2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Principal focus of the CEAP Watershed Studies is to evaluate the effects and benefits of conservation practices at the watershed scale, in support of policy decisions and program implementation.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The effects of conservation activities on water and soil quality will be assessed at the field-, farm-, and watershed scale with ongoing research in combination with ARS long-term watershed data sets, expertise, and resources.
This long-term project was designed to evaluate nutrient management practices for both organic and inorganic sources at the USDA-ARS Riesel Watersheds. This year marks the eleventh year of comparing poultry litter and inorganic fertilizer, and the economical and environmentally friendly nutrient management strategies developed from this work have reduced the potential for water quality degradation from agriculture. Related research is evaluating the reduction of bacteria runoff and odor by in-house windrow composting of litter prior to land application. In addition, methods for determination of optimal fertilizer application rates have been determined and were evaluated. These enhanced nutrient management strategies represent important agronomic advancements with the potential for major agro-economic and environmental benefits.