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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 #312852

Research Project: MANAGING AGRICULTURAL WATER QUALITY IN FIELDS AND WATERSHEDS: NEW PRACTICES AND TECHNOLOGIES

Location: Agroecosystems Management Research

Title: A planning approach for agricultural watersheds using precision conservation

Author
item Tomer, Mark
item Porter, Sarah
item James, David

Submitted to: Getting Into Soil and Water
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2015
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
Citation: Tomer, M.D., Porter, S.A., James, D.E. 2015. A planning approach for agricultural watersheds using precision conservation. Getting Into Soil and Water. p. 22-23.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This brief article, written for a non-technical audience, discusses a recently-developed approach for watershed planning and nutrient reduction. The approach can help local stakeholders identify conservation practices that are locally preferred and determine how those practices can be distributed across a watershed in order to meet nutrient reduction goals, while taking little cropland from production. The approach is based on a "conservation pyramid" that emphasizes soil improvement as the basis for watershed management, with practices placed within fields, below fields, and in riparian zones forming higher tiers on the pyramid. A spreadsheet tool that can evaluate planning options (or scenarios) is described. Lime Creek in Illinois, serves as an example to illustrate the planning framework and how planning scenarios are developed and evaluated.