1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Evaluate effects of conservation practices on nutrient transport and fate in pasture systems. Develop protocols for collecting field, on-farm, and hydrologic data to evaluate effects of conservation practices on water quality in pasture systems.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We will conduct field trials, collect on-farm data, and monitor hydrology and water quality in small (< 15 ac) unit source area watersheds to evaluate the effects of conservation practices (as defined by USDA-NRCS) on nutrient fate and transport. In conjunction with other ARS locations, we will develop protocols and tools for field data collection in order to classify ecological response units as defined by the Pastureland CEAP. Data from these initiatives will be used by CEAP to develop and refine models such as the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to provide information on the water quality benefits of pastureland conservation practices at larger scales.
Data collection for three grazing management strategies (continuous, rotational, and mob grazing) was initiated in April 2012 and continues throughout the 2012 grazing season.