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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MODELING COST-EFFECTIVE FARM MANAGEMENT TO IMPROVE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATER QUALITY

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 1902-11130-002-05
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 01, 2009
End Date: Jul 31, 2012

Objective:
To minimize downstream nutrient loss in a Chesapeake Bay subwatershed by identifying and encouraging strategic, cost-effective combinations of farm management practices and technologies.

Approach:
Whole-farm and watershed-level models, such as the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) will be used to simulate current farm and watershed conditions in the Conewago Watershed in PA. This watershed drains to the Chesapeake Bay and is becoming a focus watershed for a range of research groups on how to more effectively and efficiently control nonpoint source pollution within the Bay catchment. The economic and environmental impact of various agriculturally-based, nonpoint source control combinations will be simulated using the above models in conjunction with literature findings and simple mathematical models. Evaluation of results will include consideration of the predictive and estimated uncertainty of major variables within the natural system. These evaluations will provide comparative efficiencies of various management combinations on protecting and improving water quality within the Chesapeake Bay. Results will be transferred to stakeholders through connections with Penn State Extension.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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