Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2008
Publication Date: 8/21/2008
Citation: Hively, W.D., Lang, M., Sadeghi, A., McCarty, G., McConnell, L. 2008. Innovative methods for measuring cover crop nutrient uptake on a landscape scale [abstract]. 236th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition. 2008 CDROM.
Technical Abstract: Because winter cover crops are recognized as an effective agricultural conservation practice for reducing nitrogen losses to groundwater, state cost-share programs have been established to promote cover crops on farms throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Remote sensing provides a tool for real-time estimation of cover crop biomass and nutrient uptake on working farms throughout the landscape. This three-year study combined cost-share program enrollment data with satellite imagery and on-farm sampling to evaluate cover crop nitrogen uptake on fields within the Choptank River watershed on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Agronomic factors influencing cover crop performance included species (rye, barley, wheat) and varietal differences as well as planting date (September to November), planting method (drilled, broadcast, aerial), and previous crop (corn, soy). Combining remote sensing with farm program data can provide important insight into the success of various conservation practices, allowing programs to more effectively utilize scarce conservation resources while increasing water quality benefits.