Nutrient and Water Cycling in Cranberry Farms
New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Quantify spatiotemporal dynamics of nutrient and water cycling associated with cranberry production in order to develop improved production practices that reduce water usage and nutrient losses. Leverage existing on-site cranberry bogs for research to better understand hydrological processes of cranberry bogs.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Hydrological monitoring stations will be established to quantify the spatial and temporal patterns of water and nutrient cycling in several cranberry bogs. Stations will be instrumented to measure volumetric streamflow and nutrient concentrations in stream water. Also, groundwater wells and soil lysimeters will be installed to characterize the nutrient chemistry of groundwater and soil water in several grower-cooperator bogs. Data will be used to model nutrient and water cycling and test improved production practices.
Research under this agreement supports the creation of five field sites for monitoring nutrient loss from cranberry farms in Massachusetts. Monitoring equipment for surface flows, irrigation volumes, and groundwater elevations have been purchased for the five sites. Automatic water samplers have been purchased and will be implemented into the monitoring network later this year. A nutrient analyzer was purchased and installed at the laboratory in East Wareham, MA, and a hydrologic technician hired to oversee the operation of the instrument. Full completion of the monitoring network is on track for summer of 2013.