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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improving Environmental Quality Within Watersheds with Field-Based Decisions

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Prueger, John

Submitted to: Multiple Objective Decision Support Systems for Land, Water, and Environment
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Environmental quality from agricultural systems has been difficult to quantify because of the variation among practices across a watershed. Subsurface drained agricultural lands show a large amount of nitrate-nitrogen loss that is highly correlated to precipitation. Soil water use and subsurface drainage account for 85 to 99% of the total precipitation in the midwest United States. Soil water use patterns can be altered by tillage, and evaporation is a function of soil type and landscape position. A conceptual model of soil water management across a subsurface drained watershed is being developed to understand potential management scenarios that would improve nitrogen use and water use efficiency. The components are soil distribution across the watershed, distribution of subsurface drains, field boundaries including tillage, fertilizer, and crop information, and precipitation. This concept is being developed in cooperation with a producer to determine where improvements in decision-making can impact both environmental quality and economic returns.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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