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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Southeast Watershed Research » Research » Research Project #431316

Research Project: FY 2019 Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Agricultural Research Service Benchmark Watershed Assessment Studies (on croplands)

Location: Southeast Watershed Research

Project Number: 6048-13000-027-64-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2021

Objective:
Estimate conservation effects and benefits at regional and national scales. Develop scientific understanding of conservation practice effects at watershed scales. Quantify the measurable effects of conservation practices at the watershed scale. Enhance understanding of conservation effects in the biophysical setting of a watershed. Inform local watershed conservation strategies.

Approach:
Southeast Watershed Research Lab. (SEWRL) scientists will quantify the conservation practices that have been implemented on the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW) and their impact on water quantity and quality within the region. In addition, we will quantify relationships between conservation practices, soil organic C, available soil water, and soil N. A combination of field and watershed scale data, field surveys, and remotely collected images will be compiled and validated. Field surveys will assess current cropping systems, rotations, and the use of winter covers. Advanced image processing software will be used to assess conservation practice acreage throughout the watershed. The conservation practice data will be incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS) and watershed level characterizations of winter covers and conservation acreage will be made for each LREW sub-watershed. We will use a combination of observations and computer simulation with the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) and Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) models. We will utilize current modifications of the models to examine processes at the landscape scale. We will work with model developers from the USDA-ARS in Temple, Texas, to incorporate appropriate modifications into the models that are necessary to describe the unique Coastal Plain Landscape.