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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Water Quality and Ecology Research » Research » Research Project #441512

Research Project: Gulf of Mexico Program

Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research

Project Number: 6060-13660-008-039-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
End Date: Apr 14, 2024

Objective:
1. Implementing and demonstrating best management practices associated with on-field off season flooding on four working farms distributed throughout the Mississippi Delta. 2. Conducting monitoring and experiments to quantify environmental benefits associated with on-field off-season flooding. 3. Conducting cost-benefit analyses to assess economic realities of implementing practices for farmers. 4. Establishing a coordinated farmer to farmer peer network through MSU Delta Extension and Delta Wind Birds for outreach and education.

Approach:
A local non-profit (Delta Wind Birds), who partners with farmers to provide migratory shorebird habitat through fall flooding of farm fields, will establish demonstration sites in four counties distributed throughout the Yazoo River Basin in northwestern Mississippi. University of Mississippi and USDA-Agricultural Research Service researchers will investigate how different flooding scenarios influence ecosystem services including denitrification and reduced nitrogen export, reduced soil and attached phosphorus export, soil health, aquatic invertebrate biomass and biodiversity, and habitat usage by migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Mississippi State University agricultural economists will investigate costs incurred and potential economic gains realized by farmers who implement this management practice. MSU Delta Extension services will integrate information and data collected into tools, testimonials, and outreach activities. Demonstration sites will serve as anchors for farmer to farmer peer education and outreach programs that facilitate wider adoption of controlled offseason flooding as a best management practice to reduce local and regional water quality impacts.