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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #437673

Research Project: Assessing the Potential for the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework to be Used in Watershed Planning Activities in the Eastern U.S.

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Project Number: 8070-66000-001-08-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Dec 20, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2021

Objective:
The Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) was developed by ARS to support watershed strategies for prioritizing and implementing conservation practices. Developed for conditions in the Midwestern states, ACPF shows great potential in other regions of the country but must be adapted to the specific conditions of those regions. The overall objective of this agreement is to assess the processes and resources required to implement ACPF in watershed planning programs in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont, and to develop a scientific understanding of the performance of ACPF. This project is an extension of long-term CEAP research by ARS and NRCS, bringing additional modeling expertise that USDA does not currently possess. The project seeks to apply an ARS-developed conservation planning platform, so it has a high potential impact for ARS, NRCS and the rural farming community.

Approach:
The University Park ARS and Pennsylvania State University (PSU) team will develop ACPF watershed plans derived from best professional judgment in two watersheds in Vermont, two watersheds in Pennsylvania and two watersheds in North Carolina. If possible, modifications will be made to ACPF workflow and output through collaboration with USDA-ARS scientists in Ames, Iowa. The team will evaluate ACPF’s performance as a watershed planning tool through comparisons of ACPF recommendations with water quality data and/or watershed modeling. Working with North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont state USDA-NRCS offices and the USDA-NRCS Central National Technology Support Center (CNTSC), the team will assess ACPF workflow, recommendations and potential for adoption as a state conservation planning tool.