Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #423892

Research Project: Development of Web-Based Conservation Planning Tools

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To assist farmers in optimizing fertilizer application increasing on-farm profitability and environmental sustainability. This will be accomplished by developing SNAP as a user-friendly, web-based program designed specifically for farmers. The resulting fertilizer recommendations will be based on soil test results, historical crop yields, and current fertilizer prices. To increase the efficiency of installation, updates, data transfer, and reporting associated with TBET. Beginning in FY2011, TBET has been used by TSSWCB to support science-based BMP selection, cost-effective conservation spending, and program benefit analysis, and specifically to facilitate evaluation and reporting of agricultural NPS load reductions achieved from WQMP implementation. By migrating TBET to a web-based application, this project will improve TBET and its use by TSSWCB.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
SNAP will be developed and placed on the Internet as a user-friendly, web-based program to assist farmers in optimizing fertilizer application. SNAP will be simple and easy to use and developed using TBET is currently a stand-alone computer program which must be installed by users. TBET utilizes soils, management and weather databases which require occasional updates. The migration of TBET to a web-based application in will alleviate these concerns.

3. Progress Report:
This project served as a subcontract that allowed ARS to hire temporary staff to assist with the project titled "Development of Web-based Versions of Soil Nutrient Assessment Program and Texas BMP Evaluation Tool." Through this project, ARS has developed and is refining the Texas Best management practice Evaluation Tool to predict the effect of conservation practices on sediment and nutrient losses from agricultural fields in Texas. The Tool was designed at request of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board to guide statewide conservation practice implementation and increase cost-effectiveness. The Tool has been installed and implemented in each of the Board's regional offices, and is required for every one of its Water Quality and Nutrient Management Plans. The Tool was a critical component of the Board's successful Sunset Review by the Texas Legislature. In 2011, the Tool was applied to 321 plans covering 183,000 acres. These conservation practices were predicted to prevent 300,000 pounds of nitrogen, 61,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 21,000 tons of sediment from entering Texas waters.

4. Accomplishments