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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Southeast Watershed Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350513

Research Project: Enhancing Water Resources, Production Efficiency and Ecosystem Services in Gulf Atlantic Coastal Plain Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Southeast Watershed Research

Title: Conservation tillage effects in the Atlantic Coastal Plain: An APEX examination

item Bosch, David - Dave
item WANG, XIUYING - Texas A&M University
item JEONG, JAEHAK - Texas A&M University
item DORO, LUCA - Texas A&M University
item WILLIAMS, JIMMY - Texas A&M University
item Pisani, Oliva
item Endale, Dinku
item Strickland, Timothy - Tim

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2018
Publication Date: 7/31/2018
Citation: Bosch, D.D., Wang, X., Jeong, J., Doro, L., Williams, J., Pisani, O., Endale, D.M., Strickland, T.C. 2018. Conservation tillage effects in the Atlantic Coastal Plain: An APEX examination. Meeting Abstract. Pending Volume/Page.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In 2003, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in partnership with several other USDA agencies initiated the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). CEAP was established to develop a scientific understanding and methodology for estimating the environmental benefits and effects of conservation practices on agricultural landscapes at national, regional, and watershed scales. The CEAP goal was to improve the effectiveness of conservation practices and programs by quantifying conservation effects and providing the science and education needed to enrich conservation planning, implementation, management decisions, and policy. This study supports the CEAP effort by utilizing well documented field data in conjunction with the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. The field study was initiated in 1999 to compare the hydrologic and environmental effects of conservation-tillage to conventional tillage in the Atlantic Coastal Plain region of south central Georgia. Conservation-tillage is an important agronomic practice which has been shown to reduce surface runoff and associated surface transport of sediment and agrichemicals. APEX was developed for use in whole farm/small watershed management. Since the inception of CEAP, APEX has been a key tool used to quantify the impacts of conservation practices. In this project we utilized fourteen years of field data collected at the Georgia site and APEX to quantify the long term benefits of implementing conservation-tillage in the Atlantic Coastal Plain region. Project objectives were to 1) Developed a calibrated and validated representation of conventional and conservation tillage systems in the Gulf Atlantic Coastal Plain and 2) Develop a long term comparison of hydrologic, soil health, and water quality characteristics for conventional and conservation tillage systems. Differences in crop yield, hydrology, sediment transport, nutrient transport, and soil carbon were evaluated. These assessments will support the goal of CEAP by quantifying the impacts of conservation practices in this region.