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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluating Water Quality Impacts from Farming Systems in Iowa

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Baker, James - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 11, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Water quality impacts from agricultural systems have been proposed but difficult to quantify. In 1990 the Management Systems Evaluation Areas (MSEA) program was established with a goal to evaluate the impact of current farming practices on water quality. Iowa was selected as one of five locations in the Midwest for this project. The objectives of the Iowa aproject were to: 1) Define the physical, chemical, and biological factors affecting the transport and fate of agricultural chemicals; 2) Evaluate the integrated effects of crop, tillage, and chemical management practices on the quality of surface runoff, subsurface drainage, and ground water recharge; 3) Combine the results from Objectives 1 and 2 to develop an understanding of the effect of transport and management practices on water quality across a range of edaphic, atmospheric, geologic, and hydrologic processes; and 4) Evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of current and newly developed crop and soil management practices. Over the course of this project there has been involvement of over 50 different researchers from Iowa State University, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and state agencies. These investigators represent a breadth of disciplines and research interests relative to these objectives. The use of the established sites with farming practices in place that were equilibrated with the soil and hydrologic regime provided a system to evaluate change from current methods. The Iowa MSEA project has developed a comprehensive understanding of the role of current farming practices on surface and ground water quality in the state.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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