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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Practices to Protect Water Quality and Conserve Soil and Water Resources in Agronomic and Horticultural Systems in the North Central Us

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Develop irrigation and drainage strategies for emerging cropping systems in the North Central United States to protect water and soil resources.

a. Develop methods to facilitate the success of living mulch systems through the use of supplemental irrigation, and evaluate their environmental impact. b. Develop N management strategies for large dairy operations to reduce nutrient losses through artificial subsurface drainage.

2. Reduce the potential adverse impacts of agronomic and horticultural practices on water quality: a) Identify and test innovative management practices; b) Determine factors that control the fate and transport of agrochemicals and contaminants of emerging concern.

a. Identify and differentiate contaminants in surface water systems associated with the agriculture-urban interface in order to delineate contaminant sources and develop mitigation strategies. b. Compare water use requirements and characterize persistence, transport and loss pathways of contaminants with runoff from traditional and low-input turf managed with conventional or innovative practices. c. Develop management strategies to reduce nitrate-N leaching losses using fall-applied anhydrous ammonia. d. Determine factors controlling the fate and transport of agrochemicals and contaminants of emerging concern.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Development of agricultural management strategies and basic research on fate and behavior of agrochemicals are integral parts of both objectives. Research will be designed to maximize the information that can be used to attain multiple objectives. For instance, the research in Objective 1a and 1b will include development of irrigation and drainage strategies for emerging cropping systems that will require less N and reduce losses of nitrate-N to water bodies from agrochemicals, while Objective 2a will identify production management systems that minimize offsite transport of agrochemicals to surface water. Objective 2b will determine factors that control the fate and transport of agrochemicals and contaminants of emerging concern in the cropping systems with the irrigation and drainage strategies identified in Objective 1a and 1b, and in the production management systems identified in Objective 2a. The complementarity in fundamental processes studied, sample and data collection methods, and analytical methods across objectives will facilitate integration of results and provide important operational efficiencies. A cohesive, multidisciplinary team is needed to accomplish the presented range of research objectives.


3.Progress Report:
Obj. 1a. Selection of methods, which may facilitate the success of living mulch systems through the use of supplemental irrigation, and evaluate their environmental impact, has begun; Obj 1b. Research is being planned to develop N management strategies for large dairy operations to reduce nutrient losses through artificial subsurface drainage; Obj. 2a. Samples have been collected to identify and differentiate contaminants in surface water systems; Obj. 2b. Research is being planned to compare water use requirements and characterize persistence, transport and loss pathways of contaminants; Obj. 2c. Research is being planned to develop management strategies to reduce nitrate-N leaching losses using fall-applied anhydrous ammonia; Obj. 2d. Laboratory studies were initiated to determine factors controlling the fate and transport of agrochemicals and contaminants of emerging concern.


Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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