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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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"What's Happening at CSWQRU" archives
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March 2012

In spring 2012, experimental agricultural plots in Goodwater Creek Research Watershed near Centralia, Missouri are being instrumented with Parshall flumes to measure runoff.  These videos show ARS employees producing some of the experimental equipment needed to make the measurements.

The project: "Improving Water Quality in Agricultural Watersheds Underlain by Claypan and Restrictive Layer Soils" focuses on assessing water quality from plot to watershed scales, assessing soil quality at plot and field scales, and developing tools and techniques to quantify the impact of conservation practices in a watershed. Flumes attached to the concrete troughs featured in these videos will be used to measure runoff and pesticide, nutrient, and sediment transport from 1-acre plots under corn-soybean, switchgrass and willow tree production under different tillage practices and with and without conservation buffers.  Knowledge about off-site transport of nutrients, pesticides, and sediment is critical to achieving economically sustainable crop production, which is increasingly important to both regional economies and the broader challenge of feeding the world.

Flume Inlets

Erosion Control

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November 2011

CSWQRU Scientist Earl Vories presented a seminar entitled "Growing Rice Using Center Pivot Irrigation" as part of the "Innovations in Irrigation Education Conference" sponsored by the Irrigation Association in San Diego, California November 6-8, 2011.  For more information, contact Dr. Vories or access the full presentation here.

More than half of US rice is produced in the Mid-South, with almost half produced in Arkansas, and mostly produced in flooded culture.

When rice is produced in flooded culture, water is uniformly available across the field, but insufficient irrigation water results in dry portions of the fields and excessive water may also be a problem.

With a center pivot (sprinkler) system, the uniformity of the irrigation system impacts how much water is delivered to an area.

Will highly variable Mid-South soils negatively impact the spatial distribution of yield with center pivot irrigation?   Can variable rate irrigation (VRI) adequately compensate?

August 2011

CSWQRU conducted a rainfall simulation study during Summer 2011 at the University of Missouri's Bradford Farm.* The study examined the effect of three tillage treatments (harrow, minimum-till and no-till) on transport of the herbicide atrazine and soil erosion.

ARS Research Technician Aaron Beshears sprays the harrow treatment plots with herbicide in preparation for simulating rainfall on the plot.

Rainfall was simulated and runoff water samples were collected from each tillage treatment plot.

Runoff water was collected in 15 liter buckets and analyzed for atrazine and sediment.


April 2011

ARS Employees of CSWQRU planted 13,000 willow cuttings on research plots in Centralia, Missouri for a new bioenergy cropping system study beginning in Spring 2011.

Willow stems will root when planted in moist ground.

Pictured: (left to right, standing) ARS student intern Alec Sheridan, ARS employees Aaron Beshears, Kurt Holiman, Scott Drummond, Claire Baffaut and Matt Volkmann, (seated) Bob Mahurin and Newell Kitchen. Not pictured: Brent Myers, Eric Allphin, Steve Fischer, and Hank Stelzer.

Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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