Submitted to: Hoard's Dairyman
Publication Type: Popular publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2005
Citation: James, E., Kleinman, P.J., Stedman, R. 2005. Keep your cows out of streams and ponds. Hoard's Dairyman. 150:472. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: The Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, was first introduced as part of the 1985 Farm Bill to retire land from crop production and grazing. The program strives to reduce soil erosion rates and protect water quality by limiting nutrient and sediment losses from fields, all in an effort to create better aquatic and wildlife habitats. To date, there has been little quantification of the beneficial effects of this program on water quality. The authors led a first-of-its-kind study to quantify some of the benefits of CRP to nutrient loadings to streams in the Catskills of New York, where phosphorus is a key concern. By monitoring the behavior of pastured cattle on different farms, annual stream deposits of cattle feces were estimated to be equivalent to 12% of annual phosphorus loadings attributed to agriculture in the area. Since its inception, CRP had reduced stream inputs of phosphorus by nearly one third. As CRP implementation continues in the region, benefits to water quality can be expected to grow.