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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Watershed Scale Evaluation of Conservation Practice Effects

Authors
item Pappas, Elizabeth
item Huang, Chi Hua
item Smith, Douglas
item Flanagan, Dennis
item Stott, Diane

Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2004
Publication Date: October 1, 2004
Citation: Warnemuende, E.A., Huang, C., Smith, D.R., Flanagan, D.C., Stott, D.E. 2004. Watershed scale evaluation of conservation practice effects. International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Abstracts. July 4-9, 2004, Brisbane, Australia. 2004. CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Pesticides, nutrients, and sediment released through agricultural activities to surface waters and drinking water systems represent a major risk to human and environmental health, as well as great cost to municipalities. This study is designed to evaluate the ability of voluntary best management practices to reduce pesticide and nutrient loadings to surface drinking water sources. A paired and nested watershed monitoring scheme was implemented within the St. Joseph River watershed at NE Indiana (USA). Within one of every pair of watersheds, producers are heavily encouraged to adopt pesticide best management practices. Currently, nine watersheds ranging in size from 2.5 to 4290 ha are instrumented with automatic samplers and monitored for baseline data. Initial data indicate that pesticide concentrations tend to be greatest during the first one or two large storm events following application. The most prevalent pesticide detected is atrazine, with a peak concentration of 66 ppb. Further monitoring and research is ongoing to evaluate the ability of voluntary management practices to reduce pesticide loadings and to assess other environmental effects of these practices.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014