterinary pharmaceuticals, in soil and water, to facilitate selection and validation of management practices at the field to landscape scale that minimize potential offsite transport to surface and ground waters. 2. Identify practices that protect water quality and conserve soil resources in emerging farming systems of the North Central U.S. 3. Quantify the impact of agricultural drainage management systems on net greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide leaching losses. 4. Quantify the environmental impact of Best Management Practices on water quality in turf systems.

Approach:
Results from research on factors affecting possible offsite transport of agrochemicals (nutrients, pesticides, and veterinary chemicals) to surface and ground waters, conducted on multiple scales (laboratory, field plots, and mini-watersheds) in an interdisciplinary manner, will be used to develop management practices that are relevant to protecting surface and ground waters in the North Central United States. Research will be conducted in interconnected experiments on basic processes affecting agrochemicals, spatial and temporal variation of processes, and impacts of management practices on environmental fate of agrochemicals. For instance, basic research on fate of pesticides and veterinary pharmaceuticals will be conducted in the laboratory on soils from selected field plots and watersheds to obtain basic information on processes. This information will be used in turn to help explain results of management practice effects on fate of agrochemical in fields and small watersheds. Management practices to be studied include: new cropping systems associated with large dairy operations; farming systems providing carbon sources for ethanol production; agricultural drainage management systems; and turf management systems. We will obtain information on the spatial and temporal variability of the processes and an assessment of the impact of altering the agronomic management practices on off-site transport of pesticides and fertilizers from non-agricultural, i.e. turf, and agricultural systems. Information obtained will include: an assessment of the predictive ability of transport models to simulate runoff and estimate chemical loading to surface and ground waters; identification of management practices that protect water quality and conserve soil resources in emerging farming systems in North Central U.S; and redefined agricultural systems models that can predict the impact of management of agricultural drainage systems on net greenhouse gas emissions in tile drained fields under the different climate and soil conditions of the Midwest corn belt.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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