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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbus, Ohio » Soil Drainage Research » Research » Research Project #439618

Research Project: Soil Health and Water Quality Nexus in Sustainable Agroecosystems

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Project Number: 5080-13210-002-048-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 10, 2020
End Date: Oct 31, 2023

Objective:
Evaluate the linkage between long-term integrated soil health management practices and water quality.

Approach:
The general approach will be to conduct on-farm research and edge-of-field water quality monitoring to assess and demonstrate co-benefits of long-term integrated soil health practices. Research will be conducted at 8 fields in Ohio that represent a short- to long- term gradient in soil health practice implementation. Fields will be instrumented for continuous flow measurement and automated water quality sampling at edge-of-field discharge points. In each field, composite soil samples will be taken each year to monitor soil health using established chemical, physical, and biological indicators. Analyses will be performed by collaborator or under contracts with commercial labs. Outreach will be a major component of the project, with the research team disseminating findings through extension publications and programs, annual producer meetings, and peer-reviewed publications. Participating farmers will help with these activities, particularly collection of management and yield data. In addition, they will play a major role in outreach and education efforts through farmer-led workshops, field days, and other events.