CONSERVATION PRACTICES IN NORTHEASTERN GRAZING LANDS
Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to evaluate the watershed-level effects of agricultural land use and Best Management Practices in the Spring Creek watershed in central Pennsylvania by using aerial remote sensing topographic data and on-farm sampling to characterize within-farm placement of agricultural and conservation land uses relative to local drainage networks.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Previous CEAP-related research in the Spring Creek watershed funded the collection of fine-grained LIDAR topographic data and collection of basic information on agricultural BMPs applied within the watershed. Further on-farm mapping and producer interviews will be used to identify land use types on the grazing farms within this watershed. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be used to map water flow paths within farms, and to characterize the spatial position of land use types with differing potential for nutrient and sediment runoff relative to those flow paths. This Specific Cooperative Agreement will be used to hire a post-doctoral research associate to conduct the watershed research, and to work closely with the cooperator on the analysis of LIDAR data.
A peer-reviewed manuscript on the use of topographic information to inform placement of riparian conservation practices has been accepted for publication in Landscape Ecology, and a report for NRCS will be completed by the end of FY2012. The post-doctoral researcher hired under this agreement has finished her project. Remaining funds will be used to meet NRCS objectives related to using Spring Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, as the main Grazingland CEAP watershed for the northeastern US.