Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Voluntary Conservation Efforts Dramatically Improving Mississippi River Basin Water Quality

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 01:13:59 CDT

Voluntary Conservation Efforts Dramatically Improving Mississippi River Basin Water Quality
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that shows farmers have significantly reduced the loss of sediment and nutrients from farm fields through voluntary conservation work in the lower Mississippi River basin. Secretary Vilsack highlighted the value of conservation programs to these efforts, and called on Congress to pass a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that would enable USDA to continue supporting conservation work on farms and ranches.


The report, released by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) this week, marks the completion of a watershed-wide assessment of conservation efforts in the Mississippi River watershed. Its findings demonstrate that conservation work, like controlling erosion and managing nutrients, has reduced the edge-of-field losses of sediment by 35 percent, nitrogen by 21 percent and phosphorous by 52 percent.


"Farmers and ranchers work hard to conserve the land and water, and today's report shows the tremendous impact they've had for the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico," Vilsack said. "We need to keep up the momentum by providing scientific and technical expertise that supports conservation in agriculture. To continue these efforts, we need Congress to act on a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible."


While the report shows the positive impacts of conservation, it also signals the need for additional conservation work. The most critical conservation concern in the region is controlling runoff of surface water and better management of nutrients, meaning the appropriate rate, form, timing and method of application for nitrogen and phosphorous.


Model simulations show that an increase in cover crops will have a significant impact on reducing edge-of-field losses of sediment and nutrients and improve water quality.


The information in the report will help further develop NRCS' work in the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative and Gulf of Mexico Initiative, aimed at helping producers improve water quality, restore wetlands and sustain agricultural profitability.


The report is part of USDA's Conservation Effects Assessment Project, or CEAP, which uses advanced modeling techniques to assess the effects of conservation practices. The lower Mississippi report covers cropland in Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.


By comparing losses of sediment and nutrients from cultivated cropland to losses that would be expected if conservation practices weren't used, CEAP reports give science-based insight into the techniques that most benefit water quality, soil health and other resource concerns.


"These assessments are part of the scientific backbone that helps us work with farmers to get the right conservation techniques on the right acres," said NRCS Chief, Jason Weller. "A focus on the most effective conservation techniques means that we're helping to deliver the best results for farmers and our natural resources."


Over the past few years, similar assessments were completed in the upper Mississippi River, Tennessee-Ohio, Missouri and Arkansas-Red-White basins. As a whole, assessments in this project have shown:

--Conservation on cropland prevents an estimated 243 million tons of sediment, 2.1 billion pounds of nitrogen and 375 million pounds of phosphorus from leaving fields each year. These figures translate to a 55 percent, 34 percent and 46 percent reduction in sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus edge-of-field losses, respectively, compared to what would have been lost if no conservation practices were in place.

--Similarly, conservation has resulted in an estimated 17 percent reduction in nitrogen and 22 percent reduction in phosphorus entering the Gulf of Mexico annually. An additional reduction of 15 percent of nitrogen and 12 percent of phosphorus can be achieved by implementing comprehensive conservation plans on all cropland in the basin in areas that have not adequately addressed nutrient loss.


The scientific-based modeling also pointed out that higher rainfall and more intense storms lead to higher edge-of-field losses of sediment and nutrients in the lower Mississippi River basin than the other four basins in the Mississippi River watershed. Because of this, more soil erosion control and better management of nutrients are important in the basin.


Download a fact sheet, a summary or the full report. Learn more about USDA's Conservation Effects Assessment Project.


   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Top Winners of the 2022 Tulsa State Fair Market Animal Show Awarded Over $400,000   Thu, 06 Oct 2022 05:04:10 CDT
  • Feeder Steers Steady to Higher, Feeder Heifers Higher, Steer and Heifer Calves Lower at OKC West - El Reno  Thu, 06 Oct 2022 03:57:59 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2 p.m. October 5, 2022  Wed, 05 Oct 2022 15:02:36 CDT
  • October 5, 2022, Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Wed, 05 Oct 2022 14:16:44 CDT
  • Growth Energy Cheers Missouri Biofuel Incentives Signed into Law  Wed, 05 Oct 2022 13:59:17 CDT
  • Congressman Lucas Announces October Town Hall Meetings in Oklahoma Panhandle  Wed, 05 Oct 2022 13:58:09 CDT
  • Upcoming OLAC Workshop to Help Grow Capacity of Local Oklahoma Agriculture   Wed, 05 Oct 2022 12:00:20 CDT
  • OKFB Welcomes Appropriation of Additional Drought-Relief Funds   Wed, 05 Oct 2022 10:58:31 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Oklahoma City Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.
       

       

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2022 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.