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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Agriculture and Water Quality in Mississippi: Natural Solutions for Historical Problems

Authors
item Moore, Matthew
item Cooper, Charles
item Smith Jr, Sammie
item Knight, Scott

Submitted to: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2003
Publication Date: July 10, 2003
Citation: MOORE, M.T., COOPER, C.M., SMITH JR, S., KNIGHT, S.S. AGRICULTURE AND WATER QUALITY IN MISSISSIPPI: NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR HISTORICAL PROBLEMS. SOCIETY OF ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY ABSTRACTS. 2003. p. 26.

Technical Abstract: Agriculture has long been associated with the floodplains of rivers. Subsistence cultures still grow plants along wetland fringes. However, many wetland areas, including those surrounding agricultural lands, have been drained where possible. Historical use of early pesticides from the middle to latter 20th century has negatively influenced water quality in many of these areas. Wetlands have an inherent capability to transfer or transform many contaminants associated with agricultural runoff, including pesticides, sediments, nutrients, and bacteria. Studies by the USDA Agricultural Research Service have documented trapping and processing efficiencies of wetlands for many of the previously mentioned contaminants. Depending on the contaminant and loading level, efficiencies can range between 40-100%. Edge-of-field structures (including riparian zones and grass filter strips) in conjunction with on field management practices (such as conservation tillage) can be incorporated into a successful overall management plan to improve water quality of aquatic receiving systems. Vegetated agricultural drainage ditches are a growing research area for successful mitigation of pesticides and nutrients in storm runoff. Growers and wetland advocates can now mutually benefit from current scientific technology.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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