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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Effects of Conservation Practices on Soil and Water Resources - National Assessment (Phase Iii)

Location: Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

2011 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Principal focus of the CEAP effort is to produce a national assessment of environmental benefits of USDA conservation programs to support policy decision and program implementation.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Utilize ARS historical watershed databases to validate the SWAT model and then utilize this model to determine the impact of conservation practices on water quality, soil quality, air quality, and wildlife habitat.

3.Progress Report

Final SWAT validation and scenario analysis was completed on the Upper Mississippi river basin, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Ohio-Tennessee tiver basin, and the Great Lakes watersheds. Final reports are under review, and draft versions are available at the CEAP website. Results are giving NRCS policymakers valuable insight on the impact of USDA-funded conservation practices and the relative contribution of sediment, nutrient, and pesticide loadings by agriculture. Validation and scenario analysis has been completed for the Missouri, Arkansas-Red, and Lower Mississippi river basins, and reports are being developed. We plan to finish the remaining river basins east of the Rocky Mountains in 2011. At the request of NRCS, we developed tools for a rapid resource assessment to respond to conservation impact scenarios for the Resource Conservation Act appraisal and eventually for Farm Bill debate. We review monthly spending statements and closely monitor the account.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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