Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Water Quality and Ecology Research » Docs » Mississippi Delta MSEA Volume 4, Issue 1, Page 2, First Semester 1998

Mississippi Delta MSEA Volume 4, Issue 1, Page 2, First Semester 1998
headline bar




Volume 4, Issue 1, Page 2, Fisrt Semester 1998

Page 1
Page 3
Page 4
MSEA Reporter Archive

Re-evaluation of Thighman Lake Watershed by NRCS

Progress is on schedule for Thighman Lake Watershed in Sunflower County. A new determination has discovered its size to be 3,853 acres---much larger than the original determination. Thighman Lake is the control lake for the MDMSEA project, primarily because of the influence of 345 acres of catfish pond drainage into the 22-acre lake.

Kevin Kennedy, Neal Griffin, and Marion Reed, Jr., with the Natural Resources Conservation Service field office in Sunflower County, have completed a comprehensive resource management plan. Best management practices (BMPs) needed are: 90 water control structures, 2,400 acres of conservation tillage, nutrient management, pest management, and 5 acres of filter strips.

A proposal is being submitted by the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission (MSWCC) for funding through a 319 water quality grant. The financial assistance needed to install the practices are as follows: conservation tillage $35,000, filter strips $3,000, and structural practices $175,000 for a total of $213,000. The implementation phase is planned for the fall of 1999.

Sandy McKay
RC&D Coordinator
NW Miss. RC&D Area
Greenwood, MS 38930
Fax: 601-453-7841

From the MSWCC

Improving crop production and efficiency while also achieving environmental benefits continues to be a challenge for the agricultural industry. This issue is particularly true in the Mississippi Delta, one of the most fertile and productive agricultural areas in the United States. The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area project (MDMSEA) is the culmination of several local, State, and Federal agencies, as well as local universities and organizations, agreeing to work together to bring a comprehensive water quality project to the Delta. The purpose of this project is to assess how agricultural activities affect water quality and to increase the knowledge needed to design and evaluate best management practices (BMPs) as components of farming systems. The BMPs will be evaluated for their economic, management, and environmental value. In addition, educational and public awareness programs will be developed to communicate those ideas that help to reduce potential agricultural impacts to ground and surface water.

The MDMSEA Project is located in three Delta oxbow lake watersheds. The Thighman Lake Watershed, located in Sunflower County (hydrologic unit 08030207), is a control with no added management practices. The Beasley Lake Watershed, located in Sunflower County (hydrologic unit 08030207), contains BMPs that are considered more structural and economical such as filter strips and slotted-board risers. The Deep Hollow Lake Watershed, located in Leflore County (hydrologic unit 08030206), contains structural BMPs similar to the Beasley Lake Watershed, but also includes cultural practices such as conservation tillage, cover crops, and precision farming. The three watersheds are "self-contained" and small enough so that the impact of the BMPs can be monitored throughout the watersheds from the edge of field to the lake.

Although much has been and is being accomplished with the resources of the agencies that are involved, there are two important items that require funding in the form of either one-time or annual costs to the project. The Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission (MSWCC) is seeking funds through the Department of Environmental Quality for a Section 319 Water Quality Grant. This grant will assist in carrying out the following tasks: (1) demonstration of cultural BMPs and (2) educational awareness of project results. The purpose of this 319 project is to implement these tasks.

TASK 1: Demonstration of Best Management Practices. This task involves the demonstration of BMP farming systems that will provide a high level of water quality improvements to watershed lakes. The BMPs for this task are more cultural than structural and require careful planning and specialized equipment. Some of the BMPs are currently implemented in the second and third watersheds of the MDMSEA project as previously described. These BMPs require funding for their continued operation and maintenance and include: winter cover crops, conservation tillage for cotton and soybean crops, genetically-engineered cottonseed for insect control (Bt cotton), and precision farming using weed sensing technology for herbicide application. Other BMPs include additional structural practices such as drop-inlet pipes and slotted-board risers. This task will be coordinated through the MSWCC and will primarily be located in the Deep Hollow Lake Watershed. Some of the additional structural practices will be located in the Beasley Lake Watershed.

TASK 2: Educational Awareness of MDMSEA Results. This task involves guided tours of the MDMSEA project for researchers, agency personnel, and the public. It also involves educational opportunities for students and teachers as a means of technology transfer of MDMSEA milestones. This task will be coordinated by the MSWCC in cooperation the Mississippi State University Department of Education faculty. It will be primarily located in the two BMP watersheds - Beasley Lake Watershed and Deep Hollow Lake Watershed.

The MSWCC will begin project implementation as soon as funds become available.

Rick Hagar,
Branch Director
P. O. Box 23005
Jackson, Ms 39225
Fax: 601-354-6628

Page 1
Page 3
Page 4
MSEA Reporter Archive