CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA
Water Quality and Ecology Research
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to evaluate best management practices consistent with the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) that will reduce or mitigate detrimental effects of sedimentation and runoff on water quality and provide data that can be applied to TMDL standards.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Runoff plots are established at the Delta Branch Experiment Station to quantify the contribution of various BMPs toward reducing sedimentation and runoff in continuous cotton. These plots are approximately 170 m in length and are instrumented with flow meters and samplers to measure runoff volume, sediment load, and chemical loss under natural rainfall conditions. Composite runoff samples are taken at each runoff event. BMPs include no-tillage, rye cover crop, grass hedges, and grass filter strips. Crop yield and management inputs are quantified to obtain an economic analysis of the production system.
As in previous years of this project, in 2008-2012, MAFES has participated in research related to conservation management practices at Delta Branch, facilitating establishment of test plots, monitoring crop growth and making recommendations regarding crop management; and assisting in determining weed and pest management and other matters related to the research. Work in this and related research has also involved participation in technology transfer meetings at which findings of these studies were shared with farmers, action agency personnel, and other researchers. The focus of research in this project was changed from cotton production to corn production in 2012, and this continues in 2013. Collaborative efforts were maintained through routine site visits, email, and telephone communication with collaborators.