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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228730

Title: Guide to Managing Pasture Water: Streamside Buffers

item Kovar, John

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2008
Publication Date: 7/7/2008
Citation: Isenhart, T.M., Kovar, J.L. 2008. Guide to Managing Pasture Water: Streamside Buffers. Iowa State University Extension. Publication No. IBC08.04. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Properly managed pasture water not only provides high-quality water which promotes healthy and productive livestock, but also contributes to maintaining water quality downstream. Riparian (streamside) areas serve as a transition between upland pastures and waterways. In other words, they link pasture land with water. When these areas are managed to protect the waterway from any negative impacts of adjacent land use, they become buffers. Riparian buffers managed with grasses alone or in combination with trees and/or shrubs can potentially provide grazing and hay land, as well as remove nutrients from groundwater, filter sediment and nutrients from surface runoff, and provide valuable wildlife habitat. The best riparian buffer design is one that benefits both the landowner and the environment. Successful establishment of a buffer requires careful site assessment, implementation, and maintenance.