Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural conservation practices

  1. Effects of conservation practices on fishes within agricultural watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watersheds in the United States without documentation of their impacts. The goal of the ARS Conservation Effects Assessment Project Watershed Assessment Study is to quantify the effect of conservation practices within 14 agri...

  2. Effects of conservation practices on fishes, amphibians, and reptiles within agricultural streams and wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices have been traditionally used to manage soil and water resources to improve agricultural production, and now include methods to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture on streams and wetlands. These practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watershed...

  3. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on oxbow lake watersheds in the Mississippi River alluvial plain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globally, agricultural lands are considered to major sources of nonpoint source pollutants such as sediment, pesticides and nutrients in the United States. While conservation practices have been tested for their effectiveness in reducing agricultural related pollutants on test plot scales, they typ...

  4. Of birds, carbon and water: integrating multiple ecosystem service impacts to identify locations for agricultural conservation practice adoption

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human use of the landscape for crop production can degrade ecosystem services. A number of agricultural conservation practices are touted as mitigating these impacts. Many of these practices are encouraged by incentive programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program administere...

  5. Practicing Conservation Agriculture to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change in Jordan.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khresat, Saeb

    2016-04-01

    Climate change scenarios indicate that Jordan and the Middle East could suffer from reduced agricultural productivity and water availability among other negative impacts. Based on the projection models for the area, average temperature in Jordan is projected to increase between 1.2 and 1.6 °C by 2050. Projections for precipitation trends are projected to decrease by 16% by the year 2050. Evaporation is likely to increase due to higher temperatures. This is likely to increase the incidence of drought potential since precipitation is projected to decrease. The dominant form of agriculture system in Jordan is based on intensive tillage. This form of tillage has resulted in large losses of organic soil carbon, weaker soil structure, and cause compaction. It has negative effects on soil aeration, root development and water infiltration among other factors. There is a need to transform farming practices to conservation agriculture to sequester carbon so that climate change mitigation becomes an inherent property of future farming systems. Conservation Agriculture, a system avoiding or minimizing soil disturbance, combined with soil cover and crop diversification, is considered to be a sustainable production system that can also sequester carbon unlike tillage agriculture. Conservation agriculture promotes minimal disturbance of the soil by tillage (zero tillage), balanced application of chemical inputs and careful management of residues and wastes. This study was conducted to develop a clear understanding of the impacts and benefits of the two most common types of agriculture, traditional tillage agriculture and conservation agriculture with respect to their effects on land productivity and on soil carbon pools. The study results indicated that conservation agriculture contributed to the reduction of the farming systems' greenhouse gas emissions and enhance its role as carbon sinks. Also, it was found that by shifting to conservation agriculture labor cost needed for

  6. Lake Nutrient Responses to Integrated Conservation Practices in an Agricultural Watershed.

    PubMed

    Lizotte, Richard E; Yasarer, Lindsey M W; Locke, Martin A; Bingner, Ronald L; Knight, Scott S

    2017-03-01

    Watershed-scale management efforts to reduce nutrient loads and improve the conservation of lakes in agricultural watersheds require effective integration of a variety of agricultural conservation best management practices (BMPs). This paper documents watershed-scale assessments of the influence of multiple integrated BMPs on oxbow lake nutrient concentrations in a 625-ha watershed of intensive row-crop agricultural activity during a 14-yr monitoring period (1996-2009). A suite of BMPs within fields and at field edges throughout the watershed and enrollment of 87 ha into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) were implemented from 1995 to 2006. Total phosphorus (TP), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), ammonium, and nitrate were measured approximately biweekly from 1996 to 2009, and total nitrogen (TN) was measured from 2001 to 2009. Decreases in several lake nutrient concentrations occurred after BMP implementation. Reductions in TP lake concentrations were associated with vegetative buffers and rainfall. No consistent patterns of changes in TN or SRP lake concentrations were observed. Reductions in ammonium lake concentrations were associated with conservation tillage and CRP. Reductions in nitrate lake concentrations were associated with vegetative buffers. Watershed simulations conducted with the AnnAGNPS (Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source) model with and without BMPs also show a clear reduction in TN and TP loads to the lake after the implementation of BMPs. These results provide direct evidence of how watershed-wide BMPs assist in reducing nutrient loading in aquatic ecosystems and promote a more viable and sustainable lake ecosystem.

  7. Agricultural Energy Practices. Agriculture Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with agricultural energy practices. Its objective is for the student to be able to discuss energy use and conservation of resources in the production of agricultural products. Some topics covered are basic uses of direct energy in…

  8. Associations between conservation practices and ecology: ecological responses of agricultural streams and lakes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP) Watershed Assessment Study goals are to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices at the watershed scale. Currently, a critical knowledge gap exists in linking conservation practices and their ecological effects on aquatic ecosy...

  9. Landuse and agricultural management practice web-service (LAMPS) for agroecosystem modeling and conservation planning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroecosystem models and conservation planning tools require spatially and temporally explicit input data about agricultural management operations. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is developing a Land Management and Operation Database (LMOD) which contains potential model input, howe...

  10. Monitoring the Effect of Wetland Conservation Practices in an Agricultural Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Due to the substantial effect of agriculture on the extent and ability of wetlands to function, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serves a key role in wetland conservation and restoration. The USDA has implemented several different conservation programs (e.g., the Wetland Reserve Program) wi...

  11. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011–2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize–cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  12. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

  13. Estimating the effects of agricultural conservation practices on phosphorus loads in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River basin (MARB) is important in terms of both the national economy and the nutrients discharged to the basin and the Gulf of Mexico. Conservation practices are installed on cropland to reduce the nutrient losses. A recent study by the Conservation Effec...

  14. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on N loads in the Mississippi-Atchafalya River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A modeling framework consisting of a farm-scale model, Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX); a watershedscale model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); and databases was used in the Conservation Effects Assessment Project to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practi...

  15. Effect of land tenure and stakeholders attitudes on optimization of conservation practices in agricultural watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piemonti, A. D.; Babbar-Sebens, M.; Luzar, E. J.

    2012-12-01

    Modeled watershed management plans have become valuable tools for evaluating the effectiveness and impacts of conservation practices on hydrologic processes in watersheds. In multi-objective optimization approaches, several studies have focused on maximizing physical, ecological, or economic benefits of practices in a specific location, without considering the relationship between social systems and social attitudes on the overall optimality of the practice at that location. For example, objectives that have been commonly used in spatial optimization of practices are economic costs, sediment loads, nutrient loads and pesticide loads. Though the benefits derived from these objectives are generally oriented towards community preferences, they do not represent attitudes of landowners who might operate their land differently than their neighbors (e.g. farm their own land or rent the land to someone else) and might have different social/personal drivers that motivate them to adopt the practices. In addition, a distribution of such landowners could exist in the watershed, leading to spatially varying preferences to practices. In this study we evaluated the effect of three different land tenure types on the spatial-optimization of conservation practices. To perform the optimization, we used a uniform distribution of land tenure type and a spatially varying distribution of land tenure type. Our results show that for a typical Midwestern agricultural watershed, the most optimal solutions (i.e. highest benefits for minimum economic costs) found were for a uniform distribution of landowners who operate their own land. When a different land-tenure was used for the watershed, the optimized alternatives did not change significantly for nitrates reduction benefits and sediment reduction benefits, but were attained at economic costs much higher than the costs of the landowner who farms her/his own land. For example, landowners who rent to cash-renters would have to spend ~120

  16. Integrating Federal and State data records to report progress in establishing agricultural conservation practices on Chesapeake Bay farms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hively, W. Dean; Devereux, Olivia H.; Claggett, Peter

    2013-01-01

    In response to the Executive Order for Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (E.O. #13508, May 12, 2009), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) took on the task of acquiring and assessing agricultural conservation practice data records for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, and transferred those datasets in aggregated format to State jurisdictional agencies for use in reporting conservation progress to the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership (CBP Partnership). Under the guidelines and regulations that have been developed to protect and restore water-quality in the Chesapeake Bay, the six State jurisdictions that fall within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are required to report their progress in promoting agricultural conservation practices to the CBP Partnership on an annual basis. The installation and adoption of agricultural best management practices is supported by technical and financial assistance from both Federal and State conservation programs. The farm enrollment data for USDA conservation programs are confidential, but agencies can obtain access to the privacy-protected data if they are established as USDA Conservation Cooperators. The datasets can also be released to the public if they are first aggregated to protect farmer privacy. In 2012, the USGS used its Conservation Cooperator status to obtain implementation data for conservation programs sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) for farms within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Three jurisdictions (Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) used the USGS-provided aggregated dataset to report conservation progress in 2012, whereas the remaining three jurisdictions (Maryland, New York, and Virginia) used jurisdictional Conservation Cooperator Agreements to obtain privacy-protected data directly from the USDA. This report reviews the status of conservation data sharing between the USDA and the various jurisdictions, discusses the

  17. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7

  18. Agricultural conservation planning framework: 1. Developing multi-practice watershed planning scenarios and assessing nutrient reduction potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We show that spatial data on soils, land use, and high-resolution topography, combined with knowledge of conservation practice effectiveness, can be leveraged to identify and assess alternatives to reduce nutrient discharge from small (HUC12) agricultural watersheds. Databases comprising soil attrib...

  19. Impact of conservation land management practices on soil microbial function in an agricultural watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) involves removing agricultural land from production and replanting with native vegetation for the purpose of reducing agriculture’s impact on the environment. In 2002, part of the Beasley Lake watershed in the Mississippi Delta was enrolled in CRP. In ad...

  20. Conservation Agriculture in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is a production paradigm that groups reduced tillage, mulching with crop residues or cover crops, and diversified crop rotations, especially those that incorporate leguminous crops. In North America, reduced tillage is the most widely-adopted practice that seeks the ide...

  1. Use of multispectral Ikonos imagery for discriminating between conventional and conservation agricultural tillage practices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vina, Andres; Peters, Albert J.; Ji, Lei

    2003-01-01

    There is a global concern about the increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. One method being discussed to encourage greenhouse gas mitigation efforts is based on a trading system whereby carbon emitters can buy effective mitigation efforts from farmers implementing conservation tillage practices. These practices sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and such a trading system would require a low-cost and accurate method of verification. Remote sensing technology can offer such a verification technique. This paper is focused on the use of standard image processing procedures applied to a multispectral Ikonos image, to determine whether it is possible to validate that farmers have complied with agreements to implement conservation tillage practices. A principal component analysis (PCA) was performed in order to isolate image variance in cropped fields. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) statistical procedures were used to evaluate the capability of each Ikonos band and each principal component to discriminate between conventional and conservation tillage practices. A logistic regression model was implemented on the principal component most effective in discriminating between conventional and conservation tillage, in order to produce a map of the probability of conventional tillage. The Ikonos imagery, in combination with ground-reference information, proved to be a useful tool for verification of conservation tillage practices.

  2. Regional Effects of Agricultural Conservation Practices on Nutrient Transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    PubMed

    García, Ana María; Alexander, Richard B; Arnold, Jeffrey G; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J; Robertson, Dale M; Schwarz, Gregory

    2016-07-05

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  3. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garcia, Ana Maria.; Alexander, Richard B.; Arnold, Jeffrey G.; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J.; Robertson, Dale; Schwarz, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  4. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to inves...

  5. Water and Agricultural-Chemical Transport in a Midwestern, Tile-Drained Watershed: Implications for Conservation Practices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.; Stone, Wesley W.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Wilson, John T.

    2007-01-01

    The study of agricultural chemicals is one of five national priority topics being addressed by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in its second decade of studies, which began in 2001. Seven watersheds across the Nation were selected for the NAWQA agricultural-chemical topical study. The watersheds selected represent a range of agricultural settings - with varying crop types and agricultural practices related to tillage, irrigation, artificial drainage, and chemical use - as well as a range of landscapes with different geology, soils, topography, climate, and hydrology (Capel and others, 2004). Chemicals selected for study include nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and about 50 commonly used pesticides. This study design leads to an improved understanding of many factors that can affect the movement of water and chemicals in different agricultural settings. Information from these studies will help with decision making related to chemical use, conservation, and other farming practices that are used to reduce runoff of agricultural chemicals and sediment from fields (Capel and others, 2004). This Fact Sheet highlights the results of the NAWQA agricultural chemical study in the Leary Weber Ditch Watershed in Hancock County, Indiana. This watershed was selected to represent a tile-drained, corn and soybean, humid area typical in the Midwest.

  6. Spatial multiobjective optimization of agricultural conservation practices using a SWAT model and an evolutionary algorithm.

    PubMed

    Rabotyagov, Sergey; Campbell, Todd; Valcu, Adriana; Gassman, Philip; Jha, Manoj; Schilling, Keith; Wolter, Calvin; Kling, Catherine

    2012-12-09

    Finding the cost-efficient (i.e., lowest-cost) ways of targeting conservation practice investments for the achievement of specific water quality goals across the landscape is of primary importance in watershed management. Traditional economics methods of finding the lowest-cost solution in the watershed context (e.g.,(5,12,20)) assume that off-site impacts can be accurately described as a proportion of on-site pollution generated. Such approaches are unlikely to be representative of the actual pollution process in a watershed, where the impacts of polluting sources are often determined by complex biophysical processes. The use of modern physically-based, spatially distributed hydrologic simulation models allows for a greater degree of realism in terms of process representation but requires a development of a simulation-optimization framework where the model becomes an integral part of optimization. Evolutionary algorithms appear to be a particularly useful optimization tool, able to deal with the combinatorial nature of a watershed simulation-optimization problem and allowing the use of the full water quality model. Evolutionary algorithms treat a particular spatial allocation of conservation practices in a watershed as a candidate solution and utilize sets (populations) of candidate solutions iteratively applying stochastic operators of selection, recombination, and mutation to find improvements with respect to the optimization objectives. The optimization objectives in this case are to minimize nonpoint-source pollution in the watershed, simultaneously minimizing the cost of conservation practices. A recent and expanding set of research is attempting to use similar methods and integrates water quality models with broadly defined evolutionary optimization methods(3,4,9,10,13-15,17-19,22,23,25). In this application, we demonstrate a program which follows Rabotyagov et al.'s approach and integrates a modern and commonly used SWAT water quality model(7) with a

  7. Spatial Multiobjective Optimization of Agricultural Conservation Practices using a SWAT Model and an Evolutionary Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Rabotyagov, Sergey; Campbell, Todd; Valcu, Adriana; Gassman, Philip; Jha, Manoj; Schilling, Keith; Wolter, Calvin; Kling, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Finding the cost-efficient (i.e., lowest-cost) ways of targeting conservation practice investments for the achievement of specific water quality goals across the landscape is of primary importance in watershed management. Traditional economics methods of finding the lowest-cost solution in the watershed context (e.g.,5,12,20) assume that off-site impacts can be accurately described as a proportion of on-site pollution generated. Such approaches are unlikely to be representative of the actual pollution process in a watershed, where the impacts of polluting sources are often determined by complex biophysical processes. The use of modern physically-based, spatially distributed hydrologic simulation models allows for a greater degree of realism in terms of process representation but requires a development of a simulation-optimization framework where the model becomes an integral part of optimization. Evolutionary algorithms appear to be a particularly useful optimization tool, able to deal with the combinatorial nature of a watershed simulation-optimization problem and allowing the use of the full water quality model. Evolutionary algorithms treat a particular spatial allocation of conservation practices in a watershed as a candidate solution and utilize sets (populations) of candidate solutions iteratively applying stochastic operators of selection, recombination, and mutation to find improvements with respect to the optimization objectives. The optimization objectives in this case are to minimize nonpoint-source pollution in the watershed, simultaneously minimizing the cost of conservation practices. A recent and expanding set of research is attempting to use similar methods and integrates water quality models with broadly defined evolutionary optimization methods3,4,9,10,13-15,17-19,22,23,25. In this application, we demonstrate a program which follows Rabotyagov et al.'s approach and integrates a modern and commonly used SWAT water quality model7 with a

  8. Beyond conservation agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Giller, Ken E.; Andersson, Jens A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture. PMID:26579139

  9. Beyond conservation agriculture.

    PubMed

    Giller, Ken E; Andersson, Jens A; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.

  10. Integrating Agriculture and Conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandever, Mark W.

    2010-01-01

    The USGS produces the needed science-based information to guide management actions and policy decisions that support wildlife habitat and other environmental services compatible with USDA conservation goals and farm operations. The Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) has conducted research involving a national landowner survey and numerous short- and long-term evaluations regarding vegetation responses to land management practices. This research helps land and resource managers to make informed decisions and resolve resource management conflicts.

  11. 7 CFR 1465.7 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1465.7 Section 1465.7... Provisions § 1465.7 Conservation practices. (a) The State Conservationist will determine the conservation practices eligible for AMA payments. To be considered eligible conservation practices, the practices...

  12. 7 CFR 1465.7 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1465.7 Section 1465.7... Provisions § 1465.7 Conservation practices. (a) The State Conservationist will determine the conservation practices eligible for AMA payments. To be considered eligible conservation practices, the practices...

  13. 7 CFR 1465.7 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1465.7 Section 1465.7... Provisions § 1465.7 Conservation practices. (a) The State Conservationist will determine the conservation practices eligible for AMA payments. To be considered eligible conservation practices, the practices...

  14. 7 CFR 1465.7 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1465.7 Section 1465.7... Provisions § 1465.7 Conservation practices. (a) The State Conservationist will determine the conservation practices eligible for AMA payments. To be considered eligible conservation practices, the practices...

  15. 7 CFR 1465.7 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1465.7 Section 1465.7... Provisions § 1465.7 Conservation practices. (a) The State Conservationist will determine the conservation practices eligible for AMA payments. To be considered eligible conservation practices, the practices...

  16. Conservation agriculture practices to enhance soil organic in Lombardy plain (Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perego, Alessia; Giussani, Andrea; Corsi, Stefano; Tosini, Andrea; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that conservation agriculture (CA) determines a long-term increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in cropland. The present study aimed to estimate the amount of SOC stored in soil of Lombardy plain (Northern Italy) following the change from tillage agriculture (TA) to CA by using crop ARMOSA crop over 23 years (1989-2011). The territorial analysis was performed at agrarian region scale (AR) after identification of the representative crops rotation and soil types. The land use information were data available at cadastral scale and referred to 5 years (from 2007 to 2011). The meteorological data (i.e. maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) were measured at 14 monitoring stations. Solar radiation was estimated using the equation of the Bristow and Campbell model (1994). A spatial interpolation method was used to extend the meteorological data throughout the entire plain of the region by employing Thiessen polygon method; the meteorological data of the polygon were assigned to each AR. ARMOSA was parameterized to simulate the two tillage systems. For TA and CA scenario the depth of tillage was limited to 35 and 10 cm, respectively; crop residual incorporation was not simulated under CA. In TA scenario, we used the parameters calibrated and validated by Perego et al.(2013) on a wide dataset collected at six monitoring sites in Lombardy plain. In CA, the rate of C decomposition of humified organic C was assumed to be smaller by 30% in no-tillage than in TA (Oorts et al., 2007). The model results showed a significant improve of SOC (p<0.01) from TA to CA under all the crop rotations with a potential SOC sequestration ranged from 0.1 to 0.48 t C ha-1 y-1. While soil type did not affect significantly the SOC sequestration, crop residue determined relevant increases in SOC. That was particularly evident in grain maize monoculture with or without cover crop. References: Oorts K., Garnier P., Findeling A., Mary B., Richard G., Nicolardot B

  17. Adoption potential of conservation agriculture practices in sub-Saharan Africa: results from five case studies.

    PubMed

    Ndah, Hycenth Tim; Schuler, Johannes; Uthes, Sandra; Zander, Peter; Traore, Karim; Gama, Mphatso-S; Nyagumbo, Isaiah; Triomphe, Bernard; Sieber, Stefan; Corbeels, Marc

    2014-03-01

    Despite the reported benefits of conservation agriculture (CA), its wider up-scaling in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has remained fairly limited. This paper shows how a newly developed qualitative expert assessment approach for CA adoption (QAToCA) was applied to determine its adoption potential in SSA. CA adoption potential is not a predictor of observed adoption rates. Instead, our aim was to systematically check relevant factors that may be influencing its adoption. QAToCA delivers an assessment of how suitable conditions "and thus the likelihood for CA adoption" are. Results show that the high CA adoption potentials exhibited by the Malawi and Zambia case relate mostly to positive institutional factors. On the other hand, the low adoption potential of the Zimbabwe case, in spite of observed higher estimates, is attributed mainly to unstable and less secured market conditions for CA. In the case of Southern Burkina Faso, the potential for CA adoption is determined to be high, and this assessment deviates from lower observed figures. This is attributed mainly to strong competition of CA and livestock for residues in this region. Lastly, the high adoption potential found in Northern Burkina Faso is explained mainly by the fact that farmers here have no alternative other than to adopt the locally adapted CA system-Zaï farming. Results of this assessment should help promoters of CA in the given regions to reflect on their activities and to eventually adjust or redesign them based on a more explicit understanding of where problems and opportunities are found.

  18. Adoption Potential of Conservation Agriculture Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa: Results from Five Case Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ndah, Hycenth Tim; Schuler, Johannes; Uthes, Sandra; Zander, Peter; Traore, Karim; Gama, Mphatso-S.; Nyagumbo, Isaiah; Triomphe, Bernard; Sieber, Stefan; Corbeels, Marc

    2014-03-01

    Despite the reported benefits of conservation agriculture (CA), its wider up-scaling in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has remained fairly limited. This paper shows how a newly developed qualitative expert assessment approach for CA adoption (QAToCA) was applied to determine its adoption potential in SSA. CA adoption potential is not a predictor of observed adoption rates. Instead, our aim was to systematically check relevant factors that may be influencing its adoption. QAToCA delivers an assessment of how suitable conditions "and thus the likelihood for CA adoption" are. Results show that the high CA adoption potentials exhibited by the Malawi and Zambia case relate mostly to positive institutional factors. On the other hand, the low adoption potential of the Zimbabwe case, in spite of observed higher estimates, is attributed mainly to unstable and less secured market conditions for CA. In the case of Southern Burkina Faso, the potential for CA adoption is determined to be high, and this assessment deviates from lower observed figures. This is attributed mainly to strong competition of CA and livestock for residues in this region. Lastly, the high adoption potential found in Northern Burkina Faso is explained mainly by the fact that farmers here have no alternative other than to adopt the locally adapted CA system—Zaï farming. Results of this assessment should help promoters of CA in the given regions to reflect on their activities and to eventually adjust or redesign them based on a more explicit understanding of where problems and opportunities are found.

  19. Evolution and Phylogenetic Diversity of Yam Species (Dioscorea spp.): Implication for Conservation and Agricultural Practices.

    PubMed

    Ngo Ngwe, Marie Florence Sandrine; Omokolo, Denis Ndoumou; Joly, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Yams (Dioscorea spp.) consist of approximately 600 species. Presently, these species are threatened by genetic erosion due to many factors such as pest attacks and farming practices. In parallel, complex taxonomic boundaries in this genus makes it more challenging to properly address the genetic diversity of yam and manage its germplasm. As a first step toward evaluating and preserving the genetic diversity yam species, we use a phylogenetic diversity (PD) approach that has the advantage to investigate phylogenetic relationships and test hypotheses of species monophyly while alleviating to the problem of ploidy variation within and among species. The Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 62 accessions from 7 species from three regions of Cameroon showed that most Dioscorea sections were monophyletic, but species within sections were generally non-monophyletic. The wild species D. praehensilis and cultivated D. cayenensis were the species with the highest PD. At the opposite, D. esculenta has a low PD and future studies should focus on this species to properly address its conservation status. We also show that wild species show a stronger genetic structure than cultivated species, which potentially reflects the management of the yam germplasm by farmers. These findings show that phylogenetic diversity is a promising approach for an initial investigation of genetic diversity in a crop consisting of closely related species.

  20. Evaluation of the effects of agricultural conservation practices on sediment yield in the Colusa Basin, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatzke, S. E.; Zhang, M.

    2009-12-01

    The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to assess the impact of agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on sediment runoff from almond orchards in the lower Colusa Basin Drain watershed in the Sacramento Valley, California. This study used modeling techniques that include varying hydrologic parameters for both upland areas and small channels to quantify the effects of BMPs water quality. The BMPs simulated in this study are commonly used in almond orchards and include strip cropping, cover cropping, vegetative filter strips, grassed waterways and channel stabilization. The effectiveness of each BMP was simulated for an above average, below average and average rainfall year. Comparison of annual total watershed sediment loads for each BMP simulation showed that overall, channel stabilization and grassed waterways, which target in stream sediment erosion and transport, are the most effective BMPs with an estimated respective reduction in sediment load of 18% and 35% for a below average precipitation year, 13% and 26% for an above average precipitation year, and 17% and 30% for an average precipitation year. Simulations of BMPs designed to reduce sediment transport in upland areas, which include strip cropping and vegetative filter strips, estimated a reduction in total annual sediment load of less than 1% at the watershed outlet. These results indicated that in-stream sediment transport is the dominant sediment transport process in this watershed. Implementation of channel stabilization measures or grassed waterways on almond orchards is estimated to result in an annual reduction of total sediment load of 41,874 kg or 72,753 kg of sediment per square kilometer of almond orchard for an above average precipitation year.

  1. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1466.10 Section 1466.10... Contracts and Payments § 1466.10 Conservation practices. (a) NRCS will determine the conservation practices... the public. (b) Payments will not be made to a participant for a conservation practice that either...

  2. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1466.10 Section 1466.10... Contracts and Payments § 1466.10 Conservation practices. (a) NRCS will determine the conservation practices... the public. (b) Payments will not be made to a participant for a conservation practice that either...

  3. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1466.10 Section 1466.10... Contracts and Payments § 1466.10 Conservation practices. (a) NRCS will determine the conservation practices... the public. (b) Payments will not be made to a participant for a conservation practice that either...

  4. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1466.10 Section 1466.10... Contracts and Payments § 1466.10 Conservation practices. (a) NRCS will determine the conservation practices... the public. (b) Payments will not be made to a participant for a conservation practice that either...

  5. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practices. 1466.10 Section 1466.10... Contracts and Payments § 1466.10 Conservation practices. (a) NRCS will determine the conservation practices... the public. (b) Payments will not be made to a participant for a conservation practice that either...

  6. Effects of conservation practices on phosphorus loss reduction from an Indiana agricultural watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phosphorus losses from agricultural lands have caused serious eutrophication problems, particularly in Lake Erie. However, techniques that can effectively reduce total and soluble phosphorus losses from croplands and drainage channels can be difficult to implement and gauge. This modeling study was ...

  7. Urban conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetables are important sources of vitamins and nutrients for human nutrition. United States Department of Agriculture recommends filling half of the food plates with vegetables in every meal. While it is important in promoting good health, access to fresh vegetables is limited especially in urban ...

  8. Measuring the Contribution of Agricultural Conservation Practices to Observed Trends and Recent Condition in Water Quality Indicators in Ohio, USA.

    PubMed

    Miltner, Robert J

    2015-11-01

    Over the last three decades, significant investments made to upgrade wastewater infrastructure and manage pollution from diffuse sources have resulted in measurably improved water quality and biological conditions in Ohio's rivers and streams. Conservation measures to reduce soil loss appear to have contributed significantly to the improvement witnessed over the last two decades and should therefore be continued. Within the most recent timeframe examined, little difference was found in either total phosphorus or suspended sediment concentration in relation to conservation measures, indicating that the environmental benefits of measures targeting soil loss may be approaching an asymptote. Conservation measures targeting livestock and forage management, however, appear to have reduced nitrogen concentrations within the recent time frame. An examination of the interrelationships between habitat quality, conservation measures, and land use indicated that water quality was generally mediated by interactions with stream habitat quality. However, the positive effect of habitat quality was reduced in catchments draining fine-textured soils. The implication of these latter two findings suggest that proscriptively adding natural function to the large network of ditched and maintained conveyances draining agricultural lands would substantially improve water quality, but management at the field level is necessary to minimize phosphorus losses.

  9. 7 CFR 1469.8 - Conservation practices and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practices and activities. 1469.8 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM General Provisions § 1469.8 Conservation practices and activities. (a) Conservation practice and...

  10. 7 CFR 1469.8 - Conservation practices and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practices and activities. 1469.8 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM General Provisions § 1469.8 Conservation practices and activities. (a) Conservation practice and...

  11. 7 CFR 1469.8 - Conservation practices and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practices and activities. 1469.8 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM General Provisions § 1469.8 Conservation practices and activities. (a) Conservation practice and...

  12. 7 CFR 1469.8 - Conservation practices and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practices and activities. 1469.8 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM General Provisions § 1469.8 Conservation practices and activities. (a) Conservation practice and...

  13. 7 CFR 1469.8 - Conservation practices and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practices and activities. 1469.8 Section... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM General Provisions § 1469.8 Conservation practices and activities. (a) Conservation practice and...

  14. Soil: Conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary source to meet global food and fiber demands is production agriculture, but accelerated soil erosion threatens its sustainability. Soil erosion is an important contributor to the normal soil formation process, but erosion becomes problematic when it is accelerated. Soil conservation prac...

  15. The role of conservation agriculture in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj

    2008-02-12

    The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal.

  16. Effects of conservation practices on fisheries management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beasley Lake watershed was subjected to a series of conservation management practices with the goal of reducing sediment and nutrients entering the lake via agricultural runoff. Concurrent with the application of conservation practices, the lake was renovated and restocked to produce a sports fishe...

  17. 7 CFR 631.11 - Conservation practice maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practice maintenance. 631.11 Section 631... CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION PROGRAM Contracts § 631.11 Conservation practice maintenance. (a) Each participant is obligated to maintain...

  18. 7 CFR 631.11 - Conservation practice maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practice maintenance. 631.11 Section 631... CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION PROGRAM Contracts § 631.11 Conservation practice maintenance. (a) Each participant is obligated to maintain...

  19. 7 CFR 631.11 - Conservation practice maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practice maintenance. 631.11 Section 631... CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION PROGRAM Contracts § 631.11 Conservation practice maintenance. (a) Each participant is obligated to maintain...

  20. 7 CFR 631.11 - Conservation practice maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practice maintenance. 631.11 Section 631... CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION PROGRAM Contracts § 631.11 Conservation practice maintenance. (a) Each participant is obligated to maintain...

  1. 7 CFR 631.11 - Conservation practice maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practice maintenance. 631.11 Section 631... CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION PROGRAM Contracts § 631.11 Conservation practice maintenance. (a) Each participant is obligated to maintain...

  2. Conservation potential of agricultural water conservation subsidies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huffaker, Ray

    2008-07-01

    A current policy subsidizes farmers to invest in improved on-farm irrigation efficiency, expecting water to be conserved off farm. Contrary to expectation, water has been increasingly depleted in some regions after such improvements. This paper investigates the policy's failure to conserve water consistently by (1) formulating an economic model of irrigated crop production to determine a profit-maximizing irrigator's range of responses to a subsidy and (2) embedding these responses into hypothetical streamflow diagrams to ascertain their potential to conserve water under various hydrologic regimes. Testable hypotheses are developed to predict the conservation potential of a subsidy in real-world application.

  3. Agricultural intensification escalates future conservation costs.

    PubMed

    Phelps, Jacob; Carrasco, Luis Roman; Webb, Edward L; Koh, Lian Pin; Pascual, Unai

    2013-05-07

    The supposition that agricultural intensification results in land sparing for conservation has become central to policy formulations across the tropics. However, underlying assumptions remain uncertain and have been little explored in the context of conservation incentive schemes such as policies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Incipient REDD+ forest carbon policies in a number of countries propose agricultural intensification measures to replace extensive "slash-and-burn" farming systems. These may result in conservation in some contexts, but will also increase future agricultural land rents as productivity increases, creating new incentives for agricultural expansion and deforestation. While robust governance can help to ensure land sparing, we propose that conservation incentives will also have to increase over time, tracking future agricultural land rents, which might lead to runaway conservation costs. We present a conceptual framework that depicts these relationships, supported by an illustrative model of the intensification of key crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a leading REDD+ country. A von Thünen land rent model is combined with geographic information systems mapping to demonstrate how agricultural intensification could influence future conservation costs. Once postintensification agricultural land rents are considered, the cost of reducing forest sector emissions could significantly exceed current and projected carbon credit prices. Our analysis highlights the importance of considering escalating conservation costs from agricultural intensification when designing conservation initiatives.

  4. Agricultural intensification escalates future conservation costs

    PubMed Central

    Phelps, Jacob; Carrasco, Luis Roman; Webb, Edward L.; Koh, Lian Pin; Pascual, Unai

    2013-01-01

    The supposition that agricultural intensification results in land sparing for conservation has become central to policy formulations across the tropics. However, underlying assumptions remain uncertain and have been little explored in the context of conservation incentive schemes such as policies for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Incipient REDD+ forest carbon policies in a number of countries propose agricultural intensification measures to replace extensive “slash-and-burn” farming systems. These may result in conservation in some contexts, but will also increase future agricultural land rents as productivity increases, creating new incentives for agricultural expansion and deforestation. While robust governance can help to ensure land sparing, we propose that conservation incentives will also have to increase over time, tracking future agricultural land rents, which might lead to runaway conservation costs. We present a conceptual framework that depicts these relationships, supported by an illustrative model of the intensification of key crops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a leading REDD+ country. A von Thünen land rent model is combined with geographic information systems mapping to demonstrate how agricultural intensification could influence future conservation costs. Once postintensification agricultural land rents are considered, the cost of reducing forest sector emissions could significantly exceed current and projected carbon credit prices. Our analysis highlights the importance of considering escalating conservation costs from agricultural intensification when designing conservation initiatives. PMID:23589860

  5. Agricultural Conservation Planning Toolbox User's Manual

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) comprises an approach for applying concepts of precision conservation to watershed planning in agricultural landscapes. To enable application of this approach, USDA/ARS has developed a set of Geographic Information System (GIS) based software tools...

  6. Laggards or Leaders: Conservers of Traditional Agricultural Knowledge in Bolivia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilles, Jere L.; Thomas, Justin L.; Valdivia, Corinne; Yucra, Edwin S.

    2013-01-01

    Many sustainable agricultural practices are based on local and traditional farming knowledge. This article examines the conservation and loss of three traditional practices in the Bolivian Altiplano that agronomic research has shown increase the resiliency of small farmers in the face of climate-related risks. These practices are the use of…

  7. 7 CFR 1470.7 - Enhancements and conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Enhancements and conservation practices. 1470.7... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM General Provisions § 1470.7 Enhancements and conservation practices. (a) Participant decisions...

  8. 7 CFR 1470.7 - Enhancements and conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Enhancements and conservation practices. 1470.7... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM General Provisions § 1470.7 Enhancements and conservation practices. (a) Participant decisions...

  9. 7 CFR 1469.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1469... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1469.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a)...

  10. 7 CFR 1469.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1469... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1469.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a)...

  11. 7 CFR 1468.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1468... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION FARM OPTION Contracts § 1468.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The participant...

  12. 7 CFR 1469.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1469... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1469.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a)...

  13. 7 CFR 1469.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1469... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1469.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a)...

  14. 7 CFR 1468.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1468... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION FARM OPTION Contracts § 1468.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The participant...

  15. 7 CFR 1468.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1468... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION FARM OPTION Contracts § 1468.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The participant...

  16. 7 CFR 1468.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1468... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION FARM OPTION Contracts § 1468.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The participant...

  17. 7 CFR 1469.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1469... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION SECURITY PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1469.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a)...

  18. 7 CFR 1470.7 - Enhancements and conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Enhancements and conservation practices. 1470.7... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM General Provisions § 1470.7 Enhancements and conservation practices. (a) Participant decisions...

  19. 7 CFR 1468.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1468... CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION FARM OPTION Contracts § 1468.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The participant...

  20. 7 CFR 1470.7 - Enhancements and conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Enhancements and conservation practices. 1470.7... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM General Provisions § 1470.7 Enhancements and conservation practices. (a) Participant decisions...

  1. 7 CFR 1470.7 - Enhancements and conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Enhancements and conservation practices. 1470.7... CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM General Provisions § 1470.7 Enhancements and conservation practices. (a) Participant decisions...

  2. Innovating Conservation Agriculture: The Case of No-Till Cropping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughenour, C. Milton

    2003-01-01

    The extensive sociological studies of conservation agriculture have provided considerable understanding of farmers' use of conservation practices, but attempts to develop predictive models have failed. Reviews of research findings question the utility of the conceptual and methodological perspectives of prior research. The argument advanced here…

  3. A soil parameters geodatabase for the modeling assessment of agricultural conservation practices effects in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil parameters for hydrology modeling in cropland dominated areas, from the regional to local scale, are part of critical biophysical information whose deficiency may increase the uncertainty of simulated conservation effects and predicting potential. Despite this importance, soil physical and hyd...

  4. 7 CFR 1466.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1466... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1466.22 Conservation practice operation and... of conservation practices applied under the contract. (b) NRCS expects the participant to operate...

  5. 7 CFR 1466.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1466... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1466.22 Conservation practice operation and... of conservation practices applied under the contract. (b) NRCS expects the participant to operate...

  6. 7 CFR 1466.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1466... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1466.22 Conservation practice operation and... of conservation practices applied under the contract. (b) NRCS expects the participant to operate...

  7. 7 CFR 1466.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1466... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1466.22 Conservation practice operation and... of conservation practices applied under the contract. (b) NRCS expects the participant to operate...

  8. 7 CFR 1466.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1466... QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1466.22 Conservation practice operation and... of conservation practices applied under the contract. (b) NRCS expects the participant to operate...

  9. Measures of the Effects of Agricultural Practices on Ecosystem Services

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Polasky, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    Agriculture produces more than just crops. Agricultural practices have environmental impacts that affect a wide range of ecosystem services, including water quality, pollination, nutrient cycling, soil retention, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation. In turn, ecosystem services affect agricultural productivity. Understanding the contribution of various agricultural practices to the range of ecosystem services would help inform choices about the most beneficial agricultural practices. To accomplish this, however, we must overcome a big challenge in measuring the impact of alternative agricultural practices on ecosystem services and of ecosystem services on agricultural production.

  10. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. 701... AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM... General § 701.44 Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. Contracts for ACP that are, or...

  11. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. 701... AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM... General § 701.44 Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. Contracts for ACP that are, or...

  12. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. 701... AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM... General § 701.44 Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. Contracts for ACP that are, or...

  13. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. 701... AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM... General § 701.44 Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. Contracts for ACP that are, or...

  14. Approved Practices in Soil Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Albert B.

    This book is written for individuals who wish to apply conservation practices, especially those of soil and water conservation, without technical assistance, to meet one's own conditions, and within his own capability to apply them. To meet these needs, the book includes a discussion and description of soil and water conservation methods for the…

  15. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts. 701... AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM AND CERTAIN RELATED PROGRAMS PREVIOUSLY ADMINISTERED UNDER THIS PART § 701.44 Agricultural...

  16. Soil carbon and soil respiration in conservation agriculture with vegetables in Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A balance between food production and environmental protection is required to sustainably feed a growing population. The resource saving concept of conservation agriculture aims to achieve this balance through implementing simultaneously three conservation practices; no-till, continuous soil cover, ...

  17. Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture.

    PubMed

    Pittelkow, Cameron M; Liang, Xinqiang; Linquist, Bruce A; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Lee, Juhwan; Lundy, Mark E; van Gestel, Natasja; Six, Johan; Venterea, Rodney T; van Kessel, Chris

    2015-01-15

    One of the primary challenges of our time is to feed a growing and more demanding world population with reduced external inputs and minimal environmental impacts, all under more variable and extreme climate conditions in the future. Conservation agriculture represents a set of three crop management principles that has received strong international support to help address this challenge, with recent conservation agriculture efforts focusing on smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, conservation agriculture is highly debated, with respect to both its effects on crop yields and its applicability in different farming contexts. Here we conduct a global meta-analysis using 5,463 paired yield observations from 610 studies to compare no-till, the original and central concept of conservation agriculture, with conventional tillage practices across 48 crops and 63 countries. Overall, our results show that no-till reduces yields, yet this response is variable and under certain conditions no-till can produce equivalent or greater yields than conventional tillage. Importantly, when no-till is combined with the other two conservation agriculture principles of residue retention and crop rotation, its negative impacts are minimized. Moreover, no-till in combination with the other two principles significantly increases rainfed crop productivity in dry climates, suggesting that it may become an important climate-change adaptation strategy for ever-drier regions of the world. However, any expansion of conservation agriculture should be done with caution in these areas, as implementation of the other two principles is often challenging in resource-poor and vulnerable smallholder farming systems, thereby increasing the likelihood of yield losses rather than gains. Although farming systems are multifunctional, and environmental and socio-economic factors need to be considered, our analysis indicates that the potential contribution of no-till to the

  18. 7 CFR 1465.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1465... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE Contracts § 1465.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The contract will incorporate the O&M agreement that addresses the operation and maintenance of the...

  19. 7 CFR 1465.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1465... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE Contracts § 1465.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The contract will incorporate the O&M agreement that addresses the operation and maintenance of the...

  20. 7 CFR 1465.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1465... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE Contracts § 1465.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The contract will incorporate the O&M agreement that addresses the operation and maintenance of the...

  1. 7 CFR 1465.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1465... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE Contracts § 1465.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The contract will incorporate the O&M agreement that addresses the operation and maintenance of the...

  2. 7 CFR 1465.22 - Conservation practice operation and maintenance.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 10 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Conservation practice operation and maintenance. 1465... MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE Contracts § 1465.22 Conservation practice operation and maintenance. (a) The contract will incorporate the O&M agreement that addresses the operation and maintenance of the...

  3. Cost of areal reduction of gulf hypoxia through agricultural practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A major share of the area of hypoxic growth in the Northern Gulf of Mexico has been attributed to nutrient run-off from agricultural fields, but no estimate is available for the cost of reducing Gulf hypoxic area using agricultural conservation practices. We apply the Soil and Water Assessment Tool ...

  4. Biodiversity conservation in agriculture requires a multi-scale approach

    PubMed Central

    Gonthier, David J.; Ennis, Katherine K.; Farinas, Serge; Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Iverson, Aaron L.; Batáry, Péter; Rudolphi, Jörgen; Tscharntke, Teja; Cardinale, Bradley J.; Perfecto, Ivette

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss—one of the most prominent forms of modern environmental change—has been heavily driven by terrestrial habitat loss and, in particular, the spread and intensification of agriculture. Expanding agricultural land-use has led to the search for strong conservation strategies, with some suggesting that biodiversity conservation in agriculture is best maximized by reducing local management intensity, such as fertilizer and pesticide application. Others highlight the importance of landscape-level approaches that incorporate natural or semi-natural areas in landscapes surrounding farms. Here, we show that both of these practices are valuable to the conservation of biodiversity, and that either local or landscape factors can be most crucial to conservation planning depending on which types of organisms one wishes to save. We performed a quantitative review of 266 observations taken from 31 studies that compared the impacts of localized (within farm) management strategies and landscape complexity (around farms) on the richness and abundance of plant, invertebrate and vertebrate species in agro-ecosystems. While both factors significantly impacted species richness, the richness of sessile plants increased with less-intensive local management, but did not significantly respond to landscape complexity. By contrast, the richness of mobile vertebrates increased with landscape complexity, but did not significantly increase with less-intensive local management. Invertebrate richness and abundance responded to both factors. Our analyses point to clear differences in how various groups of organisms respond to differing scales of management, and suggest that preservation of multiple taxonomic groups will require multiple scales of conservation. PMID:25100703

  5. Biodiversity conservation in agriculture requires a multi-scale approach.

    PubMed

    Gonthier, David J; Ennis, Katherine K; Farinas, Serge; Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Iverson, Aaron L; Batáry, Péter; Rudolphi, Jörgen; Tscharntke, Teja; Cardinale, Bradley J; Perfecto, Ivette

    2014-09-22

    Biodiversity loss--one of the most prominent forms of modern environmental change--has been heavily driven by terrestrial habitat loss and, in particular, the spread and intensification of agriculture. Expanding agricultural land-use has led to the search for strong conservation strategies, with some suggesting that biodiversity conservation in agriculture is best maximized by reducing local management intensity, such as fertilizer and pesticide application. Others highlight the importance of landscape-level approaches that incorporate natural or semi-natural areas in landscapes surrounding farms. Here, we show that both of these practices are valuable to the conservation of biodiversity, and that either local or landscape factors can be most crucial to conservation planning depending on which types of organisms one wishes to save. We performed a quantitative review of 266 observations taken from 31 studies that compared the impacts of localized (within farm) management strategies and landscape complexity (around farms) on the richness and abundance of plant, invertebrate and vertebrate species in agro-ecosystems. While both factors significantly impacted species richness, the richness of sessile plants increased with less-intensive local management, but did not significantly respond to landscape complexity. By contrast, the richness of mobile vertebrates increased with landscape complexity, but did not significantly increase with less-intensive local management. Invertebrate richness and abundance responded to both factors. Our analyses point to clear differences in how various groups of organisms respond to differing scales of management, and suggest that preservation of multiple taxonomic groups will require multiple scales of conservation.

  6. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier

    PubMed Central

    Schiesari, Luis; Waichman, Andrea; Brock, Theo; Adams, Cristina; Grillitsch, Britta

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practices, including pesticide use. Focusing on the Amazonian frontier, we show that producers have varying access to resources, knowledge, control and reward mechanisms to improve land management practices. With poor education and no technical support, pesticide use by smallholders sharply deviated from agronomical recommendations, tending to overutilization of hazardous compounds. By contrast, with higher levels of technical expertise and resources, and aiming at more restrictive markets, large-scale producers adhered more closely to technical recommendations and even voluntarily replaced more hazardous compounds. However, the ecological footprint increased significantly over time because of increased dosage or because formulations that are less toxic to humans may be more toxic to other biodiversity. Frontier regions appear to be unique in terms of the conflicts between production and conservation, and the necessary pesticide risk management and risk reduction can only be achieved through responsibility-sharing by diverse stakeholders, including governmental and intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, financial institutions, pesticide and agricultural industries, producers, academia and consumers. PMID:23610177

  7. Ecosystem Services Derived from Wetland Conservation Practices in the United States Prairie Pothole Region with an Emphasis on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gleason, Robert A.; Laubhan, Murray K.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2008-01-01

    Implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) has resulted in the restoration of approximately 2,200,000 ha (5,436,200 acres) of wetland and grassland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region. These restored habitats are known to provide various ecosystem services; however, little work has been conducted to quantify and verify benefits on program lands (lands enrolled in the CRP and WRP) in agriculturally dominated landscapes of the Prairie Pothole Region. To address this need, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service, initiated a study to develop and apply approaches to quantify changes in ecosystem services resulting from wetland restoration activities funded by the USDA. To accomplish this goal, the USGS conducted a comprehensive, stratified survey of 204 catchments (wetland and surrounding uplands contributing runoff to the wetland) in 1997 and 270 catchments in 2004 to gather data necessary for estimating various ecosystem services. In 1997 and 2004, the surveys included catchments with seasonal and semipermanent wetlands that were restored as part of USDA conservation programs, as well as nonprogram catchments in native prairie. Additionally, in 2004 data collection was expanded to include temporary wetlands for all treatments and nonprogram cropped catchments for all wetland classes: temporary, seasonal, and semipermanent. A key element in the sample design is that catchments span an alteration gradient ranging from highly altered, such as cropland, to minimally altered, such as native prairie. Therefore, we evaluated restoration programs by comparing changes in program (restored) catchments to nonprogram (cropland and native prairie) catchments. Information collected during both surveys included easily measured soil, vegetation, and morphological variables that were used to estimate the

  8. Barriers to Uptake of Conservation Agriculture in southern Africa: Multi-level Analyses from Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay; Whitfield, Stephen; Wood, Ben; Chinseu, Edna

    2015-04-01

    Conservation agriculture is a key set of actions within the growing body of climate-smart agriculture activities being advocated and rolled out across much of the developing world. Conservation agriculture has purported benefits for environmental quality, food security and the sustained delivery of ecosystem services. In this paper, new multi-level analyses are presented, assessing the current barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture practices in Malawi. Despite significant donor initiatives that have targeted conservation agriculture projects, uptake rates remain low. This paper synthesises studies from across 3 levels in Malawi: i.) national level- drawing on policy analysis, interviews and a multi-stakeholder workshop; ii.) district level - via assessments of development plans and District Office and extension service support, and; iii) local level - through data gained during community / household level studies in Dedza District that have gained significant donor support for conservation agriculture as a component of climate smart agriculture initiatives. The national level multi-stakeholder Conservation Agriculture workshop identified three areas requiring collaborative research and outlined routes for the empowerment of the National Conservation Agriculture Task Force to advance uptake of conservation agriculture and deliver associated benefits in terms of agricultural development, climate adaptation and mitigation. District level analyses highlight that whilst District Development Plans are now checked against climate change adaptation and mitigation criteria, capacity and knowledge limitations exist at the District level, preventing project interventions from being successfully up-scaled. Community level assessments highlight the need for increased community participation at the project-design phase and identify a pressing requirement for conservation agriculture planning processes (in particular those driven by investments in climate

  9. Mainstreaming conservation agriculture in Malawi: Knowledge gaps and institutional barriers.

    PubMed

    Dougill, Andrew J; Whitfield, Stephen; Stringer, Lindsay C; Vincent, Katharine; Wood, Benjamin T; Chinseu, Edna L; Steward, Peter; Mkwambisi, David D

    2016-09-29

    Conservation agriculture (CA) practices of reduced soil tillage, permanent organic soil coverage and intercropping/crop rotation, are being advocated globally, based on perceived benefits for crop yields, soil carbon storage, weed suppression, reduced soil erosion and improved soil water retention. However, some have questioned their efficacy due to uncertainty around the performance and trade-offs associated with CA practices, and their compatibility with the diverse livelihood strategies and varied agro-ecological conditions across African smallholder systems. This paper assesses the role of key institutions in Malawi in shaping pathways towards more sustainable land management based on CA by outlining their impact on national policy-making and the design and implementation of agricultural development projects. It draws on interviews at national, district and project levels and a multi-stakeholder workshop that mapped the institutional landscape of decision-making for agricultural land management practices. Findings identify knowledge gaps and institutional barriers that influence land management decision-making and constrain CA uptake. We use our findings to set out an integrated roadmap of research needs and policy options aimed at supporting CA as a route to enhanced sustainable land management in Malawi. Findings offer lessons that can inform design, planning and implementation of CA projects, and identify the multi-level institutional support structures required for mainstreaming sustainable land management in sub-Saharan Africa.

  10. Abatement costs of soil conservation in China's Loess Plateau: balancing income with conservation in an agricultural system.

    PubMed

    Hou, Lingling; Hoag, Dana L K; Keske, Catherine M H

    2015-02-01

    This study proposes the use of marginal abatement cost curves to calculate environmental damages of agricultural systems in China's Loess Plateau. Total system costs and revenues, management characteristics and pollution attributes are imputed into a directional output distance function, which is then used to determine shadow prices and abatement cost curves for soil and nitrogen loss. Marginal abatement costs curves are an effective way to compare economic and conservation tradeoffs when field-specific data are scarce. The results show that sustainable agricultural practices can balance soil conservation and agricultural production; land need not be retired, as is current policy.

  11. Production and conservation results from a decade-long field-scale precision agriculture system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Research is needed that simultaneously evaluates production and conservation outcomes of precision agriculture practices. From over a decade (1993-2003) of yield and soil mapping and water quality assessment, a multi-faceted, “precision agriculture system” (PAS) was developed and initiated in 2004 o...

  12. Achieving Long-Term Protection of Water Quality of Grand Lake St. Marys Through Implementation of Conservation Practices and Control of Phosphorus Input from Agricultural Drainage

    EPA Science Inventory

    Grand Lake St. Marys (GLSM), a 13,000 acre lake in northwestern Ohio, is experiencing toxic levels of algal blooms resulting primarily from phosphorus input from agricultural runoff. The algal blooms are so severe that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources advised against any...

  13. Applying statistical causal analyses to agricultural conservation: A case study examining P loss impacts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Estimating the effect of agricultural conservation practices on reducing nutrient loss using observational data can be confounded by differing crop types and differing management practices. As we may not have the full knowledge of these confounding factors, conventional statistical methods are ofte...

  14. Approved Practices in Soil Conservation. Fifth Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bosworth, Duane A.; Foster, Albert B.

    This book is designed for individuals who want to apply conservation practices either without or with minimal technical assistance. These individuals include students who want to practice soil/water conservation with some instructor guidance and others who want to apply the principles in their own way, to their own conditions, and within their own…

  15. Precision Farming and Conservation Advances Agricultural Sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To many, Precision Farming, more formally termed Precision Agriculture, seems like an oxymoron. Yet site-specific management makes sense to an exponentially growing number of farmers. So where is Precision Farming headed? The short answer is that it is being extended from a focus on crop productio...

  16. The alignment of agricultural and nature conservation policies in the European Union.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Ian; Hauck, Jennifer; Bonn, Aletta

    2015-08-01

    Europe is a region of relatively high population density and productive agriculture subject to substantial government intervention under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Many habitats and species of high conservation interest have been created by the maintenance of agricultural practices over long periods. These practices are often no longer profitable, and nature conservation initiatives require government support to cover the cost for them to be continued. The CAP has been reformed both to reduce production of agricultural commodities at costs in excess of world prices and to establish incentives for landholders to adopt voluntary conservation measures. A separate nature conservation policy has established an extensive series of protected sites (Natura 2000) that has, as yet, failed to halt the loss of biodiversity. Additional broader scale approaches have been advocated for conservation in the wider landscape matrix, including the alignment of agricultural and nature conservation policies, which remains a challenge. Possibilities for alignment include further shifting of funds from general support for farmers toward targeted payments for biodiversity goals at larger scales and adoption of an ecosystem approach. The European response to the competing demands for land resources may offer lessons globally as demands on rural land increase.

  17. Citizens' preferences for the conservation of agricultural genetic resources.

    PubMed

    Pouta, Eija; Tienhaara, Annika; Ahtiainen, Heini

    2014-01-01

    Evaluation of conservation policies for agricultural genetic resources (AgGR) requires information on the use and non-use values of plant varieties and animal breeds, as well as on the preferences for in situ and ex situ conservation. We conducted a choice experiment to estimate citizens' willingness to pay (WTP) for AgGR conservation programmes in Finland, and used a latent class model to identify heterogeneity in preferences among respondent groups. The findings indicate that citizens have a high interest in the conservation of native breeds and varieties, but also reveal the presence of preference heterogeneity. Five respondent groups could be identified based on latent class modeling: one implying lexicographic preferences, two with reasoned choices, one indicating uncertain support and one with a preference for the current status of conservation. The results emphasize the importance of in situ conservation of native cattle breeds and plant varieties in developing conservation policies.

  18. 75 FR 77821 - Agricultural Water Enhancement Program and Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-14

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Agricultural Water Enhancement Program and Cooperative... agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through either the Agricultural Water... Agricultural Water Enhancement Program Legislative Authority The Agricultural Water Enhancement Program...

  19. The Influence of Perceptions of Practice Characteristics: An Examination of Agricultural Best Management Practice Adoption in Two Indiana Watersheds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reimer, Adam P.; Weinkauf, Denise Klotthor; Prokopy, Linda Stalker

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural best management practices (BMPs), or conservation practices, can help reduce nonpoint source pollution from agricultural lands, as well as provide valuable wildlife habitat. There is a large literature exploring factors that lead to a producer's voluntary adoption of BMPs, but there have been inconsistent findings. Generally, this…

  20. Adoption of Improved Agricultural Practices in Uruguay.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rucks, Carlos Alberto

    Conducted in Uruguay during 1965-68, this study compared adoption rates for selected agricultural practices between one area which received an extension program and one which did not; and sought relationships between selected characteristics of individual farmers and the adoption of new practices. Data came from interviews with 69 experimental and…

  1. [Landscape planning approaches for biodiversity conservation in agriculture].

    PubMed

    Liu, Yun-hui; Li, Liang-tao; Yu, Zhen-rong

    2008-11-01

    Biodiversity conservation in agriculture not only relates to the sustainable development of agriculture, but also is an essential part of species conservation. In recent years, the landscape planning approach for biodiversity was highlighted instead of species-focused approach. In this paper, the landscape factors affecting the biodiversity in agriculture were reviewed, and the possible landscape approaches at three different scales for more efficient conservation of biodiversity in agro-landscape were suggested, including: (1) the increase of the proportion of natural or semi-natural habitats in agriculture, diversification of land use or crop pattern, and protection or construction of corridor at landscape level; (2) the establishment of non-cropping elements such as field margin at between-field level; and (3) the application of reasonable crop density, crop distribution pattern and rotation, and intercrop etc. at within-field level. It was suggested that the relevant policies for natural conservation, land use planning, and ecological compensation should be made to apply the landscape approaches for biodiversity conservation at larger scale.

  2. Prevalence of conservation design in an agriculture-dominated landscape: the case of Northern Indiana.

    PubMed

    Crick, Julie; Prokopy, Linda Stalker

    2009-06-01

    We examined the prevalence of residential development that occurs with consideration of the natural features of the site, known as conservation design, within county-level planning jurisdictions across Northern Indiana. Using data from telephone interviews with representatives of planning departments, jurisdictions were ranked based on reported use of conservation design. Three categories of use emerged from the data: no use, use of individual practices associated with conservation design, and integration of multiple conservation design practices. Qualitative data analysis revealed that conservation design practices were not being used widely and, when used, were often used to fulfill stormwater requirements. Statistical analysis, using data from interviews, spatial data sets, and the U.S. Census Bureau, identified several significant positive predictors of the levels of conservation design use including conversion of forest or agricultural land cover to urban uses and education levels in the jurisdiction. Many of the interviewees noted that agricultural land is perceived to meet open space needs within their counties. Given that agricultural land does not fully meet all ecosystem needs, education about the benefits of other types of open space is suggested.

  3. Prevalence of Conservation Design in an Agriculture-Dominated Landscape: The Case of Northern Indiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crick, Julie; Prokopy, Linda Stalker

    2009-06-01

    We examined the prevalence of residential development that occurs with consideration of the natural features of the site, known as conservation design, within county-level planning jurisdictions across Northern Indiana. Using data from telephone interviews with representatives of planning departments, jurisdictions were ranked based on reported use of conservation design. Three categories of use emerged from the data: no use, use of individual practices associated with conservation design, and integration of multiple conservation design practices. Qualitative data analysis revealed that conservation design practices were not being used widely and, when used, were often used to fulfill stormwater requirements. Statistical analysis, using data from interviews, spatial data sets, and the U.S. Census Bureau, identified several significant positive predictors of the levels of conservation design use including conversion of forest or agricultural land cover to urban uses and education levels in the jurisdiction. Many of the interviewees noted that agricultural land is perceived to meet open space needs within their counties. Given that agricultural land does not fully meet all ecosystem needs, education about the benefits of other types of open space is suggested.

  4. REVIEW: The evolving linkage between conservation science and practice at The Nature Conservancy.

    PubMed

    Kareiva, Peter; Groves, Craig; Marvier, Michelle

    2014-10-01

    The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was founded by ecologists as a United States land trust to purchase parcels of habitat for the purpose of scientific study. It has evolved into a global organization working in 35 countries 'to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends'. TNC is now the world 's largest conservation non-governmental organization (NGO), an early adopter of advances in ecological theory and a producer of new science as a result of practising conservation.The Nature Conservancy 's initial scientific innovation was the use of distributional data for rare species and ecological communities to systematically target lands for conservation. This innovation later evolved into a more rigorous approach known as 'Conservation by Design' that contained elements of systematic conservation planning, strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation.The next scientific transition at TNC was a move to landscape-scale projects, motivated by ideas from landscape ecology. Because the scale at which land could be set aside in areas untouched by humans fell far short of the spatial scale demanded by conservation, TNC became involved with best management practices for forestry, grazing, agriculture, hydropower and other land uses.A third scientific innovation at TNC came with the pursuit of multiobjective planning that accounts for economic and resource needs in the same plans that seek to protect biodiversity.The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment prompted TNC to become increasingly concerned with ecosystem services and the material risk to people posed by ecosystem deterioration.Finally, because conservation depends heavily upon negotiation, TNC has recently recruited social scientists, economists and communication experts. One aspect still missing, however, is a solid scientific understanding of thresholds that should be averted.Synthesis and applications. Over its 60-plus year history, scientific advances have informed The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 's actions and

  5. Conservation planning in agricultural landscapes: hotspots of conflict between agriculture and nature

    PubMed Central

    Shackelford, Gorm E; Steward, Peter R; German, Richard N; Sait, Steven M; Benton, Tim G

    2015-01-01

    Aim Conservation conflict takes place where food production imposes a cost on wildlife conservation and vice versa. Where does conservation impose the maximum cost on production, by opposing the intensification and expansion of farmland? Where does conservation confer the maximum benefit on wildlife, by buffering and connecting protected areas with a habitable and permeable matrix of crop and non-crop habitat? Our aim was to map the costs and benefits of conservation versus production and thus to propose a conceptual framework for systematic conservation planning in agricultural landscapes. Location World-wide. Methods To quantify these costs and benefits, we used a geographic information system to sample the cropland of the world and map the proportion of non-crop habitat surrounding the cropland, the number of threatened vertebrates with potential to live in or move through the matrix and the yield gap of the cropland. We defined the potential for different types of conservation conflict in terms of interactions between habitat and yield (potential for expansion, intensification, both or neither). We used spatial scan statistics to find ‘hotspots’ of conservation conflict. Results All of the ‘hottest’ hotspots of conservation conflict were in sub-Saharan Africa, which could have impacts on sustainable intensification in this region. Main conclusions Systematic conservation planning could and should be used to identify hotspots of conservation conflict in agricultural landscapes, at multiple scales. The debate between ‘land sharing’ (extensive agriculture that is wildlife friendly) and ‘land sparing’ (intensive agriculture that is less wildlife friendly but also less extensive) could be resolved if sharing and sparing were used as different types of tool for resolving different types of conservation conflict (buffering and connecting protected areas by maintaining matrix quality, in different types of matrix). Therefore, both sharing and sparing

  6. Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the primary challenges of our time is to feed a growing and more demanding world population with reduced external inputs and minimal environmental impacts, all under more variable and extreme climate conditions of the future. Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a set of three crop manage...

  7. Cost of areal reduction of gulf hypoxia through agricultural practice.

    PubMed

    Whittaker, Gerald; Barnhart, Bradley L; Srinivasan, Raghavan; Arnold, Jeffrey G

    2015-02-01

    A major share of the area of hypoxic growth in the Northern Gulf of Mexico has been attributed to nutrient run-off from agricultural fields, but no estimate is available for the cost of reducing Gulf hypoxic area using agricultural conservation practices. We apply the Soil and Water Assessment Tool using observed daily weather to simulate the reduction in nitrogen loading in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB) that would result from enrolling all row crop acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Nitrogen loadings at the outlet of the UMRB are used to predict Gulf hypoxic area, and net cash farm rent is used as the price for participation in the CRP. Over the course of the 42 year simulation, direct CRP costs total more than $388 billion, and the Inter-Governmental Task Force goal of hypoxic area less than 5000 square kilometers is met in only two years.

  8. Watershed sediment losses to lakes accelerating despite agricultural soil conservation efforts.

    PubMed

    Heathcote, Adam J; Filstrup, Christopher T; Downing, John A

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1). Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2) yr(-1) in 1850 to 986 g m(-2) yr(-1) by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850) to 59 days mm(-1) at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation.

  9. A planning approach for agricultural watersheds using precision conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ac...

  10. Focus On: Energy Conservation Practices in Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Boston.

    This pamphlet briefly describes 23 effective energy conservation programs in Massachusetts schools today. These practices range from changes in classroom lighting fixtures to complete heating system redesign. Each program represents an effort by school systems to adapt to changing energy needs and available resources. Each entry describes the…

  11. Proteomics of Durum Wheat Grain during Transition to Conservation Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Galieni, Angelica; Stagnari, Fabio; Bonas, Urbana; Speca, Stefano; Faccini, Andrea; Pisante, Michele; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen management in combination with sustainable agronomic techniques can have a great impact on the wheat grain proteome influencing its technological quality. In this study, proteomic analyses were used to document changes in the proportion of prolamins in mature grains of the newly released Italian durum wheat cv Achille. Such an approach was applied to wheat fertilized with urea (UREA) and calcium nitrate (NITRATE), during the transition to no-till Conservation Agriculture (CA) practice in a Mediterranean environment. Results obtained in a two-years field experiment study suggest low molecular weight glutenins (LMW-GS) as the fraction particularly inducible regardless of the N-form. Quantitative analyses of LMW-GS by 2D-GE followed by protein identification by LC-ESI-MS/MS showed that the stable increase was principally due to C-type LMW-GS. The highest accumulation resulted from a physiologically healthier state of plants treated with UREA and NITRATE. Proteomic analysis on the total protein fraction during the active phase of grain filling was also performed. For both N treatments, but at different extent, an up-regulation of different classes of proteins was observed: i) enzymes involved in glycolysis and citric acid cycles which contribute to an enhanced source of energy and carbohydrates, ii) stress proteins like heat shock proteins (HSPs) and antioxidant enzymes, such as peroxidases and superoxide dismutase which protect the grain from abiotic stress during starch and storage protein synthesis. In conclusion N inputs, which combined rate with N form gave high yield and improved quality traits in the selected durum wheat cultivar. The specific up-regulation of some HSPs, antioxidant enzymes and defense proteins in the early stages of grain development and physiological indicators related to fitness traits, could be useful bio-indicators, for wheat genotype screening under more sustainable agronomic conditions, like transition phase to no-till CA in

  12. Proteomics of Durum Wheat Grain during Transition to Conservation Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Visioli, Giovanna; Galieni, Angelica; Stagnari, Fabio; Bonas, Urbana; Speca, Stefano; Faccini, Andrea; Pisante, Michele; Marmiroli, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen management in combination with sustainable agronomic techniques can have a great impact on the wheat grain proteome influencing its technological quality. In this study, proteomic analyses were used to document changes in the proportion of prolamins in mature grains of the newly released Italian durum wheat cv Achille. Such an approach was applied to wheat fertilized with urea (UREA) and calcium nitrate (NITRATE), during the transition to no-till Conservation Agriculture (CA) practice in a Mediterranean environment. Results obtained in a two-years field experiment study suggest low molecular weight glutenins (LMW-GS) as the fraction particularly inducible regardless of the N-form. Quantitative analyses of LMW-GS by 2D-GE followed by protein identification by LC-ESI-MS/MS showed that the stable increase was principally due to C-type LMW-GS. The highest accumulation resulted from a physiologically healthier state of plants treated with UREA and NITRATE. Proteomic analysis on the total protein fraction during the active phase of grain filling was also performed. For both N treatments, but at different extent, an up-regulation of different classes of proteins was observed: i) enzymes involved in glycolysis and citric acid cycles which contribute to an enhanced source of energy and carbohydrates, ii) stress proteins like heat shock proteins (HSPs) and antioxidant enzymes, such as peroxidases and superoxide dismutase which protect the grain from abiotic stress during starch and storage protein synthesis. In conclusion N inputs, which combined rate with N form gave high yield and improved quality traits in the selected durum wheat cultivar. The specific up-regulation of some HSPs, antioxidant enzymes and defense proteins in the early stages of grain development and physiological indicators related to fitness traits, could be useful bio-indicators, for wheat genotype screening under more sustainable agronomic conditions, like transition phase to no-till CA in

  13. Multiple Knowledges for Agricultural Production: Implications for the Development of Conservation Agriculture in Kenya and Uganda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Keith M.; Lamb, Jennifer N.; Sikuku, Dominic Ngosia; Ashilenje, Dennis S.; Laker-Ojok, Rita; Norton, Jay

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This article investigates the extent of multiple knowledges among smallholders and connected non-farm agents around Mount Elgon in Kenya and Uganda in order to build the communicative competence needed to scale up conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS). Design/methodology/approach: Our methodological approach examines local…

  14. Technical concepts related to conservation of irrigation and rainwater in agricultural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemmens, A. J.; Allen, R. G.; Burt, C. M.

    2008-07-01

    Forty percent of freshwater withdrawals in the United States are for irrigated agriculture, which contribute more than $50 billion to the economy. Increasing diversions of water for urban, environmental, and other uses will likely decrease water available to agriculture. Water conservation in agriculture is touted as a good method for minimizing the impact of reduced agricultural diversions on production. Because "wasted" water is often reused until it reaches the ocean, there are limitations to the true water savings that result from programs that aim to increase irrigation efficiency. True water savings can come from four areas: reduction of unnecessary evaporation and transpiration, more effective use of rainfall, reduction of deep percolation water that becomes severely degraded in quality, and reduction of runoff from fields that is not reusable downstream. Any other reduction in net water consumption must come from reductions in evapotranspiration from the crops grown, which requires either reduction in acreage or reduction in crop yield brought on by intentional plant water stress. Other benefits of field or district-level water conservation may include increased in-stream flows (due to lower diversions) and energy conservation due to less pumping or more hydroelectric production, but not result in true water savings, since unconsumed water returns as a usable water resource. Understanding the hydrologic settings is critical to determining true water savings from conservation practices. On-farm water conservation practices that provide true water savings at one location may be ineffective at another. In large irrigation projects, water delivery limitations often present obstacles to on-farm water conservation efforts.

  15. Using changes in agricultural utility to quantify future climate-induced risk to conservation.

    PubMed

    Estes, Lyndon D; Paroz, Lydie-Line; Bradley, Bethany A; Green, Jonathan M H; Hole, David G; Holness, Stephen; Ziv, Guy; Oppenheimer, Michael G; Wilcove, David S

    2014-04-01

    Much of the biodiversity-related climate change impacts research has focused on the direct effects to species and ecosystems. Far less attention has been paid to the potential ecological consequences of human efforts to address the effects of climate change, which may equal or exceed the direct effects of climate change on biodiversity. One of the most significant human responses is likely to be mediated through changes in the agricultural utility of land. As farmers adapt their practices to changing climates, they may increase pressure on some areas that are important to conserve (conservation lands) whereas lessening it on others. We quantified how the agricultural utility of South African conservation lands may be altered by climate change. We assumed that the probability of an area being farmed is linked to the economic benefits of doing so, using land productivity values to represent production benefit and topographic ruggedness as a proxy for costs associated with mechanical workability. We computed current and future values of maize and wheat production in key conservation lands using the DSSAT4.5 model and 36 crop-climate response scenarios. Most conservation lands had, and were predicted to continue to have, low agricultural utility because of their location in rugged terrain. However, several areas were predicted to maintain or gain high agricultural utility and may therefore be at risk of near-term or future conversion to cropland. Conversely, some areas were predicted to decrease in agricultural utility and may therefore prove easier to protect from conversion. Our study provides an approximate but readily transferable method for incorporating potential human responses to climate change into conservation planning.

  16. 14 CFR 152.609 - Energy conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Energy conservation practices. 152.609... (CONTINUED) AIRPORTS AIRPORT AID PROGRAM Energy Conservation in Airport Aid Program § 152.609 Energy conservation practices. Each sponsor shall require fuel and energy conservation practices in the operation...

  17. 14 CFR 152.609 - Energy conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Energy conservation practices. 152.609... (CONTINUED) AIRPORTS AIRPORT AID PROGRAM Energy Conservation in Airport Aid Program § 152.609 Energy conservation practices. Each sponsor shall require fuel and energy conservation practices in the operation...

  18. 14 CFR 152.609 - Energy conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Energy conservation practices. 152.609... (CONTINUED) AIRPORTS AIRPORT AID PROGRAM Energy Conservation in Airport Aid Program § 152.609 Energy conservation practices. Each sponsor shall require fuel and energy conservation practices in the operation...

  19. 14 CFR 152.609 - Energy conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Energy conservation practices. 152.609... (CONTINUED) AIRPORTS AIRPORT AID PROGRAM Energy Conservation in Airport Aid Program § 152.609 Energy conservation practices. Each sponsor shall require fuel and energy conservation practices in the operation...

  20. 14 CFR 152.609 - Energy conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Energy conservation practices. 152.609... (CONTINUED) AIRPORTS AIRPORT AID PROGRAM Energy Conservation in Airport Aid Program § 152.609 Energy conservation practices. Each sponsor shall require fuel and energy conservation practices in the operation...

  1. Hyperspectral image classification for mapping agricultural tillage practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An efficient classification framework for mapping agricultural tillage practice using hyperspectral remote sensing imagery is proposed, which has the potential to be implemented practically to provide rapid, accurate, and objective surveying data for precision agricultural management and appraisal f...

  2. Assessing the extent of conservation tillage across agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residue (or plant litter) on the soil surface can decrease soil erosion and runoff and improve soil quality. Quantification of crop residue cover is required to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation tillage practices as well as the extent of biofuel harvesting. With Landsat Thematic Mapper...

  3. Assessing the extent of conservation tillage in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residue (or plant litter) on the soil surface can decrease soil erosion and runoff and improve soil quality. Quantification of crop residue cover is required to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation tillage practices as well as the extent of biofuel harvesting. Remote sensing techniques ca...

  4. A proposed NRCS conservation practice standard: Amending soil properties with gypsiferous products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper will discuss the proposed new NRCS conservation practice standard regarding the use of gypsiferous products in agriculture. Gypsiferous products include gypsum (CaSO4 .2H2O), has been used as an agricultural soil amendment for over 250 years as a soluble source of calcium and sulfur for ...

  5. REVIEW: The evolving linkage between conservation science and practice at The Nature Conservancy

    PubMed Central

    Kareiva, Peter; Groves, Craig; Marvier, Michelle

    2014-01-01

    The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was founded by ecologists as a United States land trust to purchase parcels of habitat for the purpose of scientific study. It has evolved into a global organization working in 35 countries ‘to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends’. TNC is now the world 's largest conservation non-governmental organization (NGO), an early adopter of advances in ecological theory and a producer of new science as a result of practising conservation.The Nature Conservancy 's initial scientific innovation was the use of distributional data for rare species and ecological communities to systematically target lands for conservation. This innovation later evolved into a more rigorous approach known as ‘Conservation by Design’ that contained elements of systematic conservation planning, strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation.The next scientific transition at TNC was a move to landscape-scale projects, motivated by ideas from landscape ecology. Because the scale at which land could be set aside in areas untouched by humans fell far short of the spatial scale demanded by conservation, TNC became involved with best management practices for forestry, grazing, agriculture, hydropower and other land uses.A third scientific innovation at TNC came with the pursuit of multiobjective planning that accounts for economic and resource needs in the same plans that seek to protect biodiversity.The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment prompted TNC to become increasingly concerned with ecosystem services and the material risk to people posed by ecosystem deterioration.Finally, because conservation depends heavily upon negotiation, TNC has recently recruited social scientists, economists and communication experts. One aspect still missing, however, is a solid scientific understanding of thresholds that should be averted.Synthesis and applications. Over its 60-plus year history, scientific advances have informed The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 's

  6. Hearing conservation practices in eight noisy industries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniell, William E.; Swan, Susan S.; Camp, Janice; Cohen, Martin; McDaniel, Mary M.; Stebbins, John; Leo, Robert

    2005-04-01

    This study evaluated noise exposures and hearing conservation practices at 76 companies in eight industries with high rates of workers' compensation claims for hearing loss. Nearly all companies had exposures that required a hearing conservation program, and more than half had exposures that required consideration of noise controls. The use of noise measurements and consideration of controls was low in all industries. The completeness of hearing conservation programs was strongly associated with the extent of exposure in an industry, although practices varied widely within industries. Most companies had substantial deficiencies. More than one-third did not conduct annual training, and training had shortcomings at many others. One-third had not conducted audiometry. Hearing protection was commonly underused. Reported use was highest at companies with relatively complete programs, and in industries where exposure was most prevalent and least intermittent. Many employees had difficulty estimating how often, and presumably when, their exposure was excessive. There is a need for new strategies to promote and maintain hearing conservation efforts in noisy industries. The industries with greatest margin for improvement are not the noisiest industries but those where exposure is moderate or intermittent. [Work supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

  7. Knowledge needs, available practices, and future challenges in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Key, Georgina; Whitfield, Mike G.; Cooper, Julia; De Vries, Franciska T.; Collison, Martin; Dedousis, Thanasis; Heathcote, Richard; Roth, Brendan; Mohammed, Shamal; Molyneux, Andrew; Van der Putten, Wim H.; Dicks, Lynn V.; Sutherland, William J.; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2016-10-01

    The goal of this study is to clarify research needs and identify effective practices for enhancing soil health. This was done by a synopsis of soil literature that specifically tests practices designed to maintain or enhance elements of soil health. Using an expert panel of soil scientists and practitioners, we then assessed the evidence in the soil synopsis to highlight practices beneficial to soil health, practices considered detrimental, and practices that need further investigation. A partial Spearman's correlation was used to analyse the panel's responses. We found that increased certainty in scientific evidence led to practices being considered to be more effective due to them being empirically justified. This suggests that for practices to be considered effective and put into practice, a substantial body of research is needed to support the effectiveness of the practice. This is further supported by the high proportion of practices (33 %), such as changing the timing of ploughing or amending the soil with crops grown as green manures, that experts felt had unknown effectiveness, usually due to insufficiently robust evidence. Only 7 of the 27 reviewed practices were considered to be beneficial, or likely to be beneficial in enhancing soil health. These included the use of (1) integrated nutrient management (organic and inorganic amendments); (2) cover crops; (3) crop rotations; (4) intercropping between crop rows or underneath the main crop; (5) formulated chemical compounds (such as nitrification inhibitors); (6) control of traffic and traffic timing; and (7) reducing grazing intensity. Our assessment, which uses the Delphi technique, is increasingly used to improve decision-making in conservation and agricultural policy, identified practices that can be put into practice to benefit soil health. Moreover, it has enabled us to identify practices that need further research and a need for increased communication between researchers, policy-makers, and

  8. Interrelationship between conservation tillage and energy and other input use in U.S. agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Uri, N.D.

    1996-12-01

    An important issue with regard to the overall effectiveness of conservation tillage practices in reducing the impact of agricultural production on the environment concerns what happens to energy, pesticide, and fertilizer use as these practices are more extensively adopted. To gain some insight into this, the conservation tillage adoption decision is modeled. Starting with the assumption that the conservation tillage adoption decision is a two-step procedure--the first is the decision whether or not to adopt a conservation tillage production system and the second is the decision on the extent to which conservation tillage should be used--appropriate models of the Cragg and Heckman (dominance) type are estimated. Based on a farm-level data on corn production in the US for 1987, the profile of a farm on which conservation tillage was adopted is that the cropland had above average slope and experienced above average rainfall, the farm was a cash grain enterprise, and it had an above average expenditure on pesticides, a below average expenditure on energy, and a below average expenditure on custom pesticide applications. Additionally, for a farm adopting a no-tillage production practice, an above average expenditure was made on fertilizer.

  9. Practical application of remote sensing in agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Phelps, R. A.

    1975-01-01

    Remote sensing program imagery from several types of platforms, from light aircraft to the LANDSAT (ERTS) satellites, have been utilized during the past few years, with preference for inexpensive imagery over expensive magnetic tapes. Emphasis has been on practical application of remote sensing data to increase crop yield by decreasing plant stress, disease, weeds and undesirable insects and by improving irrigation. Imagery obtained from low altitudes via aircraft provides the necessary resolution and complements but does not replace data from high altitude aircraft, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft, Skylab space station and LANDSAT satellites. Federal government centers are now able to supply imagery within about thirty days from data of order. Nevertheless, if the full potential of space imagery in practical agricultural operations is to be realized, the time span from date of imaging to user application needs to be shortened from the current several months to not more than two weeks.

  10. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  11. Modeling the impact of conservation agriculture on crop production and soil properties in Mediterranean climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussadek, Rachid; Mrabet, Rachid; Dahan, Rachid; Laghrour, Malika; Lembiad, Ibtissam; ElMourid, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    In Morocco, rainfed agriculture is practiced in the majority of agricultural land. However, the intensive land use coupled to the irregular rainfall constitutes a serious threat that affect country's food security. Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a promising alternative to produce more and sustainably. In fact, the direct seeding showed high yield in arid regions of Morocco but its extending to other more humid agro-ecological zones (rainfall > 350mm) remains scarce. In order to promote CA in Morocco, differents trials have been installed in central plateau of Morocco, to compare CA to conventional tillage (CT). The yields of the main practiced crops (wheat, lentil and checkpea) under CA and CT were analyzed and compared in the 3 soils types (Vertisol, Cambisol and Calcisol). Also, we studied the effect of CA on soil organic matter (SOM) and soil losses (SL) in the 3 different sites. The APSIM model was used to model the long term impact of CA compared to CT. The results obtained in this research have shown favorable effects of CA on crop production, SOM and soil erosion. Key words: Conservation agriculture, yield, soil properties, modeling, APSIM, Morocco.

  12. 43 CFR 5511.3-3 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Conservation practices. 5511.3-3 Section... § 5511.3-3 Conservation practices. All free-use timber disposed of under the act shall be severed, or removed in accordance with sound forestry and conservation practices so as to preserve to the...

  13. 43 CFR 5511.3-3 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Conservation practices. 5511.3-3 Section... § 5511.3-3 Conservation practices. All free-use timber disposed of under the act shall be severed, or removed in accordance with sound forestry and conservation practices so as to preserve to the...

  14. 43 CFR 5511.3-3 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Conservation practices. 5511.3-3 Section... § 5511.3-3 Conservation practices. All free-use timber disposed of under the act shall be severed, or removed in accordance with sound forestry and conservation practices so as to preserve to the...

  15. 43 CFR 5511.3-3 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Conservation practices. 5511.3-3 Section... § 5511.3-3 Conservation practices. All free-use timber disposed of under the act shall be severed, or removed in accordance with sound forestry and conservation practices so as to preserve to the...

  16. Water and energy conservation modeling in Pacific Northwest irrigated agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Houston, J.E. Jr.

    1984-01-01

    Irrigated agriculture and electrical energy supply in the Pacific Northwest are intricately bound by mutual dependence on Columbia River Basin water. Diversion and instream demands on the water have intensified through recent development in the region. Water conservation opportunities exist in present irrigation that could supplement regional firm hydroelectricity. A two-level mathematical programming model is developed to evaluate irrigator production and regional price responses to water and electricity conservation policies. Stage one emphasizes decision criteria at producer level - irrigable land, water, electricity and labor demand, and water response yields on major crops. Irrigators choose cropping and irrigation mixes and rates at expected commodity prices under resource constraints consistent with regional policy. Stage two employs production and resource use solutions from stage one in a regional allocation and price equilibrium-seeking program. Alfalfa, apple, and potato prices are determined endogenously, and a decomposition-type linkage reiterates production area response to regional equilibrium prices. Baseline irrigated acreage, water electricity, production, and crop prices are estimated for 1982. Water pricing policies reflecting the opportunity value of Columbia River water for hydrogeneration indicate increasing net social benefits, net farm returns, and hydropower potential accruing from conservation in irrigation.

  17. A small-scale land-sparing approach to conserving biological diversity in tropical agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Chandler, Richard B; King, David I; Raudales, Raul; Trubey, Richard; Chandler, Carlin; Chávez, Víctor Julio Arce

    2013-08-01

    Two contrasting strategies have been proposed for conserving biological diversity while meeting the increasing demand for agricultural products: land sparing and land sharing production systems. Land sparing involves increasing yield to reduce the amount of land needed for agriculture, whereas land-sharing agricultural practices incorporate elements of native ecosystems into the production system itself. Although the conservation value of these systems has been extensively debated, empirical studies are lacking. We compared bird communities in shade coffee, a widely practiced land-sharing system in which shade trees are maintained within the coffee plantation, with bird communities in a novel, small-scale, land-sparing coffee-production system (integrated open canopy or IOC coffee) in which farmers obtain higher yields under little or no shade while conserving an area of forest equal to the area under cultivation. Species richness and diversity of forest-dependent birds were higher in the IOC coffee farms than in the shade coffee farms, and community composition was more similar between IOC coffee and primary forest than between shade coffee and primary forest. Our study represents the first empirical comparison of well-defined land sparing and land sharing production systems. Because IOC coffee farms can be established by allowing forest to regenerate on degraded land, widespread adoption of this system could lead to substantial increases in forest cover and carbon sequestration without compromising agricultural yield or threatening the livelihoods of traditional small farmers. However, we studied small farms (<5 ha); thus, our results may not generalize to large-scale land-sharing systems. Furthermore, rather than concluding that land sparing is generally superior to land sharing, we suggest that the optimal approach depends on the crop, local climate, and existing land-use patterns.

  18. Evaluation for Water Conservation in Agriculture: Using a Multi-Method Econometric Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, A.; Eaton, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    Since the 1960's, farmers have implemented new irrigation technology to increase crop production and planting acreage. At that time, technology responded to the increasing demand for food due to world population growth. Currently, the problem of decreased water supply threatens to limit agricultural production. Uncertain precipitation patterns, from prolonged droughts to irregular rains, will continue to hamper planting operations, and farmers are further limited by an increased competition for water from rapidly growing urban areas. Irrigation technology promises to reduce water usage while maintaining or increasing farm yields. The challenge for water managers and policy makers is to quantify and redistribute these efficiency gains as a source of 'new water.' Using conservation in farming as a source of 'new water' requires accurately quantifying the efficiency gains of irrigation technology under farmers' actual operations and practices. From a water resource management and policy perspective, the efficiency gains from conservation in farming can be redistributed to municipal, industrial and recreational uses. This paper presents a methodology that water resource managers can use to statistically verify the water savings attributable to conservation technology. The specific conservation technology examined in this study is precision leveling, and the study includes a mixed-methods approach using four different econometric models: Ordinary Least Squares, Fixed Effects, Propensity Score Matching, and Hierarchical Linear Models. These methods are used for ex-post program evaluation where random assignment is not possible, and they could be employed to evaluate agricultural conservation programs, where participation is often self-selected. The principal method taken in this approach is Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM), a useful model for agriculture because it incorporates the hierarchical nature of the data (fields, tenants, and landowners) as well as crop rotation

  19. Assessment of range planting as a conservation practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Range Planting - Conservation Practice Standards provide guidelines for making decisions about seedbed preparation, planting methods, plant materials selection, seeding rate, seeding depth, timing of seeding, post-planting management, and weed-control. ...

  20. Optimizing conservation practices in watersheds: Do community preferences matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piemonti, Adriana D.; Babbar-Sebens, Meghna; Jane Luzar, E.

    2013-10-01

    This paper focuses on investigating (a) how landowner tenure and attitudes of farming communities affect the preference of individual conservation practices in agricultural watersheds, (b) how spatial distribution of landowner tenure affects the spatial optimization of conservation practices on a watershed scale, and (c) how the different attitudes and preferences of stakeholders can modify the effectiveness of alternatives obtained via classic optimization approaches that do not include the influence of existing social attitudes in a watershed during the search process. Results show that for Eagle Creek Watershed in central Indiana, USA, the most optimal alternatives (i.e., highest benefits for minimum economic costs) are for a scenario when the watershed consists of landowners who operate as farmers on their own land. When a different land-tenure scenario was used for the watershed (e.g., share renters and cash renters), the optimized alternatives had similar nitrate reduction benefits and sediment reduction benefits, but at higher economic costs. Our experiments also demonstrated that social attitudes can lead to alteration of optimized alternatives found via typical optimization approaches. For example, when certain practices were rejected by landowner operators whose attitudes toward practices were driven by economic profits, removal of these practices from the optimized alternatives led to a setback of nitrates reduction by 2-50%, peak flow reductions by 11-98 %, and sediments reduction by 20-77%. In conclusion, this study reveals the potential loss in optimality of optimized alternatives possible, when socioeconomic data on farmer preferences and land tenure are not incorporated within watershed optimization investigations.

  1. Land Conservation in an Evolving Agricultural Industry: Trade-offs to Consider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, J. S.; Murray, B. C.; McCarl, B. A.; Jackson, R. B.

    2008-12-01

    This study analyzes the interactions of land conservation policy with biofuel expansion using an economic model of the U.S. forest and agricultural sectors. The world agricultural industry is changing rapidly under emerging market and policy-based pressures. An important driver in the U.S. is the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates significant expansion in biofuels production (up to 36 billion gallons/year by 2022). Traditional land conservation practices such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are at risk in this changing agricultural climate, as the opportunity costs of reverting to cropland continue to rise. Large- scale reversion of CRP acreage is likely to lead to substantial losses in soil carbon, biodiversity, soil erosion protection, and water quality. However, given the increased competition for land resources, continued efforts to maintain the CRP could induce land use change (LUC) and agricultural development from even more sensitive ecosystems, including native grasslands and forests. This study uses economic modeling to study CRP reversion and LUC under multiple scenarios, including: 1) Baseline assumptions of growth in world agricultural demand and energy prices, with and without CRP reversion; 2) Implementation of the RFS while maintaining the CRP; and 3) RFS with CRP reversion allowed. The study is done using the FASOMGHG model (Lee, McCarl et al, 2008), which is well suited for this analysis as it: 1) Depicts land use competition between crops, pasture, CRP, and forestry over a 100 year period 2) Contains comprehensive GHG accounting across the sectors, 3) Allows land in the CRP to revert to cultivation at an economically optimal rate as land values increase, and 4) Extensively models biofuel and conventional agricultural production possibilities. Results generated to date show significant reversion to cultivation, even under the baseline (36% of the total CRP stock by 2020). Implementing the RFS further pressures conservation

  2. Innovative best management practices for improving nutrient reductions in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the burgeoning human population increases pressures on agriculture for increasing yields, the concomitant strain on the aquatic environment downstream is elevated through non-point source pollution. Traditional management practices of conservation tillage, terracing, and cover crops are good prac...

  3. Perennial grasses for energy and conservation: Evaluating some ecological agricultural, and economic issues

    SciTech Connect

    Downing, M.; Walsh, M.; McLaughlin, S.

    1995-11-01

    Perennial prairie grasses offer many advantages to the developing biofuels industry. High yielding varieties of native prairie grasses such as switchgrass, which combine lower levels of nutrient demand, diverse geographical growing range, high net energy yields and high soil and water conservation potential indicate that these grasses could and should supplement annual row crops such as corn in developing alternative fuels markets. Favorable net energy returns, increased soil erosion prevention, and a geographically diverse land base that can incorporate energy grasses into conventional farm practices will provide direct benefits to local and regional farm economies and lead to accelerated commercialization of conversion technologies. Displacement of row crops with perennial grasses will have major agricultural, economic, sociologic and cross-market implications. Thus, perennial grass production for biofuels offers significant economic advantages to a national energy strategy which considers both agricultural and environmental issues.

  4. Dynamic Edge Effects in Small Mammal Communities across a Conservation-Agricultural Interface in Swaziland

    PubMed Central

    Hurst, Zachary M.; McCleery, Robert A.; Collier, Bret A.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Silvy, Nova J.; Taylor, Peter J.; Monadjem, Ara

    2013-01-01

    Across the planet, high-intensity farming has transformed native vegetation into monocultures, decreasing biodiversity on a landscape scale. Yet landscape-scale changes to biodiversity and community structure often emerge from processes operating at local scales. One common process that can explain changes in biodiversity and community structure is the creation of abrupt habitat edges, which, in turn, generate edge effects. Such effects, while incredibly common, can be highly variable across space and time; however, we currently lack a general analytical framework that can adequately capture such spatio-temporal variability. We extend previous approaches for estimating edge effects to a non-linear mixed modeling framework that captures such spatio-temporal heterogeneity and apply it to understand how agricultural land-uses alter wildlife communities. We trapped small mammals along a conservation-agriculture land-use interface extending 375 m into sugarcane plantations and conservation land-uses at three sites during dry and wet seasons in Swaziland, Africa. Sugarcane plantations had significant reductions in species richness and heterogeneity, and showed an increase in community similarity, suggesting a more homogenized small mammal community. Furthermore, our modeling framework identified strong variation in edge effects on communities across sites and seasons. Using small mammals as an indicator, intensive agricultural practices appear to create high-density communities of generalist species while isolating interior species in less than 225 m. These results illustrate how agricultural land-use can reduce diversity across the landscape and that effects can be masked or magnified, depending on local conditions. Taken together, our results emphasize the need to create or retain natural habitat features in agricultural mosaics. PMID:24040269

  5. Dynamic edge effects in small mammal communities across a conservation-agricultural interface in Swaziland.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Zachary M; McCleery, Robert A; Collier, Bret A; Fletcher, Robert J; Silvy, Nova J; Taylor, Peter J; Monadjem, Ara

    2013-01-01

    Across the planet, high-intensity farming has transformed native vegetation into monocultures, decreasing biodiversity on a landscape scale. Yet landscape-scale changes to biodiversity and community structure often emerge from processes operating at local scales. One common process that can explain changes in biodiversity and community structure is the creation of abrupt habitat edges, which, in turn, generate edge effects. Such effects, while incredibly common, can be highly variable across space and time; however, we currently lack a general analytical framework that can adequately capture such spatio-temporal variability. We extend previous approaches for estimating edge effects to a non-linear mixed modeling framework that captures such spatio-temporal heterogeneity and apply it to understand how agricultural land-uses alter wildlife communities. We trapped small mammals along a conservation-agriculture land-use interface extending 375 m into sugarcane plantations and conservation land-uses at three sites during dry and wet seasons in Swaziland, Africa. Sugarcane plantations had significant reductions in species richness and heterogeneity, and showed an increase in community similarity, suggesting a more homogenized small mammal community. Furthermore, our modeling framework identified strong variation in edge effects on communities across sites and seasons. Using small mammals as an indicator, intensive agricultural practices appear to create high-density communities of generalist species while isolating interior species in less than 225 m. These results illustrate how agricultural land-use can reduce diversity across the landscape and that effects can be masked or magnified, depending on local conditions. Taken together, our results emphasize the need to create or retain natural habitat features in agricultural mosaics.

  6. Relating management practices and nutrient export in agricultural watersheds of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprague, Lori A.; Gronberg, Jo Ann M.

    2012-01-01

    Relations between riverine export (load) of total nitrogen (N) and total phosphorus (P) from 133 large agricultural watersheds in the United States and factors affecting nutrient transport were evaluated using empirical regression models. After controlling for anthropogenic inputs and other landscape factors affecting nutrient transport-such as runoff, precipitation, slope, number of reservoirs, irrigated area, and area with subsurface tile drains-the relations between export and the area in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) (N) and conservation tillage (P) were positive. Additional interaction terms indicated that the relations between export and the area in conservation tillage (N) and the CRP (P) progressed from being clearly positive when soil erodibility was low or moderate, to being close to zero when soil erodibility was higher, to possibly being slightly negative only at the 90th to 95th percentile of soil erodibility values. Possible explanations for the increase in nutrient export with increased area in management practices include greater transport of soluble nutrients from areas in conservation tillage; lagged response of stream quality to implementation of management practices because of nitrogen transport in groundwater, time for vegetative cover to mature, and/or prior accumulation of P in soils; or limitations in the management practice and stream monitoring data sets. If lags are occurring, current nutrient export from agricultural watersheds may still be reflecting the influence of agricultural land-use practices that were in place before the implementation of these management practices.

  7. AnnAGNPS – A United States Department of Agriculture Watershed Conservation Management Planning Tool for Non-Point Source Pollution Control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A watershed scale assessment of the effect of conservation practices on the environment is critical when recommending best management practices to agricultural producers. The environmental benefits of these practices have not been widely quantified at the watershed scale, which would require extens...

  8. 24 CFR 965.306 - Energy conservation equipment and practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Energy conservation equipment and... URBAN DEVELOPMENT PHA-OWNED OR LEASED PROJECTS-GENERAL PROVISIONS Energy Audits and Energy Conservation Measures § 965.306 Energy conservation equipment and practices. In purchasing original or, when...

  9. 24 CFR 965.306 - Energy conservation equipment and practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Energy conservation equipment and... URBAN DEVELOPMENT PHA-OWNED OR LEASED PROJECTS-GENERAL PROVISIONS Energy Audits and Energy Conservation Measures § 965.306 Energy conservation equipment and practices. In purchasing original or, when...

  10. 24 CFR 965.306 - Energy conservation equipment and practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Energy conservation equipment and... URBAN DEVELOPMENT PHA-OWNED OR LEASED PROJECTS-GENERAL PROVISIONS Energy Audits and Energy Conservation Measures § 965.306 Energy conservation equipment and practices. In purchasing original or, when...

  11. 24 CFR 965.306 - Energy conservation equipment and practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Energy conservation equipment and... URBAN DEVELOPMENT PHA-OWNED OR LEASED PROJECTS-GENERAL PROVISIONS Energy Audits and Energy Conservation Measures § 965.306 Energy conservation equipment and practices. In purchasing original or, when...

  12. 24 CFR 965.306 - Energy conservation equipment and practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Energy conservation equipment and... URBAN DEVELOPMENT PHA-OWNED OR LEASED PROJECTS-GENERAL PROVISIONS Energy Audits and Energy Conservation Measures § 965.306 Energy conservation equipment and practices. In purchasing original or, when...

  13. Environmental outcomes of conservation practices applied to grazing lands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For more than 20 years, NRCS has assessed the expected physical effects of conservation systems and practices in the context of ecological, economic, and social considerations. This has been done in a very qualitative fashion and is known as the Conservation Practice Physical Effects matrix (CPPE). ...

  14. Environmental Effects of Agricultural Practices - Summary of Workshop Held on June 14-16, 2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2006-01-01

    A meeting between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its partners was held June 14-16, 2005, in Denver, CO, to discuss science issues and needs related to agricultural practices. The goals of the meeting were to learn about the (1) effects of agricultural practices on the environment and (2) tools for identifying and quantifying those effects. Achieving these goals required defining the environmental concerns, developing scientific actions to address assessment of environmental effects, and creating collaborations to identify future research requirements and technical gaps. Five areas of concern were discussed-emerging compounds; water availability; genetically modified organisms; effects of conservation practices on ecosystems; and data, methods, and tools for assessing effects of agricultural practices.

  15. Glyphosate resistant weeds - a threat to conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Glyphosate-resistant weeds are now present throughout the Southeast. Hundreds of thousands of conservation tillage cotton acres, some currently under USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation program contracts, are at risk of being converted to higher-intensity tillage systems....

  16. Regional estimates of ecological services derived from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Faulkner, Stephen P.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Waddle, Hardin; Keeland, Bobby D.; Walls, Susan C.; James, Dale; Moorman, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The degree to which these conservation practices can restore ecosystem functions and services is not well known. This project was initiated to quantify existing ecological services derived from USDA conservation practices in the MAV as part of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project, Wetlands Component (CEAP-Wetlands). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the USDA Farm Service Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Ducks Unlimited, collected data on soils, vegetation, nitrogen cycling, migratory birds, and amphibians from 88 different sites between 2006 and 2008. Results from restored WRP sites were compared to baseline data from active agricultural cropland (AG) to evaluate changes in ecosystem services.

  17. The challenge of documenting water quality benefits of conservation practices: a review of USDA-ARS's conservation effects assessment project watershed studies.

    PubMed

    Tomer, M D; Locke, M A

    2011-01-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project was established to quantify water quality benefits of conservation practices supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2004, watershed assessment studies were begun in fourteen agricultural watersheds with varying cropping systems, landscapes, climate, and water quality concerns. This paper reviews USDA Agricultural Research Service 'Benchmark' watershed studies and the challenge of identifying water quality benefits in watersheds. Study goals included modeling and field research to assess practices, and evaluation of practice placement in watersheds. Not all goals were met within five years but important lessons were learned. While practices improved water quality, problems persisted in larger watersheds. This dissociation between practice-focused and watershed-scale assessments occurred because: (1) Conservation practices were not targeted at critical sources/pathways of contaminants; (2) Sediment in streams originated more from channel and bank erosion than from soil erosion; (3) Timing lags, historical legacies, and shifting climate combined to mask effects of practice implementation; and (4) Water quality management strategies addressed single contaminants with little regard for trade-offs among contaminants. These lessons could help improve conservation strategies and set water quality goals with realistic timelines. Continued research on agricultural water quality could better integrate modeling and monitoring capabilities, and address ecosystem services.

  18. Identifying Potential Recommendation Domains for Conservation Agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km2) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  19. Identifying potential recommendation domains for conservation agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi.

    PubMed

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km(2)) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5% of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21% of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  20. A modeling approach to evaluate the impact of conservation practices on runoff and sediments in Sasumua watershed, Kenya

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Degradation of agricultural watersheds often reduces their capacity to provide vital environmental services such as food production, clean potable water, water bodies for recreation and generation of hydro-electric power. Soil and water conservation practices on agricultural lands can enhance the ca...

  1. Exclusion of agricultural lands in spatial conservation prioritization strategies: consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem service representation.

    PubMed

    Durán, América P; Duffy, James P; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-10-07

    Agroecosystems have traditionally been considered incompatible with biological conservation goals, and often been excluded from spatial conservation prioritization strategies. The consequences for the representativeness of identified priority areas have been little explored. Here, we evaluate these for biodiversity and carbon storage representation when agricultural land areas are excluded from a spatial prioritization strategy for South America. Comparing different prioritization approaches, we also assess how the spatial overlap of priority areas changes. The exclusion of agricultural lands was detrimental to biodiversity representation, indicating that priority areas for agricultural production overlap with areas of relatively high occurrence of species. By contrast, exclusion of agricultural lands benefits representation of carbon storage within priority areas, as lands of high value for agriculture and carbon storage overlap little. When agricultural lands were included and equally weighted with biodiversity and carbon storage, a balanced representation resulted. Our findings suggest that with appropriate management, South American agroecosystems can significantly contribute to biodiversity conservation.

  2. Do Farmers Using Conventional and Non-Conventional Systems of Agriculture Have Different Perceptions of the Diversity of Wild Birds? Implications for Conservation.

    PubMed

    Silva-Andrade, Horasa Lima; de Andrade, Luciano Pires; Muniz, Lauana Souza; Telino-Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria

    2016-01-01

    Farmers' perceptions of birds' interactions with agricultural production systems are fundamental to species conservation efforts. In the present study, we evaluated the perceptions of birds held by farmers who engage in conventional and non-conventional agricultural production processes and the implications of potential differences in these perceptions on species conservation. To accomplish this, data were collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and other complementary sources of information gathered from 191 farmers in northeastern Brazil. Although some similarities were identified among the farmers in their perceptions and local ecological knowledge (LEK) of birds, differences existed between the conventional and non-conventional farmers in their attitudes toward, conflicts with, and usage of bird species. Compared to the conventional farmers, the non-conventional farmers could identify more bird species, possessed more favorable attitudes toward birds, and engaged in practices more beneficial to the conservation of avifauna. The perceptions that were identified were related to the type of agriculture practiced, and such perceptions may affect the conservation of bird species. Therefore, the adoption of certain agricultural practices has important implications for conservation. Our results indicate the need for investment in public policies, programs and actions that account for farmers' knowledge and perceptions. Such investments will contribute to the development and adoption of practices supporting wild bird conservation in agricultural areas.

  3. Do Farmers Using Conventional and Non-Conventional Systems of Agriculture Have Different Perceptions of the Diversity of Wild Birds? Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    de Andrade, Luciano Pires; Muniz, Lauana Souza; Telino-Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria

    2016-01-01

    Farmers’ perceptions of birds’ interactions with agricultural production systems are fundamental to species conservation efforts. In the present study, we evaluated the perceptions of birds held by farmers who engage in conventional and non-conventional agricultural production processes and the implications of potential differences in these perceptions on species conservation. To accomplish this, data were collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and other complementary sources of information gathered from 191 farmers in northeastern Brazil. Although some similarities were identified among the farmers in their perceptions and local ecological knowledge (LEK) of birds, differences existed between the conventional and non-conventional farmers in their attitudes toward, conflicts with, and usage of bird species. Compared to the conventional farmers, the non-conventional farmers could identify more bird species, possessed more favorable attitudes toward birds, and engaged in practices more beneficial to the conservation of avifauna. The perceptions that were identified were related to the type of agriculture practiced, and such perceptions may affect the conservation of bird species. Therefore, the adoption of certain agricultural practices has important implications for conservation. Our results indicate the need for investment in public policies, programs and actions that account for farmers’ knowledge and perceptions. Such investments will contribute to the development and adoption of practices supporting wild bird conservation in agricultural areas. PMID:27243222

  4. Water quality monitoring of an agricultural watershed lake: the effectiveness of agricultural best management practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beasley Lake is an oxbow lake located in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain (the Delta), a region of intensive agricultural activity. Due to intensive row-crop agricultural practices, the 915 ha watershed was sediment impaired when monitoring began in 1995 and was a candidate to assess the effect...

  5. Remote sensing techniques for the detection of soil erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelletier, R. E.; Griffin, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    The following paper is a summary of a number of techniques initiated under the AgRISTARS (Agriculture and Resources Inventory Surveys Through Aerospace Remote Sensing) project for the detection of soil degradation caused by water erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices for resource inventories. Discussed are methods to utilize a geographic information system to determine potential soil erosion through a USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) model; application of the Kauth-Thomas Transform to detect present erosional status; and the identification of conservation practices through visual interpretation and a variety of enhancement procedures applied to digital remotely sensed data.

  6. Utility of remotely sensed data for identification of soil conservation practices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelletier, R. E.; Griffin, R. H.

    1986-01-01

    Discussed are a variety of remotely sensed data sources that may have utility in the identification of conservation practices and related linear features. Test sites were evaluated in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma using one or more of a variety of remotely sensed data sources, including color infrared photography (CIR), LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) data, and aircraft-acquired Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data. Both visual examination and computer-implemented enhancement procedures were used to identify conservation practices and other linear features. For the Kansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma test sites, photo interpretations of CIR identified up to 24 of the 109 conservation practices from a matrix derived from the SCS National Handbook of Conservation Practices. The conservation practice matrix was modified to predict the possibility of identifying the 109 practices at various photographic scales based on the observed results as well as photo interpreter experience. Some practices were successfully identified in TM data through visual identification, but a number of existing practices were of such size and shape that the resolution of the TM could not detect them accurately. A series of computer-automated decorrelation and filtering procedures served to enhance the conservation practices in TM data with only fair success. However, features such as field boundaries, roads, water bodies, and the Urban/Ag interface were easily differentiated. Similar enhancement techniques applied to 5 and 10 meter TIMS data proved much more useful in delineating terraces, grass waterways, and drainage ditches as well as the features mentioned above, due partly to improved resolution and partly to thermally influenced moisture conditions. Spatially oriented data such as those derived from remotely sensed data offer some promise in the inventory and monitoring of conservation practices as well as in supplying parameter data for a variety of computer

  7. Agriculture: An often-overlooked opportunity for energy conservation

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, A.H.W.; Zarnikau, J.W.

    1997-12-01

    One of the most important agricultural regions in the US is the Panhandle region, the Southern region of America`s Great Plains. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in agricultural energy efficiency in the Panhandle region which covers Eastern New Mexico, Texas Panhandle, and Oklahoma Panhandle. The declining prices for agricultural products has prompted local farmers and agribusinesses to control costs so as to maintain profitability. In the Panhandle region, electricity is provided primarily by Southwestern Public Service (SPS) Company. Four different types of agricultural activities or establishments--irrigation pumping, feed lots, grain elevators, and cotton gins--account for over three-quarters of SPS`s retail sales of electricity to the agricultural sector. Although the focus of this article is to explore cost-effective energy-efficiency opportunities in the Panhandle agricultural sector, most of the measures can be applied to other agricultural regions in the US. Specific energy efficiency measures are identified and potential energy savings are quantified.

  8. Simulation of conservation practices using the APEX model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information on agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and their effectiveness in controlling agricultural non-point source pollution is crucial in developing Clean Water Act programs such as the Total Maximum Daily Loads for impaired watersheds. A modeling study was conducted to evaluate var...

  9. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices.

    PubMed

    Tilman, David; Cassman, Kenneth G; Matson, Pamela A; Naylor, Rosamond; Polasky, Stephen

    2002-08-08

    A doubling in global food demand projected for the next 50 years poses huge challenges for the sustainability both of food production and of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide to society. Agriculturalists are the principal managers of global usable lands and will shape, perhaps irreversibly, the surface of the Earth in the coming decades. New incentives and policies for ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and ecosystem services will be crucial if we are to meet the demands of improving yields without compromising environmental integrity or public health.

  10. Modeling Water Quality Benefits of Conservation Practices

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Future Midwest Landscape (FML) project is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Ecosystem Services Research Program, undertaken to examine the variety of ways in which landscapes that include crop lands, conservation areas, wetlands, lakes and streams affect...

  11. From agricultural intensification to conservation: Sediment transport in the Raccoon River, Iowa, 1916-2009

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, C.S.; Schilling, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    Fluvial sediment is a ubiquitous pollutant that negatively aff ects surface water quality and municipal water supply treatment. As part of its routine water supply monitoring, the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) has been measuring turbidity daily in the Raccoon River since 1916. For this study, we calibrated daily turbidity readings to modern total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations to develop an estimation of daily sediment concentrations in the river from 1916 to 2009. Our objectives were to evaluate longterm TSS patterns and trends, and relate these to changes in climate, land use, and agricultural practices that occurred during the 93-yr monitoring period. Results showed that while TSS concentrations and estimated sediment loads varied greatly from year to year, TSS concentrations were much greater in the early 20th century despite drier conditions and less discharge, and declined throughout the century. Against a backdrop of increasing discharge in the Raccoon River and widespread agricultural adaptations by farmers, sediment loads increased and peaked in the early 1970s, and then have slowly declined or remained steady throughout the 1980s to present. With annual sediment load concentrated during extreme events in the spring and early summer, continued sediment reductions in the Raccoon River watershed should be focused on conservation practices to reduce rainfall impacts and sediment mobilization. Overall, results from this study suggest that eff orts to reduce sediment load from the watershed appear to be working. ?? 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

  12. Transforming conservation science and practice for a postnormal world.

    PubMed

    Colloff, Matthew J; Lavorel, Sandra; van Kerkhoff, Lorrae E; Wyborn, Carina A; Fazey, Ioan; Gorddard, Russell; Mace, Georgina M; Foden, Wendy B; Dunlop, Michael; Prentice, I Colin; Crowley, John; Leadley, Paul; Degeorges, Patrick

    2017-02-22

    In this essay we highlight issues to consider when reframing conservation science and practice in the context of global change. We discuss (1) new framings of the links between ecosystems and society; (2) new relationships and roles for conservation science; (3) new models of how conservation links to society and social change; (4) new approaches for implementing adaptation for conservation outcomes. We argue that reframing conservation objectives requires scientists and practitioners to implement approaches that are no longer constrained by discipline and sectoral boundaries, geopolitical polarities, or technical problematisation. We consider that a stronger focus on learning and inclusive co-creation of knowledge, and its interaction with societal values and rules, is likely to result in conservation science and practice that will be able to meet the challenges of a post-normal world. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Impact of the agricultural research service watershed assessment studies on the conservation effects assessment project cropland national assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    USDA initiated the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in 2002 to analyze societal and environmental benefits gained from the increased conservation program funding provided in the 2002 Farm Bill. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and...

  14. Characterization and Placement of Wetlands for Integrated Conservation Practice Planning

    EPA Science Inventory

    Constructed wetlands have been recognized as an efficient and cost-effective conservation practice to protect water quality through reducing the transport of sediments and nutrients from upstream croplands to downstream water bodies. The challenge resides in targeting the strateg...

  15. The Validation of Learner Experience: A Conservative Practice?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Avis, James

    1995-01-01

    Examines relations between educational practice and learner experience/knowledge, including positivism, empiricism, identity politics, and dialog. Suggests that pedagogy that fails to examine the discursive production of experience is conservative. (SK)

  16. Rangeland CEAP: An assessment of natural resources conservation service practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The NRCS uses science-based technology to provide conservation planning and assistance to land owners and land operators to maintain productive lands and healthy ecosystems. Evaluating science-based literature on effectiveness of rangeland conservation practices is an important first step as it pro...

  17. Effects of Governance on Availability of Land for Agriculture and Conservation in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Sparovek, Gerd; Barretto, Alberto Giaroli de Oliveira Pereira; Matsumoto, Marcelo; Berndes, Göran

    2015-09-01

    The 2012 revision of the Brazilian Forest Act changed the relative importance of private and public governance for nature conservation and agricultural production. We present a spatially explicit land-use model for Brazilian agricultural production and nature conservation that considers the spatial distribution of agricultural land suitability, technological and management options, legal command, and control frameworks including the Atlantic Forest Law, the revised Forest Act, and the Amazonian land-titling, "Terra Legal," and also market-driven land use regulations. The model is used to analyze land use allocation under three scenarios with varying priorities among agricultural production and environmental protection objectives. In all scenarios, the legal command and control frameworks were the most important determinants of conservation outcomes, protecting at least 80% of the existing natural vegetation. Situations where such frameworks are not expected to be effective can be identified and targeted for additional conservation (beyond legal requirements) through voluntary actions or self-regulation in response to markets. All scenarios allow for a substantial increase in crop production, using an area 1.5-2.7 times the current cropland area, with much of new cropland occurring on current pastureland. Current public arrangements that promote conservation can, in conjunction with voluntary schemes on private lands where conversion to agriculture is favored, provide important additional nature conservation without conflicting with national agricultural production objectives.

  18. Practical formulation of a positively conservative scheme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obayashi, Shigeru; Wada, Yasuhiro

    1994-05-01

    Approximate Riemann solvers have been highly successful for computing the Euler/Navier-Stokes equations, but linearized Riemann solvers are known to fail occasionally by predicting non-physical states with negative density or internal energy. Positively conservative schemes, in contrast, guarantee physical solutions from realistic input. The Harten-Lax-van Leer-Einfeldt (HLLE) scheme is a typical example of a positively conservative scheme. However, the HLLE scheme is highly dissipative at contact discontinuities and shear layers and thus it is not applicable to practicle simulations. An existing modification to the HLLE scheme, known as HLLEM, enhances the resolution to that of the Roe scheme. However, this modification violates the positivity of density and internal energy. Precise derivation of the modification yields a quatratic inequality and thus requires a case-by-case treatment. This Note describes a new, modified HLLE scheme that satisfies the positively conservative condition approximately. Sample computationa are included to demonstrate the resolution and the robustness of the scheme.

  19. Practical formulation of a positively conservative scheme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obayashi, Shigeru; Wada, Yasuhiro

    1994-01-01

    Approximate Riemann solvers have been highly successful for computing the Euler/Navier-Stokes equations, but linearized Riemann solvers are known to fail occasionally by predicting non-physical states with negative density or internal energy. Positively conservative schemes, in contrast, guarantee physical solutions from realistic input. The Harten-Lax-van Leer-Einfeldt (HLLE) scheme is a typical example of a positively conservative scheme. However, the HLLE scheme is highly dissipative at contact discontinuities and shear layers and thus it is not applicable to practicle simulations. An existing modification to the HLLE scheme, known as HLLEM, enhances the resolution to that of the Roe scheme. However, this modification violates the positivity of density and internal energy. Precise derivation of the modification yields a quatratic inequality and thus requires a case-by-case treatment. This Note describes a new, modified HLLE scheme that satisfies the positively conservative condition approximately. Sample computationa are included to demonstrate the resolution and the robustness of the scheme.

  20. Which Advisory System to Support Innovation in Conservation Agriculture? The Case of Madagascar's Lake Alaotra

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faure, Guy; Penot, Eric; Rakotondravelo, Jean Chrysostome; Ramahatoraka, Haja Andrisoa; Dugue, Patrick; Toillier, Aurelie

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To promote sustainable agriculture, various development projects are encouraging farmers around Madagascar's Lake Alaotra to adopt conservation agriculture techniques. This article's objective is to analyze the capacity of a project-funded advisory system to accompany such an innovation and to design and implement an advisory method aimed…

  1. Energy-conserving development regulations: current practice

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-05-01

    Almost every aspect of land development has an effect on energy use, from minute architectural details to broad considerations of urban density. Energy-efficiency depends in part on how development is planned and carried out. Conventional development regulations, such as zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations, can be adapted in many ways to promote energy conservation at the community level. This report is about energy-efficient site and neighborhood design. It examines recent experiences of local governments that have adopted new development regulations or amended existing ones to promote energy conservation, more efficient generation and distribution, or a switch to alternative, renewable sources. Although much has been written in recent years about saving energy through community design, actual experience in applying these new ideas is still limited. To date, most communities have focused their efforts on studying the problem, documenting consumption patterns, and writing reports and plans. Only a handful have amended their land-use controls for the express purpose of saving energy. This study identifies 13 of these pioneering communities, after undertaking a survey of over 1400 local, regional, and state planning agencies. It takes a look at their experiences, to learn what has been done, how well it has worked, and what problems have been encountered.

  2. [Ecological agriculture: future of Good Agriculture Practice of Chinese materia medica].

    PubMed

    Guo, Lan-ping; Zhou, Liang-yun; Mo, Ge; Wang, Sheng; Huang, Lu-qi

    2015-09-01

    Based on the ecological and economic problems in Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) of Chinese material medica, we introduced the origin, concept, features and operative technology of eco-agriculture worldwide, emphasizing its modes on different biological levels of landscape, ecosystem, community, population, individual and gene in China. And on this basis, we analyzed the background and current situation of eco-agriculture of Chinese materia medica, and proposed its development ideas and key tasks, including: (1) Analysis and planning of the production pattern of Chinese material medica national wide. (2) Typical features extraction of regional agriculture of Chinese materia medica. (3) Investigation of the interaction and its mechanism between typical Chinese materia medica in each region and the micro-ecology of rhizosphere soil. (4) Study on technology of eco-agriculture of Chinese materia medica. (5) Extraction and solidification of eco-agriculture modes of Chinese materia medica. (6) Study on the theory of eco-agriculture of Chinese materia medica. Also we pointed out that GAP and eco-agriculture of Chinese material medica are both different and relative, but they are not contradictory with their own features. It is an irresistible trend to promote eco-agriculture in the GAP of Chinese material medica and coordinate ecological and economic development.

  3. A Hearing Conservation Program for Wisconsin Youth Working in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knobloch, Mary Jo; Broste, Steven K.

    1998-01-01

    Examined the effects of a multicomponent, four-year hearing-conservation program for farm youth. Researchers conducted pre- and postintervention hearing tests in control and intervention students. Surveys examined family hearing loss, farm work, noise exposure, and hearing-protection device (HPD) utilization. Significantly more intervention…

  4. Protecting ground water: pesticides and agricultural practices. Technical report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-02-01

    The booklet presents the results of a project conducted by EPA's Office of Ground-Water Protection to evaluate the potential impacts of various agronomic, irrigation, and pesticide application practices on ground water. The report provides State and local water quality and agricultural officials with technical information to help in the development of programs to protect ground water from pesticide contamination. The report explains the principles involved in reducing the risk of pesticide contamination and describes what is known about the impact of various agricultural practices on pesticide leaching. It is hoped that the information will be helpful to water-quality officials in developing and implementing ground-water protection programs.

  5. Watershed scale influence of pesticide reduction practices on pesticides and fishes within channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Implementation of pesticide reduction practices to reduce pesticide usage within agricultural watersheds has the potential to reduce pesticide concentrations within agricultural streams. The watershed scale influence of pesticide reduction practices on pesticides and the biota within agricultural he...

  6. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Zeyuan; Dosskey, Michael G.; Kang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers’ benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the values in multi-criteria analysis of conservation buffer placement in “Choosing between alternative placement strategies for conservation buffers using borda count” [1]. PMID:27222843

  7. Characterizing urbanization, and agricultural and conservation land-use change in Riverside County, California, USA.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiongwen; Li, Bai-Lian; Allen, Michael F

    2010-05-01

    Monitoring trends in urbanization and land use related to population growth and changing social and economic conditions is an important tool for developing in land use and habitat conservation policy. We analyzed urbanization and agricultural land-use change in Riverside County, California from 1984 to 2002, comparing maps every two years on the basis of aerial photographs. Matrix analysis combined with information theory was applied to study land type conversion. Results showed that the total area of "Urban and Built-Up Land" increased the most whereas total area of "Prime Farmland" decreased most. Land-use characterized as "Grazing Land,"Farmland of Local Importance," and "Farmland of Statewide Importance" also decreased. Mean patch size also decreased for "Grazing Land,"Water Area,"Other Land," and "Prime Farmland." The diversity of land types decreased dramatically after 1992. Urbanization patterns were different among three city groups (Riverside City, Coachella Valley, and Blythe), indicating the different times for "leapfrog" development in the three areas. Furthermore, the unpredictability and change in composition of land use increased after 1996 due to intensified urbanization. If the current driving forces continue, our model projects that in 2020 the area of "Urban and Built-Up Land" may increase between 25% and 39% in comparison with 2002. Percentages of most agricultural land types are projected to decrease, especially "Farmland of Local Importance,"Prime Farmland," and "Farmland of Statewide Importance." If the county's goal is to preserve agricultural lands and natural biodiversity, while maintaining sustainable development, current land-use policies and practices should be changed. This study demonstrates new useful methods for monitoring and detection of change of land-use processes.

  8. Knowledge Gained from Good Agricultural Practices Courses for Iowa Growers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Angela; Strohbehn, Catherine; Naeve, Linda; Domoto, Paul; Wilson, Lester

    2015-01-01

    Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) educational courses provide produce growers with the fundamental information for producing and processing safe produce. To determine the effectiveness of the current 7-hour GAP course provided in Iowa, growers were surveyed before and 7-14 days after the course to determine changes in knowledge and opinions.…

  9. Factors Influencing Practical Training Quality in Iranian Agricultural Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mojarradi, Gholamreza; Karamidehkordi, Esmail

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the factors influencing the practical training quality of agricultural higher education programmes from the senior students' perspective. The study was conducted in two public universities located in the north-west of Iran using a cross-sectional survey and structured interviews with a randomised sample of 254…

  10. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  11. Effects of agricultural practices on organic matter degradation in ditches

    PubMed Central

    Hunting, Ellard R.; Vonk, J. Arie; Musters, C.J.M.; Kraak, Michiel H.S.; Vijver, Martina G.

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain. This study determined the effect of agricultural practices (dairy farm grasslands and hyacinth bulb fields) on OM degradation by microorganisms and invertebrates with a consumption and food preference experiment in the field and in the laboratory using natural OM collected from the field. Freshly cut grass and hyacinths were also offered to control for OM composition and large- and small mesh-sizes were used to distinguish microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption. Results show that OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates was similar throughout the study area, but that OM collected from ditches adjacent grasslands and freshly cut grass and hyacinths were preferred over OM collected from ditches adjacent to a hyacinth bulb field. In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides. This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26892243

  12. Effects of agricultural practices on organic matter degradation in ditches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunting, Ellard R.; Vonk, J. Arie; Musters, C. J. M.; Kraak, Michiel H. S.; Vijver, Martina G.

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain. This study determined the effect of agricultural practices (dairy farm grasslands and hyacinth bulb fields) on OM degradation by microorganisms and invertebrates with a consumption and food preference experiment in the field and in the laboratory using natural OM collected from the field. Freshly cut grass and hyacinths were also offered to control for OM composition and large- and small mesh-sizes were used to distinguish microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption. Results show that OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates was similar throughout the study area, but that OM collected from ditches adjacent grasslands and freshly cut grass and hyacinths were preferred over OM collected from ditches adjacent to a hyacinth bulb field. In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides. This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

  13. Little River Experimental Watershed, Tifton, Georgia, United States: A historical geographic database of conservation practice implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, D. G.; Batten, H. L.

    2007-09-01

    The Little River Experimental Watershed located in the headwaters of the Upper Suwannee River basin is one of twelve national benchmark watersheds participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation Effects Assessment Project-Watershed Assessment Studies (CEAP-WAS). Historical paper files and maps (circa 1980-2006) were collected and used to develop a geographic database of conservation practices supported by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. The CEAP-WAS database can be queried by conservation practice, total acreages enrolled, year of implementation, and location. The CEAP-WAS database is integral to understanding the links between conservation practice implementation and placement with observed changes in hydrologic processes within a small southern Coastal Plain watershed. All associated geographic information has been provided in shapefile format and has been projected into universal transverse Mercator coordinates (zone 17), using NAD83 as the datum and GRS80 as the ellipsoid. Data may be accessed via ftp://www.tiftonars.org/, archived in a folder named ceap_data.

  14. Soil conservation in the 21st century: why we need smart agricultural intensification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govers, Gerard; Merckx, Roel; van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof

    2017-03-01

    Soil erosion severely threatens the soil resource and the sustainability of agriculture. After decades of research, this problem still persists, despite the fact that adequate technical solutions now exist for most situations. This begs the question as to why soil conservation is not more rapidly and more generally implemented. Studies show that the implementation of soil conservation measures depends on a multitude of factors but it is also clear that rapid change in agricultural systems only happens when a clear economic incentive is present for the farmer. Conservation measures are often more or less cost-neutral, which explains why they are often less generally adopted than expected. This needs to be accounted for when developing a strategy on how we may achieve effective soil conservation in the Global South, where agriculture will fundamentally change in the next century. In this paper we argue that smart intensification is a necessary component of such a strategy. Smart intensification will not only allow for soil conservation to be made more economical, but will also allow for significant gains to be made in terms of soil organic carbon storage, water efficiency and biodiversity, while at the same time lowering the overall erosion risk. While smart intensification as such will not lead to adequate soil conservation, it will facilitate it and, at the same time, allow for the farmers of the Global South to be offered a more viable future.

  15. The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP): The U.S. experience in determining a national scale natural resource and conservation needs assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated to establish a scientific understanding of the impacts of agricultural conservation practices at the watershed scale, to quantify agricultural conservation practice benefits at the national and regional scales, and to identify outstand...

  16. An Examination of Growing Trends in Land Tenure and Conservation Practice Adoption: Results from a Farmer Survey in Iowa.

    PubMed

    Varble, Sarah; Secchi, Silvia; Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk

    2016-02-01

    Tenants and part-owners are farming an increasing number of acres in the United States, while full-owners are farming fewer acres. This shift in ownership is a potential cause for concern because some previous research indicated that tenant and part-owner farmers were less likely to adopt conservation practices than farmers who owned the land they farmed. If that trend persists, ownership changes would signal a national drop in conservation adoption. Here we examine this issue using a survey of agricultural operators in the Clear Creek watershed in Iowa, a state with intensive agricultural production. We compare adoption of conservation practices, and preferences for conservation information sources and communication channels, between farmers who rent some portion of the land they farm (tenants and part-owners) and farmers who own all of the land they farm (full-owners). We find that renters are more likely to practice conservation tillage than full-owners, though they are less likely to rotate crops. In addition, renters report using federal government employees (specifically, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency) as their primary sources of conservation information, while full-owners most frequently rely on neighbors, friends, and County Extension. These findings are significant for conservation policy because, unlike some past research, they indicate that renters are not resistant to all types of conservation practices, echoing recent studies finding an increase in conservation adoption among non-full-owners. Our results emphasize the importance of government conservation communication and can inform outreach efforts by helping tailor effective, targeted conservation strategies for owners and renters.

  17. An Examination of Growing Trends in Land Tenure and Conservation Practice Adoption: Results from a Farmer Survey in Iowa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varble, Sarah; Secchi, Silvia; Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk

    2016-02-01

    Tenants and part-owners are farming an increasing number of acres in the United States, while full-owners are farming fewer acres. This shift in ownership is a potential cause for concern because some previous research indicated that tenant and part-owner farmers were less likely to adopt conservation practices than farmers who owned the land they farmed. If that trend persists, ownership changes would signal a national drop in conservation adoption. Here we examine this issue using a survey of agricultural operators in the Clear Creek watershed in Iowa, a state with intensive agricultural production. We compare adoption of conservation practices, and preferences for conservation information sources and communication channels, between farmers who rent some portion of the land they farm (tenants and part-owners) and farmers who own all of the land they farm (full-owners). We find that renters are more likely to practice conservation tillage than full-owners, though they are less likely to rotate crops. In addition, renters report using federal government employees (specifically, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency) as their primary sources of conservation information, while full-owners most frequently rely on neighbors, friends, and County Extension. These findings are significant for conservation policy because, unlike some past research, they indicate that renters are not resistant to all types of conservation practices, echoing recent studies finding an increase in conservation adoption among non-full-owners. Our results emphasize the importance of government conservation communication and can inform outreach efforts by helping tailor effective, targeted conservation strategies for owners and renters.

  18. The Subtropical Grasslands LTAR: balancing agricultural production and conservation goals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Boughton, E.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.; Sparks, J. P.; Silveira, M.; Boughton, R. K.; Swain, H.

    2015-12-01

    Subtropical grazing lands of peninsular Florida have been shaped by a long evolutionary history of lightning ignited fire followed by flooding resulting in a vast treeless prairie region in south-central Florida. In these grassland ecosystems fire return intervals are between 1-3 years. Beginning in the 1500's, Andalusian cattle began grazing in this region and the cattle industry began in earnest in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Today, Florida's prairie region is largely occupied by cow/calf ranch operations and also occupies the Northern Everglades watershed where water quality/quantity issues are at the forefront of environmental concerns. Florida ranches are characterized by a gradient of management intensities, ranging from sown pastures (most intensively managed) to semi-native pastures with a mix of introduced and native grasses, and rangeland (least managed ecosystem). Located at Archbold Biological Station, MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, and University of Florida Range Cattle Research Center (www.maerc.org; www.rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu), a primary goal of the Subtropical Grasslands US Department of Agriculture Long-term Agro-Ecosystem Research LTAR is to balance intensification of sown pastures while enhancing management of native systems in a way that maximizes other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting, cultural, biodiversity). Here, we describe our proposed experimental design to compare ecosystem delivery from conventional and aspirational management regimes in sown pastures and native systems. Aspirational management goals are to (i) maximize productivity in sown pastures with a neutral effect on other ecosystem services, and (ii) manage native systems in a way that maximizes regulating, supporting, and biodiversity ecosystem services by utilizing patch burn grazing. Ultimately, we will determine if enhanced production in sown pasture under the aspirational management system can offset any reduction in productivity in semi

  19. Digital Documentation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage: Finding the Practical in best Practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, L. S.

    2013-07-01

    Documentation of treatment is one of the central tenets of conservation as a profession, and a necessary aspect of the preservation of cultural heritage. Photographic documentation has been an essential technique for recording the nature of heritage objects and illustrating conservation procedures. The routine use of digital photography in recent years has opened many avenues to conservators, but also poses unique threats to the long-term stability of the conservation record. Digital documentation is subject to decay just as physical or "analogue" records are, with the stark difference that digital data corrupts absolutely, where physical records can remain legible through various stages of deterioration. It is therefore necessary to understand the options that conservators have with regards to preservation of their records for the future. The various guidelines presently available regarding digital documentation may be synthesized into a coherent "best practice" specific to digital conservation documentation. This practice, however, must be reconsidered within the framework of what is necessary to ensure that photographic records are preserved, versus what is feasible. In order to determine if conservators are aware of the limitations of digital technology, thirty practicing conservators were asked to respond to a questionnaire regarding their own documentation practices. The responses identified a lack of best practice, and indicated that there are multiple factors which prevent conservators from developing effective methods for creating, storing, and accessing documentation. To address this, a modified form of best practice, the "best practical" method, is developed as a series of guidelines with the intent of being feasible for practicing conservators. This method aims to reduce the time and economic costs required of best practice, while minimizing the risk to the conservation record. The "best practical" guidelines are being designed to be applicable to a

  20. Assessment of conservation practices in the Fort Cobb Reservoir watershed, southwestern Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Becker, Carol J.

    2011-01-01

    The Fort Cobb Reservoir watershed encompasses about 813 square kilometers of rural farm land in Caddo, Custer, and Washita Counties in southwestern Oklahoma. The Fort Cobb Reservoir and six stream segments were identified on the Oklahoma 1998 303(d) list as not supporting designated beneficial uses because of impairment by nutrients, suspended solids, sedimentation, pesticides, and unknown toxicity. As a result, State and Federal agencies, in collaboration with conservation districts and landowners, started conservation efforts in 2001 to decrease erosion and transport of sediments and nutrients to the reservoir and improve water quality in tributaries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture selected the Fort Cobb Reservoir watershed in 2003 as 1 of 14 benchmark watersheds under the Conservation Effectiveness Assessment Project with the objective of quantifying the environmental benefits derived from agricultural conservation programs in reducing inflows of sediments and phosphorus to the reservoir. In November 2004, the Biologic, Geographic, Geologic, and Water Disciplines of the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Service, Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, Oklahoma, began an interdisciplinary investigation to produce an integrated publication to complement this program. This publication is a compilation of 10 report chapters describing land uses, soils, geology, climate, and water quality in streams and the reservoir through results of field and remote sensing investigations from 2004 to 2007. The investigations indicated that targeting best-management practices to small intermittent streams draining to the reservoir and to the Cobb Creek subwatershed may effectively augment efforts to improve eutrophic to hypereutrophic conditions that continue to affect the reservoir. The three major streams flowing into the reservoir contribute nutrients causing eutrophication, but minor streams draining cultivated fields near the

  1. Soil erosion and conservation in the United States: An overview. Agriculture information bulletin. (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Magleby, R.; Sandretto, C.; Crosswhite, W.; Osborn, C.T.

    1995-10-01

    Soil erosion on agricultural land in the United States does not pose an immediate threat to the Nation`s ability to produce food and fiber. However, erosion is impairing long-term soil productivity in some areas and is the largest contributor to nonpoint source pollution of the Nation`s waterways. Conservation and commodity programs are currently being coordinated to futher conservation objectives. This report provides background information on soil use, erosion, and conservation policies and programs; summarizes assessments of economic and environmental effects of erosion; and discusses policies and programs as well as options for their improvement.

  2. Agricultural environmental management; case studies from theory to practice.

    PubMed

    Frost, A; Stewart, S; Kerr, D; MacDonald, J; D'Arcy, B

    2004-01-01

    Six farms were examined, each from a different sector of Scottish agriculture. Surveys were carried out to identify both diffuse pollution risks and options for habitat conservation and enhancement. Financial data were also gathered to determine the current sources of farm income, both from sale of produce and from grants. Whole farm plans were produced aimed at bringing about reductions in diffuse pollution to water, soil and air and also habitat improvements. The assembled information was used to devise a possible agri-environment grant scheme to aid the implementation of the whole farm plans.

  3. 75 FR 33761 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-15

    ...), Streambank and Shoreline Protection (Code 580), Upland Wildlife Habitat Management (Code 645), and Wetland... land (HEL) or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement... revisions to conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland provisions of the law....

  4. Farmer Perceptions of Soil and Water Conservation Issues: Implications to Agricultural and Extension Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruening, Thomas H.; Martin, Robert A.

    A sample of 731 farmers was surveyed to identify perceptions regarding selected soil and water conservation practices. The sample was stratified and proportioned by conservation district to have a representative group of respondents across Iowa. Items on the mailed questionnaire were designed to assess perceptions regarding issues in soil and…

  5. Impact of conservation agriculture on harnessing sustainability and building resilience against land degradation in the northern Ethiopian highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Tesfay; Cornelis, Wim M.; Govaerts, Bram; Bauer, Hans; Deckers, Jozef; Nyssen, Jan

    2013-04-01

    Conservation Agriculture (CA) aims at improving soil quality and crop yield whilst reducing runoff and topsoil erosion which raises the soil resilience to combat soil degradation. Different chemical, physical, and biological properties of a soil interact in complex ways that determine the crop productivity potential of the soil. Hence, a medium-term tillage experiment was carried out (2005 to 2011) on a Vertisol to evaluate changes in soil quality, runoff and soil loss due to CA-based field conservation practices in northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was implemented in a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, plowed once at planting by refreshing the furrow and with 30% standing crop residue retention, terwah+ (TER+) with plowing once at planting with 30% standing crop residue retention and contour furrows made at 1.5 m distance interval, and conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three tillage operations and removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plow mahresha. Local crop rotation practices followed during the seven years sequentially from the first to the seventh year included wheat-teff-wheat-barley-wheat-teff-grass pea. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weed in DER+ and TER+. Significantly different (p<0.05) mean runoff coefficients (%) in 7-yrs of 13, 20 and 27 were recorded for DER+, TER+ and CT, respectively. Mean soil losses of 7-yrs were 4.4, 12.5 and 18 t ha-1 y-1 in DER+, TER+ and CT, respectively. Among the several assessed soil properties, SOM, N, P, soil microbial biomass carbon, aggregate stability index, consistency index, cone index, air capacity and macroporosity were shown to significantly increase in soils subjected to DER+ planting system

  6. Little River Experimental Watershed, Georgia: National Institute of Food and Agriculture - Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In September 2007, USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), now the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) jointly funded two integrated research and outreach grants to conduct a synthesis of resul...

  7. Life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impact of biochar implementation in conservation agriculture in Zambia.

    PubMed

    Sparrevik, Magnus; Field, John L; Martinsen, Vegard; Breedveld, Gijs D; Cornelissen, Gerard

    2013-02-05

    Biochar amendment to soil is a potential technology for carbon storage and climate change mitigation. It may, in addition, be a valuable soil fertility enhancer for agricultural purposes in sandy and/or weathered soils. A life cycle assessment including ecological, health and resource impacts has been conducted for field sites in Zambia to evaluate the overall impacts of biochar for agricultural use. The life cycle impacts from conservation farming using cultivation growth basins and precision fertilization with and without biochar addition were in the present study compared to conventional agricultural methods. Three different biochar production methods were evaluated: traditional earth-mound kilns, improved retort kilns, and micro top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier stoves. The results confirm that the use of biochar in conservation farming is beneficial for climate change mitigation purposes. However, when including health impacts from particle emissions originating from biochar production, conservation farming plus biochar from earth-mound kilns generally results in a larger negative effect over the whole life cycle than conservation farming without biochar addition. The use of cleaner technologies such as retort kilns or TLUDs can overcome this problem, mainly because fewer particles and less volatile organic compounds, methane and carbon monoxide are emitted. These results emphasize the need for a holistic view on biochar use in agricultural systems. Of special importance is the biochar production technique which has to be evaluated from both environmental/climate, health and social perspectives.

  8. Weed Dynamics during Transition to Conservation Agriculture in Western Kenya Maize Production

    PubMed Central

    Odhiambo, Judith A.; Norton, Urszula; Ashilenje, Dennis; Omondi, Emmanuel C.; Norton, Jay B.

    2015-01-01

    Weed competition is a significant problem in maize (Zea mays, L.) production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Better understanding of weed management and costs in maize intercropped with beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) during transition to conservation agricultural systems is needed. Changes in weed population and maize growth were assessed for a period of three years at Bungoma where crops are grown twice per year and at Trans-Nzoia where crops are grown once per year. Treatments included three tillage practices: minimum (MT), no-till (NT) and conventional (CT) applied to three cropping systems: continuous maize/bean intercropping (TYPICAL), maize/bean intercropping with relayed mucuna after bean harvest (RELAY) and maize, bean and mucuna planted in a strip intercropping arrangement (STRIP). Herbicides were used in NT, shallow hand hoeing and herbicides were used in MT and deep hoeing with no herbicides were used in CT. Weed and maize performance in the maize phase of each cropping system were assessed at both locations and costs of weed control were estimated at Manor House only. Weed density of grass and forb species declined significantly under MT and NT at Manor House and of grass species only at Mabanga. The greatest declines of more than 50% were observed as early as within one year of the transition to MT and NT in STRIP and TYPICAL cropping systems at Manor House. Transitioning to conservation based systems resulted in a decline of four out of five most dominant weed species. At the same time, no negative impact of MT or NT on maize growth was observed. Corresponding costs of weed management were reduced by $148.40 ha-1 in MT and $149.60 ha-1 in NT compared with CT. In conclusion, farmers can benefit from effective and less expensive weed management alternatives early in the process of transitioning to reduced tillage operations. PMID:26237404

  9. Weed Dynamics during Transition to Conservation Agriculture in Western Kenya Maize Production.

    PubMed

    Odhiambo, Judith A; Norton, Urszula; Ashilenje, Dennis; Omondi, Emmanuel C; Norton, Jay B

    2015-01-01

    Weed competition is a significant problem in maize (Zea mays, L.) production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Better understanding of weed management and costs in maize intercropped with beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) during transition to conservation agricultural systems is needed. Changes in weed population and maize growth were assessed for a period of three years at Bungoma where crops are grown twice per year and at Trans-Nzoia where crops are grown once per year. Treatments included three tillage practices: minimum (MT), no-till (NT) and conventional (CT) applied to three cropping systems: continuous maize/bean intercropping (TYPICAL), maize/bean intercropping with relayed mucuna after bean harvest (RELAY) and maize, bean and mucuna planted in a strip intercropping arrangement (STRIP). Herbicides were used in NT, shallow hand hoeing and herbicides were used in MT and deep hoeing with no herbicides were used in CT. Weed and maize performance in the maize phase of each cropping system were assessed at both locations and costs of weed control were estimated at Manor House only. Weed density of grass and forb species declined significantly under MT and NT at Manor House and of grass species only at Mabanga. The greatest declines of more than 50% were observed as early as within one year of the transition to MT and NT in STRIP and TYPICAL cropping systems at Manor House. Transitioning to conservation based systems resulted in a decline of four out of five most dominant weed species. At the same time, no negative impact of MT or NT on maize growth was observed. Corresponding costs of weed management were reduced by $148.40 ha(-1) in MT and $149.60 ha(-1) in NT compared with CT. In conclusion, farmers can benefit from effective and less expensive weed management alternatives early in the process of transitioning to reduced tillage operations.

  10. Different Seed Selection and Conservation Practices for Fresh Market and Dried Chile Farmers in Aguascalientes, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    de Jesús Luna-Ruíz, José; Gepts, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Different Seed Selection and Conservation Practices for Fresh Market and Dried Chile Farmers in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The process of selecting and saving seed is the most basic and oldest of agricultural practices. In today’s modern and highly capital-intensive agriculture, seeds are often treated like another chemical input. This study sought to examine seed selection and saving practices among chile farmers in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where both industrial and traditional agriculture are practiced. We observed a clear division among farmers who plant chile peppers commercially. Sixty-eight chile pepper farmers were surveyed in order to document seed selection and saving practices. Fifteen respondents (22%) planted chile peppers destined for the fresh market and all utilized purchased commercial seed of F1 hybrid varieties. Fifty-three farmers (78%) planted chiles to be dried and either saved their own or purchased seeds that others had saved and selected. Farmers who saved their own seed sought to maintain an ideotype, rather than directionally select for certain traits, much like Cleveland et al. (2000) chronicled in central Mexican maize farmers. Farmers would benefit from a participatory plant-breeding program in order to maintain productive seed stock for the continued cultivation of dried chile pepper in the state. PMID:21212817

  11. Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses.

    PubMed

    Sayer, Jeffrey; Sunderland, Terry; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Pfund, Jean-Laurent; Sheil, Douglas; Meijaard, Erik; Venter, Michelle; Boedhihartono, Agni Klintuni; Day, Michael; Garcia, Claude; van Oosten, Cora; Buck, Louise E

    2013-05-21

    "Landscape approaches" seek to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. Here we synthesize the current consensus on landscape approaches. This is based on published literature and a consensus-building process to define good practice and is validated by a survey of practitioners. We find the landscape approach has been refined in response to increasing societal concerns about environment and development tradeoffs. Notably, there has been a shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals. We provide 10 summary principles to support implementation of a landscape approach as it is currently interpreted. These principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder involvement, and multiple objectives. Various constraints are recognized, with institutional and governance concerns identified as the most severe obstacles to implementation. We discuss how these principles differ from more traditional sectoral and project-based approaches. Although no panacea, we see few alternatives that are likely to address landscape challenges more effectively than an approach circumscribed by the principles outlined here.

  12. Water ponding and catchment runoff as influenced by conservation agriculture in May Zeg-zeg (Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanckriet, Sil; Nyssen, Jan; Araya, Tesfay; Poesen, Jean; Govaerts, Bram; Bauer, Hans; Deckers, Jozef; Haile, Mitiku; Verfaillie, Els; Cornelis, Wim M.

    2013-04-01

    This study evaluates the practice of conservation agriculture (CA) in the May Zeg-zeg catchment (MZZ; 187 ha) in the North Ethiopian Highlands as a soil management technique for reducing soil loss and runoff, and assesses the consequences of future large-scale implementation on soil and hydrology at catchment-level. The study of such practice is important especially under conditions of climate change, since EdGCM (Educational Global Climate Model) simulation predicts by 2040 an increase in precipitation by more than 100 mm yr-1 in the study area. Firstly, field-saturated infiltration rates, together with soil texture and soil organic carbon contents, were measured. Relation with local topography allows to generate a pedotransfer function for field-saturated infiltration rate, and spatial interpolation with Linear Regression Mapping was used to map field-saturated infiltration rates optimally within the catchment. Secondly, on several farmlands, CA was checked against Plain Tillage (PT) for values of field-saturated infiltration rates, soil organic carbon, runoff and soil loss. Results show no significant differences for infiltration rates but significant differences for runoff and soil loss (as measured in the period 2005-2011). Runoff coefficients were 30.4% for PT and 18.8% for CA; soil losses were 35.4 t ha-1 yr-1 for PT and 14.4 t ha-1 yr-1 for CA. Thirdly, all collected information was used to predict future catchment hydrological response for full-implementation of CA under the predicted wetter climate (simulation with EdGCM). Curve Numbers for farmlands with CA were calculated. An area-weighted Curve Number allows the simulation of the 2011 rainy season runoff, predicting a total runoff depth of 23.5 mm under CA and 27.9 mm under PT. Furthermore, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation management factor P was calibrated for CA. Results also show the important influence of increased surface roughness on water ponding, modeled with a hydrologic conservation

  13. Changes in historical Iowa land cover as context for assessing the environmental benefits of current and future conservation efforts on agricultural lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa L.; Sadinski, Walt; Roth, Mark F.; Rewa, Charles A.

    2011-01-01

    Conservationists and agriculturists face unprecedented challenges trying to minimize tradeoffs between increasing demands for food, fiber, feed, and biofuels and the resulting loss or reduced values of other ecosystem services, such as those derived from wetlands and biodiversity (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment 2005a, 2005c; Maresch et al. 2008). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-234, Stat. 923, HR 2419, also known as the 2008 Farm Bill) reauthorized the USDA to provide financial incentives for agricultural producers to reduce environmental impacts via multiple conservation programs. Two prominent programs, the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide incentives for producers to retire environmentally sensitive croplands, minimize erosion, improve water quality, restore wetlands, and provide wildlife habitat (USDA FSA 2008a, 2008b; USDA NRCS 2002). Other conservation programs (e.g., Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program) provide incentives to implement structural and cultural conservation practices to improve the environmental performance of working agricultural lands. Through its Conservation Effects Assessment Project, USDA is supporting evaluation of the environmental benefits obtained from the public investment in conservation programs and practices to inform decisions on where further investments are warranted (Duriancik et al. 2008; Zinn 1997).

  14. Agricultural Marketing. Farmers' Marketing Practices and Programs To Teach Alternative Practices. Briefing Report to Congressional Committees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.

    This report describes a General Accounting Office study of farmers' marketing practices. The report specifically discusses farmers' use of the three advanced marketing techniques--cash forward contracting, hedging in the futures market, and trading in agricultural options--as disclosed in nine studies of farmers' marketing practices made from 1976…

  15. An assessment of alternative agricultural management practice impacts on soil carbon in the corn belt

    SciTech Connect

    Barnwell, T.O. Jr.; Jackson, R.B.; Mulkey, L.A.

    1993-12-31

    This impact of alternative management practices on agricultural soil C is estimated by a soil C mass balance modeling study that incorporates policy considerations in the analysis. A literature review of soil C modeling and impacts of management practices has been completed. The models selected for use and/or modification to meet the needs of representing soil C cycles in agroecosystems and impacts of management practices are CENTURY and DNDC. These models share a common ability to examine the impacts of alternative management practices on soil organic C, and are readily accessible. An important aspect of this effort is the development of the modeling framework and methodology that define the agricultural production systems and scenarios (i.e., crop-soil-climate combinations) to be assessed in terms of national policy, the integration of the model needs with available databases, and the operational mechanics of evaluating C sequestration potential with the integrated model/database system. We are working closely with EPA`s Office of Policy and Program Evaluation to define a reasonable set of policy alternatives for this assessment focusing on policy that might be affected through a revised Farm Bill, such as incentives to selectively promote conservation tillage, crop rotations, and/or good stewardship of the conservation reserve. Policy alternatives are translated into basic data for use in soil C models through economic models. These data, including such elements as agricultural practices, fertilization rates, and production levels are used in the soil C models to produce net carbon changes on a per unit area basis. The unit-area emissions are combined with areal-extent data in a GIS to produce an estimate of total carbon and nitrogen changes and thus estimate greenhouse benefits.

  16. Development of the Land-use and Agricultural Management Practice web-Service (LAMPS) for generating crop rotations in space and time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroecosystem models and conservation planning tools require spatially and temporally explicit input data about agricultural management operations. The Land-use and Agricultural Management Practices web-Service (LAMPS) provides crop rotation and management information for user-specified areas within...

  17. Climate-smart conservation: putting adaption principles into practice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stein, Bruce A.; Glick, Patty; Edelson, Naomi; Staudt, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    Climate change already is having significant impacts on the nation’s species and ecosystems, and these effects are projected to increase considerably over time. As a result, climate change is now a primary lens through which conservation and natural resource management must be viewed. How should we prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change on wildlife and their habitats? What should we be doing differently in light of these climatic shifts, and what actions continue to make sense? Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice offers guidance for designing and carrying out conservation in the face of a rapidly changing climate. Addressing the growing threats brought about or accentuated by rapid climate change requires a fundamental shift in the practice of natural resource management and conservation. Traditionally, conservationists have focused their efforts on protecting and managing systems to maintain their current state, or to restore degraded systems back to a historical state regarded as more desirable. Conservation planners and practitioners will need to adopt forward-looking goals and implement strategies specifically designed to prepare for and adjust to current and future climatic changes, and the associated impacts on natural systems and human communities—an emerging discipline known as climate change adaptation. The field of climate change adaptation is still in its infancy. Although there is increasing attention focused on the subject, much of the guidance developed to date has been general in nature, concentrating on high-level principles rather than specific actions. It is against this backdrop that this guide was prepared as a means for helping put adaptation principles into practice, and for moving adaptation from planning to action.

  18. Energy and the use of conservation tillage in U.S. agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Uri, N.D.

    1999-10-01

    The relationship between energy and the use of conservation tillage is of special importance in addressing concerns about the impact of agricultural production on the environment in the United States. It is the subject of this paper. After establishing that a relationship exists between the price of energy and the use of conservation tillage via Granger causality, the relationship is quantified. It is shown that while the real price of crude oil, the proxy used for the price of energy, does not affect the rate of adoption of conservation tillage, it does impact the extent to which it is used. Finally, there is no structural instability in the relationship between the relative use of conservation tillage and the real price of crude oil over the period 1963 to 1997.

  19. Hearing conservation and noise management practices in professional orchestras.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Ian; Driscoll, Tim; Ackermann, Bronwen

    2012-01-01

    Hearing conservation and noise exposure management for professional orchestras is a difficult issue resistant to standard control measures as used in other industries with excessive noise problems. Although there has been a great deal of research into this area in terms of the audiological status of musicians and their exposure to noise, there are relatively few industry-specific strategies that can be adopted by an orchestra looking to address these issues. Australia does not have a uniform approach to hearing conservation management in its orchestras; however, each orchestra actively grapples with the challenges of balancing legal, practical, and artistic concerns. This study systematically investigated hearing conservation practices, noise exposure management, and audiological screening protocols in eight professional orchestras. The research involved personal interviews with staff at each orchestra, including inspection of venues and facilities. While all these orchestras were aware of the risks and were actively taking significant steps to reduce noise exposure, a range of approaches, with varying degrees of effectiveness and understanding of the issue, were found across the sector. There was limited evidence of educational programs for either the musicians at risk of excessive noise exposure or the staff responsible for devising and implementing control measures. In addition, the reported use of adequate personal hearing protection by musicians was poor. As Australia has recently introduced a national approach to workplace health and safety, a similar approach to noise and audiological management across the country's orchestral sector is proposed, drawn from existing research and practice. This will enable both consistent procedures and meaningful dialogue between the orchestras on the topics of hearing conservation, audiological monitoring, and educational practices.

  20. Theme: Innovative Curriculum Ideas and Practices in Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agricultural Education Magazine, 2002

    2002-01-01

    Fourteen theme articles discuss the following: curriculum ideas and innovations in agricultural education, agricultural literacy, Supervised Agricultural Experience, active learning, locating agricultural education resources, distance and web-based instruction, principles of forest management, professional development, and service learning. (JOW)

  1. Grassland birds associated with agricultural riparian practices in southwestern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renfrew, R.B.; Ribic, C.A.

    2001-01-01

    Rotational grazing has been proposed as a Best Management Practice (BMP) for minimizing runoff in Wisconsin agricultural riparian areas. The influence of this land management practice on grassland birds has not been evaluated in relation to more traditional agricultural land management systems in Midwestern riparian areas. This study compared the grassland bird community in riparian areas in Wisconsin that were rotationally grazed to 2 common land use practices along streams in Wisconsin: continuously grazed pastures and rowcrop fields with 10-m-wide ungrazed buffer strips located along the stream. We calculated total number of birds, the Berger-Parker Index of Dominance, and number of birds ha-1 for each site. Vegetation variables used were height-density, litter depth, and percent bare ground. Bird species richness, species dominance, and density did not differ among land use types. In contrast, grassland bird species of management concern [Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis Gmelin), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna L.), and Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus L.)] were found on continuous and rotational pastures but very rarely or never occurred on buffer strips. Contrary to previous research, however, rotationally grazed pastures did not support more of these species than continuously grazed pastures. Bird density was related to vegetation structure, with higher densities found on sites with deeper litter. Within the pasture land use types, there were no consistent differences between species richness and density near the stream (10 m).

  2. Agricultural practices in grasslands detected by spatial remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Dusseux, Pauline; Vertès, Françoise; Corpetti, Thomas; Corgne, Samuel; Hubert-Moy, Laurence

    2014-12-01

    The major decrease in grassland surfaces associated with changes in their management that has been observed in many regions of the earth during the last half century has major impacts on environmental and socio-economic systems. This study focuses on the identification of grassland management practices in an intensive agricultural watershed located in Brittany, France, by analyzing the intra-annual dynamics of the surface condition of vegetation using remotely sensed and field data. We studied the relationship between one vegetation index (NDVI) and two biophysical variables (LAI and fCOVER) derived from a series of three SPOT images on one hand and measurements collected during field campaigns achieved on 120 grasslands on the other. The results show that the LAI appears as the best predictor for monitoring grassland mowing and grazing. Indeed, because of its ability to characterize vegetation status, LAI estimated from remote sensing data is a relevant variable to identify these practices. LAI values derived from the SPOT images were then classified based on the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) supervised algorithm. The results points out that the distribution of grassland management practices such as grazing and mowing can be mapped very accurately (Kappa index = 0.82) at a field scale over large agricultural areas using a series of satellite images.

  3. Agricultural practices that store organic carbon in soils: is it only a matter of inputs ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenu, Claire; Cardinael, Rémi; Autret, Bénédicte; Chevallier, Tiphaine; Girardin, Cyril; Mary, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    Increasing the world soils carbon stocks by a factor of 4 per mil annually would compensate the annual net increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This statement is the core of an initiative launched by the French government at the recent COP21, followed by many countries and international bodies, which attracts political attention to the storage potential of C in soils. Compared to forest and pasture soils, agricultural soils have a higher C storage potential, because they are often characterized by low C contents, and increasing their C content is associated with benefits in terms of soil properties and ecosystem services. Here we quantified, under temperate conditions, the additional C storage related to the implementation of two set of practices that are recognized to be in the framework of agroecology: conservation tillage on the one hand and agroforestry on the other hand. These studies were based on long-term experiments, a 16-years comparison on cropping systems on luvisols in the Paris area and a 18-year-old silvoarable agroforestry trial, on fluvisols in southern France, the main crops being cereals in both cases. C stocks were measured on an equivalent soil mass basis. Both systems allowed for a net storage of C in soils, which are, for the equivalent of the 0-30 cm tilled layer, of 0.55 ± 0.16 t ha- 1 yr- 1 for conservation agriculture (i.e. no tillage with permanent soil coverage with an associated plant, fescue or alfalfa) and of 0.25 ± 0.03 t ha-1 yr-1 for the agroforestry system. These results are in line with estimates proposed in a recent French national assessment concerning the potential of agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to recent literature, they further show that practices that increase C inputs to soil through additional biomass production would be more effective to store C in soil (tree rows, cover crops in conservation agriculture) than practices, such as no-tillage, that are assumed to reduce

  4. Effects of a coordinated farmland bird conservation project on farmers' intentions to implement nature conservation practices - Evidence from the Swedish Volunteer & Farmer Alliance.

    PubMed

    Josefsson, Jonas; Lokhorst, Anne Marike; Pärt, Tomas; Berg, Åke; Eggers, Sönke

    2017-02-01

    To increase the efficacy of agri-environmental schemes (AES), as well as farmers' environmental engagement, practitioners are increasingly turning to collective forms of agri-environmental management. As yet, empirical evidence from such approaches is relatively scarce. Here, we examined a farmland bird conservation project coordinated by BirdLife Sweden, the Swedish Volunteer & Farmer Alliance (SVFA). The key features of the SVFA were farmland bird inventories from volunteering birdwatchers and on-farm visits to individual farmers from conservation advisors for guidance on AES as well as unsubsidised practices. Using an ex-post application of the theory of planned behaviour across project participants and a randomly sampled control group of farmers we assessed how SVFA affected behavioural intentions relating to AES and unsubsidised conservation, and how the behaviour was affected by attitudes, perceived social norms and perceived behavioural control. We also included a measure of self-identity as a conservationist to assess its importance for behavioural intentions, and if SVFA stimulated this self-identity. SVFA farmers reported greater commitment to implementing AES and unsubsidised conservation, as compared to the control group. However, greater commitment was associated with more positive attitudes for unsubsidised conservation only and not for AES, underlining the inability of existing AES to prompt intrinsic motivation. There were also differences between farmers within SVFA, where farmers applying to the project were motivated by social influences, while farmers recruited by project managers were motivated by their personal beliefs regarding nature conservation. Finally, farmers' self-perceived ability to perform practices (i.e. perceived behavioural control) was important for their commitment to implementing AES as well as unsubsidised practices. Therefore, increasing farmers' awareness regarding the availability and, not least, practicability of

  5. Can conservation agriculture reduce the impact of soil erosion in northern Tunisia ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahri, Haithem; Annabi, Mohamed; Chibani, Roukaya; Cheick M'Hamed, Hatem; Hermessi, Taoufik

    2016-04-01

    Mediterranean countries are prone to soil erosion, therefore Tunisia, with Mediterranean climate, is threatened by water erosion phenomena. In fact, 3 million ha of land is threatened by erosion, and 50% is seriously affected. Soils under conservation agriculture (CA) have high water infiltration capacities reducing significantly surface runoff and thus soil erosion. This improves the quality of surface water, reduces pollution from soil erosion, and enhances groundwater resources. CA is characterized by three interlinked principles, namely continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversification of crop species grown in sequence or associations. Soil aggregate stability was used as an indicator of soil susceptibility to water erosion. Since 1999, In Tunisia CA has been introduced in rainfed cereal areas in order to move towards more sustainable agricultural systems. CA areas increased from 52 ha in 1999 to 15000 ha in 2015. The objective of this paper is to study the effect of CA on soil erosion in northern Tunisia. Soil samples were collected at 10 cm of depth from 6 farmers' fields in northern Tunisia. Conventional tillage (CT), CA during less than 5 years (CA<5 years) and CA during more than 5 years (CA>5 years) have been practiced in each farmers field experiment of wheat crop. Soil aggregate stability was evaluated according to the method described by Le Bissonnais (1996), results were expressed as a mean weight diameter (MWD); higher values of MWD indicate higher aggregate stability. Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined using the wet oxidation method of Walkley-Black. A significant increase in SOC content was observed in CA>5years (1.64 %) compared to CT (0.97 %). This result highlights the importance of CA to improve soil fertility. For aggregate stability, a net increase was observed in CA compared to CT. After 5 years of CA the MWD was increased by 16% (MWD=1.8 mm for CT and MWD=2.1 mm for CA<5years). No

  6. Hyperspectral image classification for mapping agricultural tillage practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ran, Qiong; Li, Wei; Du, Qian; Yang, Chenghai

    2015-01-01

    An efficient classification framework for mapping agricultural tillage practice using hyperspectral remote sensing imagery is proposed, which has the potential to be implemented practically to provide rapid, accurate, and objective surveying data for precision agricultural management and appraisal from large-scale remote sensing images. It includes a local region filter [i.e., Gaussian low-pass filter (GLF)] to extract spatial-spectral features, a dimensionality reduction process [i.e., local fisher's discriminate analysis (LFDA)], and the traditional k-nearest neighbor (KNN) classifier, and is denoted as GLF-LFDA-KNN. Compared to our previously used local average filter and adaptive weighted filter, the GLF also considers spatial features in a small neighborhood, but it emphasizes the central pixel itself and is data-independent; therefore, it can achieve the balance between classification accuracy and computational complexity. The KNN classifier has a lower computational complexity compared to the traditional support vector machine (SVM). After classification separability is enhanced by the GLF and LFDA, the less powerful KNN can outperform SVM and the overall computational cost remains lower. The proposed framework can also outperform the SVM with composite kernel (SVM-CK) that uses spatial-spectral features.

  7. Investigating the Environmental Effects of Agriculture Practices on Natural Resources: Scientific Contributions of the U.S. Geological Survey to Enhance the Management of Agricultural Landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) enhances and protects the quality of life in the United States by advancing scientific knowledge to facilitate effective management of hydrologic, biologic, and geologic resources. Results of selected USGS research and monitoring projects in agricultural landscapes are presented in this Fact Sheet. Significant environmental and social issues associated with agricultural production include changes in the hydrologic cycle; introduction of toxic chemicals, nutrients, and pathogens; reduction and alteration of wildlife habitats; and invasive species. Understanding environmental consequences of agricultural production is critical to minimize unintended environmental consequences. The preservation and enhancement of our natural resources can be achieved by measuring the success of improved management practices and by adjusting conservation policies as needed to ensure long-term protection.

  8. The 3D elevation program - Precision agriculture and other farm practices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sugarbaker, Larry J.; Carswell, Jr., William J.

    2016-12-27

    The agriculture industry, including farmers who rely on advanced technologies, increasingly use light detection and ranging (lidar) data for crop management to enhance agricultural productivity. Annually, the combination of greater yields and reduced crop losses is estimated to increase revenue by \\$2 billion for America's farmers when terrain data derived from lidar are available for croplands. Additionally, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) estimates that the value of improved services for farmers, through its farm assistance program, would be \\$79 million annually if lidar-derived digital elevation models (DEMs) are made available to the public.The 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) of the U.S. Geological Survey provides the programmatic infrastructure to generate and supply superior, lidar-derived terrain data to the agriculture industry, which would allow farms to refine agricultural practices and produce crops more efficiently. By providing data to users, 3DEP reduces users’ costs and risks, allowing them to concentrate on mission objectives. 3DEP includes (1) data acquisition partnerships that leverage funding, (2) contracts with experienced private mapping firms, (3) technical expertise, lidar data standards and specifications, and (4) most importantly, public access to high-quality 3D elevation data.

  9. Proceedings of the 30th Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference and the 8th Annual Georgia Conservation Production Systems Training Conference, Tifton, Georgia, July 29-31, 2008

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This 2008 conference to be held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, GA, on 29-31 July 2008, will be a joint effort of the 30th Southern Conservation Agricultural Systems Conference (SCASC) and the 8th Annual Conservation Production Systems Training Conference (CPS...

  10. Modelling the effect of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon stocks: does soil erosion matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof

    2014-05-01

    Over the last decades, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to assess the effect of soil management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. At regional scales, biogeochemical models such as CENTURY or Roth-C have been commonly applied. These models simulate SOC dynamics at the profile level (point basis) over long temporal scales but do not consider the continuous lateral transfer of sediment that takes place along geomorphic toposequences. As a consequence, the impact of soil redistribution on carbon fluxes is very seldom taken into account when evaluating changes in SOC stocks due to agricultural management practices on the short and long-term. To address this gap, we assessed the role of soil erosion by water and tillage on SOC stocks under different agricultural management practices in the Walloon region of Belgium. The SPEROS-C model was run for a 100-year period combining three typical crop rotations (using winter wheat, winter barley, sugar beet and maize) with three tillage scenarios (conventional tillage, reduced tillage and reduced tillage in combination with additional crop residues). The results showed that including soil erosion by water in the simulations led to a general decrease in SOC stocks relative to a baseline scenario (where no erosion took place). The SOC lost from these arable soils was mainly exported to adjacent sites and to the river system by lateral fluxes, with magnitudes differing between crop rotations and in all cases lower under conservation tillage practices than under conventional tillage. Although tillage erosion plays an important role in carbon redistribution within fields, lateral fluxes induced by water erosion led to a higher spatial and in-depth heterogeneity of SOC stocks with potential effects on the soil water holding capacity and crop yields. This indicates that studies assessing the effect of agricultural management practices on SOC stocks and other soil properties over the landscape should

  11. Maximizing the Wildlife Conservation Value of Road Right-of-Ways in an Agriculturally Dominated Landscape

    PubMed Central

    McCleery, Robert A.; Holdorf, Allison R.; Hubbard, Laura L.; Peer, Brian D.

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife. The features of right-of-ways that should influence the composition of wildlife communities vary considerably. Our goal was to determine what features of right-of-ways increased the conservation potential of right-of-ways for wildlife in a grassland system dominated by agricultural production. We sampled 100 right-of-ways for birds and 92 right-of-ways for small mammals in McDonough and Warren Counties in west-central Illinois. We found that the sizes of right-of-ways and the amount of traffic on the adjacent roads synergistically worked to influence wildlife communities. On roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased right-of-way width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increasing right-of-way widths. We found that wider roadside right-of-ways (preferably across the road from equally wide right-of-ways) with thicker and taller vegetation had the greatest conservation value for birds and small mammals. The features that enhanced the conservation value of right-of-ways in our study area were uncommon. Efforts to create or enhance these features for the benefit of wildlife would likely face numerous obstacles. Nonetheless, from a grassland conservation perspective, working with stakeholders to implement specific strategies to enhance these often neglected areas may be an effective complement to purchasing and restoring conservation lands away from roads. PMID:25794180

  12. Maximizing the wildlife conservation value of road right-of-ways in an agriculturally dominated landscape.

    PubMed

    McCleery, Robert A; Holdorf, Allison R; Hubbard, Laura L; Peer, Brian D

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife. The features of right-of-ways that should influence the composition of wildlife communities vary considerably. Our goal was to determine what features of right-of-ways increased the conservation potential of right-of-ways for wildlife in a grassland system dominated by agricultural production. We sampled 100 right-of-ways for birds and 92 right-of-ways for small mammals in McDonough and Warren Counties in west-central Illinois. We found that the sizes of right-of-ways and the amount of traffic on the adjacent roads synergistically worked to influence wildlife communities. On roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased right-of-way width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increasing right-of-way widths. We found that wider roadside right-of-ways (preferably across the road from equally wide right-of-ways) with thicker and taller vegetation had the greatest conservation value for birds and small mammals. The features that enhanced the conservation value of right-of-ways in our study area were uncommon. Efforts to create or enhance these features for the benefit of wildlife would likely face numerous obstacles. Nonetheless, from a grassland conservation perspective, working with stakeholders to implement specific strategies to enhance these often neglected areas may be an effective complement to purchasing and restoring conservation lands away from roads.

  13. Measuring, understanding and implementing (or at least trying) soil and water conservation in agricultural areas in Mediterranean conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Burguet, María; Castillo, Carlos; de Luna, Elena; Guzmán, Gema; Lora, Ángel; Lorite, Ignacio; Mora, José; Pérez, Rafael; Soriano, María A.; Taguas, Encarnación V.

    2015-04-01

    these strategies under predicted climate change scenarios in a few decades from now. The models are also used to evaluate historical erosion rates, and the long-term impact of soil erosion on olive yield due to the loss of soil profile. This is our second major line of research. Our their key line of research is the analysis of gully erosion processes, from field based observation to evaluation at regional scale, and the development of cost-effective strategies for gully control at farm scale. This includes the testing of some of these strategies with farmers. We integrate the use of vegetation in gully erosion control strategies to enhance biodiversity and landscape values; both severely degraded in many agricultural areas in the Mediterranean. The fourth, and last, major line of research is the development or improvement of technologies for soil erosion studies. Among them is the use of rainfall simulations, laboratory flumes, photoreconstruction techniques for 3D model, improved sampling devices, etc. Within this line we have improved the use of sediment tracers to understand the processes of sediment mobilization within the landscape, or at plot scale. This greatly improves our understanding of erosion processes and the actual effectiveness of erosion control strategies. The results of these lines of research are put together in the form of Good Agricultural Practices, and technical notes, software, for implementation by farmers and technicians working at the fields that are disseminated through seminars, cooperation with government and non-government agencies and other documents such as videos or web sites. In this communication we mention some of the our research in order to highlight the major problems and questions that are faced when trying to develop viable soil and water conservation techniques, specially the need for transdisciplinary research and the cooperation, form the start, with key stakeholders, specially farmers.

  14. Biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes: challenges and opportunities of coffee agroforests in the Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Claude A; Bhagwat, Shonil A; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Nath, Cheryl D; Nanaya, Konerira M; Kushalappa, Chepudira G; Raghuramulu, Yenugula; Nasi, Robert; Vaast, Philippe

    2010-04-01

    The new approaches advocated by the conservation community to integrate conservation and livelihood development now explicitly address landscape mosaics composed of agricultural and forested land rather than only protected areas and largely intact forests. We refer specifically to a call by Harvey et al. (2008) to develop a new approach based on six strategies to integrate biodiversity conservation with sustainable livelihoods in Mesoamerican landscape mosaics. We examined the applicability of this proposal to the coffee agroforests of the Western Ghats, India. Of the six strategies, only one directly addresses livelihood conditions. Their approach has a clear emphasis on conservation and, as currently formulated risks repeating the failures of past integrated conservation and development projects. It fails to place the aspirations of farmers at the core of the agenda. Thus, although we acknowledge and share the broad vision and many of the ideas proposed by this approach, we urge more balanced priority setting by emphasizing people as much as biodiversity through a careful consideration of local livelihood needs and aspirations.

  15. Changing agricultural practices: Potential consequences to aquatic organisms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lasier, Peter J.; Urich, Matthew L.; Hassan, Sayed M.; Jacobs, Whitney N.; Bringolf, Robert B.; Owens, Kathleen M.

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural practices pose threats to biotic diversity in freshwater systems with increasing use of glyphosate-based herbicides for weed control and animal waste for soil amendment becoming common in many regions. Over the past two decades, these particular agricultural trends have corresponded with marked declines in populations of fish and mussel species in the Upper Conasauga River watershed in Georgia/Tennessee, USA. To investigate the potential role of agriculture in the population declines, surface waters and sediments throughout the basin were tested for toxicity and analyzed for glyphosate, metals, nutrients, and steroid hormones. Assessments of chronic toxicity with Ceriodaphnia dubia and Hyalella azteca indicated that few water or sediment samples were harmful and metal concentrations were generally below impairment levels. Glyphosate was not observed in surface waters, although its primary degradation product, aminomethyl phosphonic acid (AMPA), was detected in 77% of the samples (mean = 509 μg/L, n = 99) and one or both compounds were measured in most sediment samples. Waterborne AMPA concentrations supported an inference that surfactants associated with glyphosate may be present at levels sufficient to affect early life stages of mussels. Nutrient enrichment of surface waters was widespread with nitrate (mean = 0.7 mg NO3-N/L, n = 179) and phosphorus (mean = 275 μg/L, n = 179) exceeding levels associated with eutrophication. Hormone concentrations in sediments were often above those shown to cause endocrine disruption in fish and appear to reflect the widespread application of poultry litter and manure. Observed species declines may be at least partially due to hormones, although excess nutrients and herbicide surfactants may also be implicated.

  16. Changing agricultural practices: potential consequences to aquatic organisms.

    PubMed

    Lasier, Peter J; Urich, Matthew L; Hassan, Sayed M; Jacobs, Whitney N; Bringolf, Robert B; Owens, Kathleen M

    2016-12-01

    Agricultural practices pose threats to biotic diversity in freshwater systems with increasing use of glyphosate-based herbicides for weed control and animal waste for soil amendment becoming common in many regions. Over the past two decades, these particular agricultural trends have corresponded with marked declines in populations of fish and mussel species in the Upper Conasauga River watershed in Georgia/Tennessee, USA. To investigate the potential role of agriculture in the population declines, surface waters and sediments throughout the basin were tested for toxicity and analyzed for glyphosate, metals, nutrients, and steroid hormones. Assessments of chronic toxicity with Ceriodaphnia dubia and Hyalella azteca indicated that few water or sediment samples were harmful and metal concentrations were generally below impairment levels. Glyphosate was not observed in surface waters, although its primary degradation product, aminomethyl phosphonic acid (AMPA), was detected in 77% of the samples (mean = 509 μg/L, n = 99) and one or both compounds were measured in most sediment samples. Waterborne AMPA concentrations supported an inference that surfactants associated with glyphosate may be present at levels sufficient to affect early life stages of mussels. Nutrient enrichment of surface waters was widespread with nitrate (mean = 0.7 mg NO3-N/L, n = 179) and phosphorus (mean = 275 μg/L, n = 179) exceeding levels associated with eutrophication. Hormone concentrations in sediments were often above those shown to cause endocrine disruption in fish and appear to reflect the widespread application of poultry litter and manure. Observed species declines may be at least partially due to hormones, although excess nutrients and herbicide surfactants may also be implicated.

  17. Best Management Practices for sediment control in a Mediterranean agricultural watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelwahab, Ossama M. M.; Bingner, Ronald L.; Milillo, Fabio; Gentile, Francesco

    2015-04-01

    Soil erosion can lead to severe destruction of agricultural sustainability that affects not only productivity, but the entire ecosystem in the neighboring areas. Sediments transported together with the associated nutrients and chemicals can significantly impact downstream water bodies. Various conservation and management practices implemented individually or integrated together as a system can be used to reduce the negative impacts on agricultural watersheds from soil erosion. Hydrological models are useful tools for decision makers when selecting the most effective combination of management practices to reduce pollutant loads within a watershed system. The Annualized Agricultural Non-point Source (AnnAGNPS) pollutant loading management model can be used to analyze the effectiveness of diverse management and conservation practices that can control or reduce the impact of soil erosion processes and subsequent sediment loads in agricultural watersheds. A 506 km2 Mediterranean medium-size watershed (Carapelle) located in Apulia, Southern Italy was used as a case study to evaluate the model and best management practices (BMPs) for sediment load control. A monitoring station located at the Ordona bridge has been instrumented to continuously monitor stream flow and suspended sediment loads. The station has been equipped with an ultrasound stage meter and a stage recorder to monitor stream flow. An infrared optic probe was used to measure suspended sediment concentrations (Gentile et al., 2010 ). The model was calibrated and validated in the Carapelle watershed on an event basis (Bisantino et al., 2013), and the validated model was used to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs on sediment reduction. Various management practices were investigated including evaluating the impact on sediment load of: (1) converting all cropland areas into forest and grass covered conditions; (2) converting the highest eroding cropland areas to forest or grass covered conditions; and (3

  18. A conservation ontology and knowledge base to support delivery of technical assistance to agricultural producers in the united states

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information systems supporting the delivery of conservation technical assistance by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to agricultural producers on working lands have become increasingly complex over the past 25 years. They are constrained by inconsistent coordination of domain knowl...

  19. Effects of Conservation Agriculture on Soil Physical Properties and Yield of Lentil in Northern Syria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahbi, Ammar; Miwak, Hisham; Singh, Raphy

    2014-05-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture and subsequently improve livelihoods of farmers based on three main components, i.e. minimum or no tillage, retention of crop residues and use of crop rotation. However, to promote CA in semi-arid areas where precipitation is erratic, low, and falls over short periods in winter, its effects on soil and crop yield have to be investigated. The present study was conducted at the main research station of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria, during the agricultural season of 2010-2011, in the frame of a long term trial (2003-2011), where two treatments; i.e. conservation versus conventional agriculture (replicated twice), and six varieties of lentil (early, medium and late maturity genotypes; 2 each), selected from 100 varieties, were used. Soil samples were taken (before planting and after harvesting), to determine soil bulk density, particle density and total porosity. Aggregate stability was also determined using dry and wet sieving methods for the 0-15 cm soil depth, and the effective diameter of the aggregate was calculated for both treatments of conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional tillage (CT). Soil moisture was monitored in the top soil layer (0-15 cm) using Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) on a weekly or two weekly-intervals. Soil moisture release curve was done for disturbed, 2 mm dry sieved soil at 0-15, 15-30, 30-45 and 45-60 cm depth using pressure plate chamber. Dry plant production (oven dry at 70°C) was estimated at the harvesting stage, and then threshed to estimate grain yield. CA showed higher (p = 0.001) soil moisture values than CT. The difference in volumetric soil moisture content between CA and CT during the studied period ranged from 20 to 30 %. Volumetric water content was higher for, CA compared with CT, at a given soil water potential especially at the lower pressure; this observation was consistent

  20. Agricultural management practices to sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Whitehead, Wayne F; Singh, Bharat P

    2003-08-20

    In the past several decades, agricultural management practices consisting of intensive tillage and high rate of fertilization to improve crop yields have resulted in the degradation of soil and environmental qualities by increasing erosion and nutrient leaching in the groundwater and releasing greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cause global warming in the atmosphere by oxidation of soil organic matter. Consequently, management practices that sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities are needed. This paper reviews the findings of the effects of tillage practices, cover crops, and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on crop yields, soil organic carbon (C) and N concentrations, and nitrate (NO3)-N leaching from the soil. Studies indicate that conservation tillage, such as no-till or reduced till, can increase soil organic C and N concentrations at 0- to 20-cm depth by as much as 7-17% in 8 years compared with conventional tillage without significantly altering crop yields. Similarly, cover cropping and 80-180 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) fertilization can increase soil organic C and N concentrations by as much as 4-12% compared with no cover cropping or N fertilization by increasing plant biomass and amount of C and N inputs to the soil. Reduced till, cover cropping, and decreased rate of N fertilization can reduce soil N leaching compared with conventional till, no cover cropping, and full rate of N fertilization. Management practices consisting of combinations of conservation tillage, mixture of legume and nonlegume cover crops, and reduced rate of N fertilization have the potentials for sustaining crop yields, increasing soil C and N storage, and reducing soil N leaching, thereby helping to improve soil and water qualities. Economical and social analyses of such practices are needed to find whether they are cost effective and acceptable to the farmers.

  1. Avian conservation practices strengthen ecosystem services in California vineyards.

    PubMed

    Jedlicka, Julie A; Greenberg, Russell; Letourneau, Deborah K

    2011-01-01

    Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey in treatments with songbird nest boxes and controls without nest boxes. The average species richness of avian insectivores increased by over 50 percent compared to controls. Insectivorous bird density nearly quadrupled, primarily due to a tenfold increase in Western Bluebird abundance. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the abundance of omnivorous or granivorous bird species some of which opportunistically forage on grapes. In a sentinel prey experiment, 2.4 times more live beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) were removed in the nest box treatment than in the control. As an estimate of the maximum foraging services provided by insectivorous birds, we found that larval removal rates measured immediately below occupied boxes averaged 3.5 times greater than in the control. Consequently the presence of Western Bluebirds in vineyard nest boxes strengthened ecosystem services to winegrape growers, illustrating a benefit of agroecological conservation practices. Predator addition and sentinel prey experiments lack some disadvantages of predator exclusion experiments and were robust methodologies for detecting ecosystem services.

  2. Avian Conservation Practices Strengthen Ecosystem Services in California Vineyards

    PubMed Central

    Jedlicka, Julie A.; Greenberg, Russell; Letourneau, Deborah K.

    2011-01-01

    Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey in treatments with songbird nest boxes and controls without nest boxes. The average species richness of avian insectivores increased by over 50 percent compared to controls. Insectivorous bird density nearly quadrupled, primarily due to a tenfold increase in Western Bluebird abundance. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the abundance of omnivorous or granivorous bird species some of which opportunistically forage on grapes. In a sentinel prey experiment, 2.4 times more live beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) were removed in the nest box treatment than in the control. As an estimate of the maximum foraging services provided by insectivorous birds, we found that larval removal rates measured immediately below occupied boxes averaged 3.5 times greater than in the control. Consequently the presence of Western Bluebirds in vineyard nest boxes strengthened ecosystem services to winegrape growers, illustrating a benefit of agroecological conservation practices. Predator addition and sentinel prey experiments lack some disadvantages of predator exclusion experiments and were robust methodologies for detecting ecosystem services. PMID:22096555

  3. Low-intensity agricultural landscapes in Transylvania support high butterfly diversity: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01

    European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide

  4. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    PubMed

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation.

  5. Low-Intensity Agricultural Landscapes in Transylvania Support High Butterfly Diversity: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Loos, Jacqueline; Dorresteijn, Ine; Hanspach, Jan; Fust, Pascal; Rakosy, László; Fischer, Joern

    2014-01-01

    European farmland biodiversity is declining due to land use changes towards agricultural intensification or abandonment. Some Eastern European farming systems have sustained traditional forms of use, resulting in high levels of biodiversity. However, global markets and international policies now imply rapid and major changes to these systems. To effectively protect farmland biodiversity, understanding landscape features which underpin species diversity is crucial. Focusing on butterflies, we addressed this question for a cultural-historic landscape in Southern Transylvania, Romania. Following a natural experiment, we randomly selected 120 survey sites in farmland, 60 each in grassland and arable land. We surveyed butterfly species richness and abundance by walking transects with four repeats in summer 2012. We analysed species composition using Detrended Correspondence Analysis. We modelled species richness, richness of functional groups, and abundance of selected species in response to topography, woody vegetation cover and heterogeneity at three spatial scales, using generalised linear mixed effects models. Species composition widely overlapped in grassland and arable land. Composition changed along gradients of heterogeneity at local and context scales, and of woody vegetation cover at context and landscape scales. The effect of local heterogeneity on species richness was positive in arable land, but negative in grassland. Plant species richness, and structural and topographic conditions at multiple scales explained species richness, richness of functional groups and species abundances. Our study revealed high conservation value of both grassland and arable land in low-intensity Eastern European farmland. Besides grassland, also heterogeneous arable land provides important habitat for butterflies. While butterfly diversity in arable land benefits from heterogeneity by small-scale structures, grasslands should be protected from fragmentation to provide

  6. Integrated assessment of conservation opportunities in the irrigated agriculture sector of the Pacific Northwest Region

    SciTech Connect

    Harrer, B.J.; Lezberg, A.J.; Wilfert, G.L.

    1985-02-01

    This report documents research to identify the potential energy savings and cost per kWh saved for implementing currently available energy conservation measures in the irrigated agriculture sector of the Pacific Northwest. A computer model that simulates the energy consumption process of irrigation systems and estimates the levelized costs of undertaking conservation investments is the primary analytical tool used in this research. Using engineering and economic input parameters for the various conservation measures that could potentially be implemented in irrigated agriculture, the Irrigation Sector Energy Planning (ISEP) model generates estimates of energy savings and cost per kWh saved for the measures. All parameters input to the ISEP model are based upon empirical field data. Results provided by the ISEP model indicate tht by the year 2003 a total of approximately 158.6 average MW of energy could potentially be saved in the Pacific Northwest irrigation sector on all sprinkler-irrigated acres. Approximately 130.4 average MW can be saved on acres currently by sprinkler, while an additional 28.2 average MW could be saved on new acres that are forecast to come under irrigation in the next 20 years. The largest share of the total savings (47%) is estimated to come from the use of low-pressure irrigation. Over 60% of the total potential savings 158.6 average MW is estimated to be available for a cost per kWh saved of 20 mills or less and over 75% could be achieved for a cost of 30 mills or less. Savings from low-pressure irrigation and the redesign of fittings and mainlines will normally cost less than 20 mills per kWh saved. Almost all of the savings that are estimated to cost more than 30 mills per kWh saved to obtain are savings from improved irrigation scheduling on irrigated acres that use surface water and have low average pumping lifts.

  7. An integrated modeling approach for estimating the water quality benefits of conservation practices at the river basin scale.

    PubMed

    Santhi, C; Kannan, N; White, M; Di Luzio, M; Arnold, J G; Wang, X; Williams, J R

    2014-01-01

    The USDA initiated the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices at regional and national scales. For this assessment, a sampling and modeling approach is used. This paper provides a technical overview of the modeling approach used in CEAP cropland assessment to estimate the off-site water quality benefits of conservation practices using the Ohio River Basin (ORB) as an example. The modeling approach uses a farm-scale model, Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX), and a watershed scale model (the Soil and Water Assessment Tool [SWAT]) and databases in the Hydrologic Unit Modeling for the United States system. Databases of land use, soils, land use management, topography, weather, point sources, and atmospheric depositions were developed to derive model inputs. APEX simulates the cultivated cropland, Conserve Reserve Program land, and the practices implemented on them, whereas SWAT simulates the noncultivated land (e.g., pasture, range, urban, and forest) and point sources. Simulation results from APEX are input into SWAT. SWAT routes all sources, including APEX's, to the basin outlet through each eight-digit watershed. Each basin is calibrated for stream flow, sediment, and nutrient loads at multiple gaging sites and turned in for simulating the effects of conservation practice scenarios on water quality. Results indicate that sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus loads delivered to the Mississippi River from ORB could be reduced by 16, 15, and 23%, respectively, due to current conservation practices. Modeling tools are useful to provide science-based information for assessing existing conservation programs, developing future programs, and developing insights on load reductions necessary for hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

  8. Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Practices Through Remote Sensing Education and Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driese, K. L.; Sivanpillai, R.

    2007-12-01

    Ever increasing demand for food and fiber calls for farm management strategies such as effective use of chemicals and efficient water use that will maximize productivity while reducing adverse impacts on the environment. Remotely sensed data collected by satellites are a valuable resource for farmers and ranchers for gaining insights about farm and ranch productivity. While researchers in universities and agencies have made tremendous advances, technology transfer to end-users has lagged, preventing the farmers from taking advantage of this valuable resource. To overcome this barrier, the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC), a NASA funded program headed by the University of North Dakota, has been working with end-users to promote the use of remote sensing technology for sustainable agricultural practices. We will highlight the UMAC activities in Wyoming aimed at promoting this technology to sugar-beet farmers in the Big Horn Basin. To assist farmers who might not have a computer at home, we provide them to local county Cooperative Extension Offices pre-loaded with relevant imagery. Our targeted outreach activities have resulted in farmers requesting and using new and old Landsat images to identify growth anomalies and trends which have enabled them to develop management zones within their croplands.

  9. Conservation Tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebhardt, Maurice R.; Daniel, Tommy C.; Schweizer, Edward E.; Allmaras, Raymond R.

    1985-11-01

    Conservation production systems combine tillage and planting practices to reduce soil erosion and loss of water from farmland. Successful conservation tillage practices depend on the ability of farm managers to integrate sound crop production practices with effective pest management systems. More scientific information is needed to determine the relations between tillage practices and physical, chemical, and biological soil factors that affect plant and pest ecology. There is a need to devise improved pest management strategies for conservation tillage and to better understand the impact of conservation tillage on water quality, especially as it is related to use of agricultural chemicals. While savings in fuel, labor, and soil have induced many farmers to adopt conservation tillage, improved methods and equipment should increase adoption even more.

  10. Bioeconomic analysis of selected conservation practices on soil erosion and freshwater fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Westra, J.V.; Zimmerman, J.K.H.; Vondracek, B.

    2005-01-01

    Farmers can generate environmental benefits (improved water quality and fisheries and wildlife habitat), but they may not be able to quantify them. Furthermore, farmers may reduce their incomes from managing lands to produce these positive externalities but receive little monetary compensation in return. This study simulated the relationship between agricultural practices, water quality, fish responses to suspended sediment and farm income within two small watersheds, one of a cool water stream and one of a warm water stream. Using the Agricultural Drainage and Pesticide Transport (ADAPT) model, this study related best management practices (BMPs) to calculated instream suspended sediment concentrations by estimating sediment delivery, runoff, base flow, and streambank erosion to quantify the effects of suspended sediment exposure on fish communities. By implementing selected BMPs in each watershed, annual net farm income declined $18,000 to $28,000 (1 to 3 percent) from previous levels. "Lethal" fish events from suspended sediments in the cool water watershed decreased by 60 percent as conservation tillage and riparian buffers increased. Despite reducing suspended sediments by 25 percent, BMPs in the warm water watershed did not reduce the negative response of the fisheries. Differences in responses (physical and biological) between watersheds highlight potential gains in economic efficiency by targeting BMPs or by offering performance based "green payments." (JAWRA) (Copyright ?? 2005).

  11. Optimum Landscape Allocation of Conservation Practices for Water Quality and Ecosystem Service Valuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalzell, B. J.; Pennington, D.; Nelson, E.; Mulla, D.; Polasky, S.; Taff, S.

    2012-12-01

    This study links a spatially-explicit biophysical model (SWAT) with an economic model (InVEST) to identify the economically optimum allocation of conservation practices on the landscape. Combining biophysical and economic analysis allows assessment of the benefits and costs of alternative policy choices through consideration of direct costs and benefits as measured by market transactions as well as non-market benefits and costs from changes in environmental conditions that lead to changes in the provision of ecosystem services. When applied to an agricultural watershed located in South-Central Minnesota, this approach showed that: (1) some modest gains (20% improvement, relative to baseline conditions) in water quality can be achieved without diminishing current economic returns, but that (2) more dramatic reductions in sediment and phosphorus required to meet water quality goals (50% reductions in loadings) will require transitioning land from row crops into perennial vegetation. This shift in land cover will result in a reduction in economic returns unless non-market ecosystem services are also valued. Further results showed that traditional best management practices such as conservation tillage and reduced fertilizer application rates are not sufficient to achieve water quality goals by themselves. Finally, if crop prices drop to pre-2007 levels or valuation of ecosystem services increases, then achieving water quality goals can occur with less of an economic impact to the watershed.

  12. College Students' View of Biotechnology Products and Practices in Sustainable Agriculture Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, William A.

    2008-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture implies the use of products and practices that sustain production, protect the environment, ensure economic viability, and maintain rural community viability. Disagreement exists as to whether or not the products and practices of modern biotechnological support agricultural sustainability. The purpose of this study was to…

  13. From Agricultural Extension to Capacity Development: Exploring the Foundations of an Emergent Form of Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lauzon, Al

    2013-01-01

    This essay argues that capacity development is a response to changes in the organization and practice of agricultural extension as these changes have excluded small resource farmers. In this essay I trace the changes in the organization of agricultural extension through to the emergence of the concept and practice of capacity development. The idea…

  14. ASSESSING EFFECTS OF ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ON WILDLIFE HABITAT IN IOWA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    A habitat-change model was used to compare past, present, and future land cover and management practices to assess potential impacts of alternative agricultural practices on wildlife in two agricultural watersheds, Walnut Creek and Buck Creek, in central Iowa, USA. This approach ...

  15. Conservation implications of amphibian habitat relationships within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the midwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The widespread use of stream channelization and subsurface tile drainage for removing water from agricultural fields has led to the development of numerous channelized agricultural headwater streams within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States. Channelized agricultural headwater s...

  16. Integrated science to support the assessment of conservation practices in the Fort Cobb watershed, southwestern Oklahoma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remediating non-point source pollution in agricultural watersheds remains an intransigent problem worldwide. Conservation and research in an agricultural watershed above the Fort Cobb Reservoir in southwestern Oklahoma serves as a case study in how a multitude of players address such a challenge. ...

  17. Soil conservation under climate change: use of recovery biomasses on agricultural soil subjected to the passage of agricultural machinery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergonzoli, S.; Beni, C.; Servadio, P.

    2012-04-01

    Biomass administration is a good practice to preserve the soil fertility in climate change conditions. A test regarding the use of compost derived by wine distillation residues was conducted in the coastal area sited west of Rome, on a sandy soil in continuous cropping with carrot, two cycles per year, with a consequent deep environmental impact. The soil was fertilized with different systems: T = unfertilized soil; F = fertigation 200 kg N ha-1; FC = fertigation 100 kg N ha-1 plus half agronomic dose of compost 4 t ha-1; C2 = double compost dose 16 t ha-1; C4 = quadruple compost dose 32 t ha-1. The functional qualities of the soil, subjected to the passage of agricultural machineries, were determined through the following parameters: bulk density, shear strength, water infiltration rate, organic matter and nitrogen content, cation exchange capacity. At the summer harvest, yield of carrots, their sugar content, firmness and nutrients concentration were determined. The plots only amended (C2 and C4), compared to other treatments, presented lower bulk density (1.36 and 1.28 Mg m-3 respectively), higher shear strength (9 and 8 kPa respectively), as well as increased hydraulic conductivity. In these treatments (C2 and C4), in addition, occurred a higher content of organic matter (0.95 and 1.07% respectively) and nitrogen (0.11 and 0.12% respectively) and increased CEC (541 and 556 respectively) respect to the T treatment that was 521 meq 100g-1. In plots T and F, the organic matter content was reduced at the end of the field test. The yield of carrots increased in FC, C2, and C4, compared to the other treatments. In plots C4, however, morphological changes were induced in approximately 30% of tap-roots, due to the excessive compost dose. In treatments C2 and C4 was observed a reduction of the concentration of Na in the roots, as opposed to the higher concentration of Ca and K and trace elements. The administration of compost has also induced the increase of soluble

  18. 25 CFR 162.231 - How can the land be used under an agricultural lease?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ..., sound conservation practices, and other community goals as expressed in applicable tribal laws, leasing policies, or agricultural resource management plans. Appropriate stipulations or conservation plans must...

  19. Combining agricultural practices key to elevating soil microbial activities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The concept of soil health is an emerging topic in applied ecology, specifically as it pertains to the agriculture, which utilizes approximately 40% of earth’s land. However, rigorous quantification of soil health and the services provided by soil organisms to support agriculture production (e.g., n...

  20. Nonpoint Source: Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agricultural runoff as a nonpoint source category of pollution. Resouces to learn more a bout conservation practices to reduce water quality impacts from storm water run off and ground water infiltration

  1. Optimization in the utility maximization framework for conservation planning: a comparison of solution procedures in a study of multifunctional agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kreitler, Jason; Stoms, David M; Davis, Frank W

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative methods of spatial conservation prioritization have traditionally been applied to issues in conservation biology and reserve design, though their use in other types of natural resource management is growing. The utility maximization problem is one form of a covering problem where multiple criteria can represent the expected social benefits of conservation action. This approach allows flexibility with a problem formulation that is more general than typical reserve design problems, though the solution methods are very similar. However, few studies have addressed optimization in utility maximization problems for conservation planning, and the effect of solution procedure is largely unquantified. Therefore, this study mapped five criteria describing elements of multifunctional agriculture to determine a hypothetical conservation resource allocation plan for agricultural land conservation in the Central Valley of CA, USA. We compared solution procedures within the utility maximization framework to determine the difference between an open source integer programming approach and a greedy heuristic, and find gains from optimization of up to 12%. We also model land availability for conservation action as a stochastic process and determine the decline in total utility compared to the globally optimal set using both solution algorithms. Our results are comparable to other studies illustrating the benefits of optimization for different conservation planning problems, and highlight the importance of maximizing the effectiveness of limited funding for conservation and natural resource management.

  2. Optimization in the utility maximization framework for conservation planning: a comparison of solution procedures in a study of multifunctional agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kreitler, Jason R.; Stoms, David M.; Davis, Frank W.

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative methods of spatial conservation prioritization have traditionally been applied to issues in conservation biology and reserve design, though their use in other types of natural resource management is growing. The utility maximization problem is one form of a covering problem where multiple criteria can represent the expected social benefits of conservation action. This approach allows flexibility with a problem formulation that is more general than typical reserve design problems, though the solution methods are very similar. However, few studies have addressed optimization in utility maximization problems for conservation planning, and the effect of solution procedure is largely unquantified. Therefore, this study mapped five criteria describing elements of multifunctional agriculture to determine a hypothetical conservation resource allocation plan for agricultural land conservation in the Central Valley of CA, USA. We compared solution procedures within the utility maximization framework to determine the difference between an open source integer programming approach and a greedy heuristic, and find gains from optimization of up to 12%. We also model land availability for conservation action as a stochastic process and determine the decline in total utility compared to the globally optimal set using both solution algorithms. Our results are comparable to other studies illustrating the benefits of optimization for different conservation planning problems, and highlight the importance of maximizing the effectiveness of limited funding for conservation and natural resource management.

  3. Protected areas and agricultural expansion: Biodiversity conservation versus economic growth in the Southeast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Moraes, Mayra Cristina Prado de; Mello, Kaline de; Toppa, Rogério Hartung

    2017-03-01

    The conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and urban areas plays a threat to the protected areas and the natural ecosystems conservation. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the agricultural expansion and its impact on the landscape spatial and temporal patterns in a buffer zone of a protected area located in the transition zone between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The land use and land cover were mapped between 1971 and 2008 and landscape metrics were calculated to provide a spatiotemporal analysis of the forest structure and the expansion of the croplands. The results showed that the landscape patterns were affected by the economic cycles. The predominant crop surrounding the protected area is sugar cane, which increased by 39% during this period, followed by citrus. This landscape change is connected to the Brazilian oil crisis in 1973. The rapid expansion of sugar cane was largely driven by Brazil's biofuel program, the "Proálcool" (pro-alcohol), a project in 1975 that mixed ethanol with gas for automotive fuel. The forest loss occurred mainly between 1971 and 1988, decreasing the forest cover from 17% in 1971 to 12.7% in 2008. Most of the forest patches are smaller than 50 ha and has low connectivity. Throughout the years, the fragments in the buffer zone have become smaller and with an elongated shape, and the park has become isolated. This forest fragmentation process and the predominance of monoculture lands in the buffer zone threaten the protected areas, and can represent a barrier for these areas to provide the effective biodiversity conservation. The measures proposed are necessary to ensure the capability of this ecosystem to sustain its original biodiversity.

  4. Siting multiple conservation practices in a tile-drained watershed using LiDAR topographic data

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving the effectiveness of conservation practices for achieving water quality goals will require a conservation planning with a watershed context. Conservation planning has traditionally been field or farm specific, and is usually aided by site specific information that includes topographic data...

  5. Applications of phylogenetics to solve practical problems in insect conservation.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Thomas R

    2016-12-01

    Phylogenetic approaches have much promise for the setting of conservation priorities and resource allocation. There has been significant development of analytical methods for the measurement of phylogenetic diversity within and among ecological communities as a way of setting conservation priorities. Application of these tools to insects has been low as has been the uptake by conservation managers. A critical reason for the lack of uptake includes the scarcity of detailed phylogenetic and species distribution data from much of insect diversity. Environmental DNA technologies offer a means for the high throughout collection of phylogenetic data across landscapes for conservation planning.

  6. 25 CFR 166.314 - Can a permittee apply a conservation practice on permitted Indian land?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Can a permittee apply a conservation practice on permitted Indian land? 166.314 Section 166.314 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR LAND AND WATER GRAZING PERMITS Land and Operations Management Conservation Practices and...

  7. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (p<0.05) runoff coefficients averaged over 8 years were 14, 20 and 27% for DER+, TER+ and CT, respectively. Mean soil losses were 4 t ha-1 y-1 in DER+, 13 in TER+ and 18 in CT. Soil water storage during the growing season was constantly higher in CA-based systems compared with CT. A period of at least three years of cropping was required before

  8. Agricultural Trends and Resource Conservation: Implications and Issues. A Symposium Proceedings (Washington, D.C., November 3-5, 1986).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soil Conservation Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    The purpose of this paper is to highlight some of the most significant trends likely to affect agricultural resource conservation activities, to discuss their significance to policy development and program management and implementation, and to make policy and program recommendations. In November 1986, 25 representatives from academia, farming…

  9. Application of agriculture-developed demographic analysis for the conservation of the Hawaiian alpine wekiu bug.

    PubMed

    Eiben, Jesse; Rubinoff, Daniel

    2014-08-01

    Insects that should be considered for conservation attention are often overlooked because of a lack of data. The detailed information necessary to assess population growth, decline, and maximum range is particularly difficult to acquire for rare and cryptic species. Many of these difficulties can be overcome with the use of life table analyses and heat energy accumulation models common in agriculture. The wekiu bug (Nysius wekiuicola), endemic to the summit of one volcanic mountain in Hawaii, is a rare insect living in an environmentally sensitive alpine stone desert, where field-based population assessments would be inefficient or potentially detrimental to natural and cultural resources. We conducted laboratory experiments with the insects by manipulating rearing temperatures of laboratory colonies and made detailed observations of habitat conditions to develop life tables representing population growth parameters and environmental models for wekiu bug phenology and demographic change. Wekiu bugs developed at temperatures only found in its environment on sunny days and required the thermal buffer found on cinder cones for growth and population increase. Wekiu bugs required approximately 3.5 months to complete one generation. The bug developed optimally from 26 to 30 °C, temperatures that are much higher than the air temperature attains in its elevational range. The developmental temperature range of the species confirmed a physiological reason why the wekiu bug is only found on cinder cones. This physiology information can help guide population monitoring and inform habitat restoration and conservation. The wekiu bug was a candidate for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and the developmental parameters we quantified were used to determine the species would not be listed as endangered or threatened. The use of developmental threshold experiments, life table analyses, and degree day modeling can directly inform otherwise unobservable habitat needs and

  10. Evaluation of the Soil Conservation Service curve number methodology using data from agricultural plots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lal, Mohan; Mishra, S. K.; Pandey, Ashish; Pandey, R. P.; Meena, P. K.; Chaudhary, Anubhav; Jha, Ranjit Kumar; Shreevastava, Ajit Kumar; Kumar, Yogendra

    2016-08-01

    The Soil Conservation Service curve number (SCS-CN) method, also known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service curve number (NRCS-CN) method, is popular for computing the volume of direct surface runoff for a given rainfall event. The performance of the SCS-CN method, based on large rainfall (P) and runoff (Q) datasets of United States watersheds, is evaluated using a large dataset of natural storm events from 27 agricultural plots in India. On the whole, the CN estimates from the National Engineering Handbook (chapter 4) tables do not match those derived from the observed P and Q datasets. As a result, the runoff prediction using former CNs was poor for the data of 22 (out of 24) plots. However, the match was little better for higher CN values, consistent with the general notion that the existing SCS-CN method performs better for high rainfall-runoff (high CN) events. Infiltration capacity (fc) was the main explanatory variable for runoff (or CN) production in study plots as it exhibited the expected inverse relationship between CN and fc. The plot-data optimization yielded initial abstraction coefficient (λ) values from 0 to 0.659 for the ordered dataset and 0 to 0.208 for the natural dataset (with 0 as the most frequent value). Mean and median λ values were, respectively, 0.030 and 0 for the natural rainfall-runoff dataset and 0.108 and 0 for the ordered rainfall-runoff dataset. Runoff estimation was very sensitive to λ and it improved consistently as λ changed from 0.2 to 0.03.

  11. Greenhouse gas emissions under conservation agriculture compared to traditional cultivation of maize in the central highlands of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Dendooven, Luc; Gutiérrez-Oliva, Vicente F; Patiño-Zúñiga, Leonardo; Ramírez-Villanueva, Daniel A; Verhulst, Nele; Luna-Guido, Marco; Marsch, Rodolfo; Montes-Molina, Joaquín; Gutiérrez-Miceli, Federico A; Vásquez-Murrieta, Soledad; Govaerts, Bram

    2012-08-01

    In 1991, the 'International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center' (CIMMYT) started a field experiment in the rain fed Mexican highlands to investigate conservation agriculture (CA) as a sustainable alternative for conventional maize production practices (CT). CT techniques, characterized by deep tillage, monoculture and crop residue removal, have deteriorated soil fertility and reduced yields. CA, which combines minimum tillage, crop rotations and residue retention, restores soil fertility and increases yields. Soil organic matter increases in CA compared to CT, but increases in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in CA might offset the gains obtained to mitigate global warming. Therefore, CO(2), CH(4) and N(2)O emissions, soil temperature, C and water content were monitored in CA and CT treatments in 2010-2011. The cumulative GHG emitted were similar for CA and CT in both years, but the C content in the 0-60 cm layer was higher in CA (117.7 Mg C ha(-1)) than in CT (69.7 Mg C ha(-1)). The net global warming potential (GWP) of CA (considering soil C sequestration, GHG emissions, fuel use, and fertilizer and seeds production) was -7729 kg CO(2) ha(-1) y(-1) in 2008-2009 and -7892 kg CO(2) ha(-1) y(-1) in 2010-2011, whereas that of CT was 1327 and 1156 kg CO(2) ha(-1) y(-1). It was found that the contribution of CA to GWP was small compared to that of CT.

  12. Mentoring Functions Practiced by Undergraduate Faculty in Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfe, Ashley J.; Retallick, Michael S.; Martin, Robert; Steiner, Charles

    2008-01-01

    The literature has indicated that faculty and administrators are often uncertain about how to foster effective mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. This study analyzed the mentoring functions of faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University regarding the undergraduate mentoring process. Six…

  13. Private Agricultural Extension System in Kenya: Practice and Policy Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muyanga, Milu; Jayne, T. S.

    2008-01-01

    Private extension system has been at the centre of a debate triggered by inefficient public agricultural extension. The debate is anchored on the premise that the private sector is more efficient in extension service delivery. This study evaluates the private extension system in Kenya. It employs qualitative and quantitative methods. The results…

  14. Impact of conservation agriculture on catchment runoff and soil loss under changing climate conditions in May Zeg-zeg (Ethiopia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanckriet, Sil; Araya, Tesfay; Cornelis, Wim; Verfaillie, Els; Poesen, Jean; Govaerts, Bram; Bauer, Hans; Deckers, Jozef; Haile, Mitiku; Nyssen, Jan

    2012-12-01

    SummaryThis study evaluates the practice of conservation agriculture (CA) in the May Zeg-zeg catchment (MZZ; 187 ha) in the North Ethiopian Highlands as a soil management technique for reducing soil loss and runoff, and assesses the consequences of future large-scale implementation on soil and hydrology at catchment-level. The study of such practice is important especially under conditions of climate change, since EdGCM (Educational Global Climate Model) simulation predicts by 2040 an increase in precipitation by more than 100 mm yr-1 in the study area. Firstly, field-saturated infiltration rates, together with soil texture and soil organic carbon contents, were measured. The relation with local topography allows to generate a pedotransfer function for field-saturated infiltration rate, and spatial interpolation with Linear Regression Mapping was used to map field-saturated infiltration rates optimally within the catchment. Secondly, on several farmlands, CA was checked against plain tillage (PT) for values of field-saturated infiltration rates, soil organic carbon, runoff and soil loss. Results show no significant differences for infiltration rates but significant differences for runoff and soil loss (as measured in the period 2005-2011). Runoff coefficients were 30.4% for PT and 18.8% for CA; soil losses were 35.4 t ha-1 yr-1 for PT and 14.4 t ha-1 yr-1 for CA. Thirdly, all collected information was used to predict future catchment hydrological response for full-implementation of CA under the predicted wetter climate (simulation with EdGCM). Curve Numbers for farmlands with CA were calculated. An area-weighted Curve Number allows the simulation of the 2011 rainy season runoff, predicting a total runoff depth of 23.5 mm under CA and 27.9 mm under PT. Furthermore, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation management factor P was calibrated for CA. Results also show the important influence of increased surface roughness on water ponding, modeled with a hydrologic

  15. Review of domestic water conservation practices in Saudi Arabia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouda, Omar K. M.; Shawesh, Ahmad; Al-Olabi, Tareq; Younes, Firas; Al-Waked, Rafat

    2013-12-01

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabian (KSA) has a substantial water shortage problem where water demand far exceeds water resources sustainable yields. This fact has motivated the Ministry of Water and Electricity (MOWE) to launch a massive water conservation awareness program to enhance water-using efficiency in the country. The MOWE among other water awareness activities has introduced a four-stage program of free distribution of water conservation tools. This research reviewed the domestic water conservation awareness program in Saudi Arabia and assessed the program performance through conducting questionnaire surveys. The latter was designed and implemented in Al-Khobar city in the Eastern Province to measure public awareness regarding water issues. The survey started on April 28, 2012, and continued for 3 weeks. A total of 197 questionnaires were completed. The survey results showed a relatively low awareness among respondents about water shortage problem in the Kingdom. A low percentage of respondents have water conservation tools installed in their houses, but a high percentage is willing to buy and install water conservation tools. The majority of respondents consider the water price low and are willing to pay more for water. The respondents' feedback highlighted the need to improve the current water conservation awareness program.

  16. Certified Organic Agriculture in Mexico: Market Connections and Certification Practices in Large and Small Producers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tovar, Laura Gomez; Martin, Lauren; Cruz, Manuel Angel Gomez; Mutersbaugh, Tad

    2005-01-01

    Certification within organic agriculture exhibits flexibility with respect to practices used to demonstrate that a product meets published quality standards. This case study of Mexican certified-organic agriculture finds two forms. Indigenous smallholders of southern Mexico undertake a low-input, process-oriented organic farming in which…

  17. Spatially explicit scenario analysis for reconciling agricultural expansion, forest protection, and carbon conservation in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Koh, Lian Pin; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2010-06-15

    Palm oil is the world's most important vegetable oil in terms of production quantity. Indonesia, the world's largest palm-oil producer, plans to double its production by 2020, with unclear implications for the other national priorities of food (rice) production, forest and biodiversity protection, and carbon conservation. We modeled the outcomes of alternative development scenarios and show that every single-priority scenario had substantial tradeoffs associated with other priorities. The exception was a hybrid approach wherein expansion targeted degraded and agricultural lands that are most productive for oil palm, least suitable for food cultivation, and contain the lowest carbon stocks. This approach avoided any loss in forest or biodiversity and substantially ameliorated the impacts of oil-palm expansion on carbon stocks (limiting net loss to 191.6 million tons) and annual food production capacity (loss of 1.9 million tons). Our results suggest that the environmental and land-use tradeoffs associated with oil-palm expansion can be largely avoided through the implementation of a properly planned and spatially explicit development strategy.

  18. Conservation value of a native forest fragment in a region of extensive agriculture.

    PubMed

    Chiarello

    2000-05-01

    A survey of mammals and birds was carried out in a semi-deciduous forest fragment of 150 ha located in a zone of intensive agriculture in Ribeirão Preto, State of São Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Line transect sampling was used to census mammals and birds during six days, totalling 27.8 km of trails and 27.8 hours of observation. Twenty mammal species were confirmed in the area (except bats and small mammals), including rare or endangered species, such as the mountain lion (Puma concolor), the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), and the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). The brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella) and the black-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) were found frequently, suggesting high population density in the fragment. Regarding the avifauna, 49 bird species were recorded, most of them typical of open areas or forest edges. Some confirmed species, however, are becoming increasingly rare in the region, as for example the muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) and the toco toucan (Ramphastos toco). The results demonstrate that forest fragment of this size are refuges for native fauna in a region dominated almost exclusively by sugar-cane plantations. Besides faunal aspects, the conservation of these fragments is of great importance for the establishment of studies related to species preservation in the long term, including reintroduction and translocation projects, as well as studies related to genetic health of isolated populations.

  19. Energy-conserving perennial agriculture for marginal land in southern Appalachia. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, G.

    1982-01-30

    USDA economists predict the end of surplus farm production in the US within this decade. More and more marginal land will be cropped to provide feed for the growing world population and to produce energy. Much of this potential cropland in Southern Appalachia is poorly suited to annual crops, such as corn. Perennial crops are much better suited to steep, rocky, and wet sites. Research was undertaken on the theoretical potentials of perennial species with high predicted yields of protein, carbohydrates, or oils. Several candidate staple perennial crops for marginal land in Southern Appalachia were identified, and estimates were made of their yields, energy input requirements, and general suitabilities. Cropping systems incorporating honeylocust, persimmon, mulberry, jujube, and beech were compared with corn cropping systems. It appears that these candidate staple perennials show distinct advantages for energy conservation and environmental preservation. Detailed economic analyses must await actual demonstration trials, but preliminary indications for ethanol conversion systems with honeylocust are encouraging. It is suggested that short-term loans to farmers undertaking this new type of agriculture would be appropriate to solve cash-flow problems.

  20. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  1. Agricultural practices and personal hygiene among agricultural workers in a rural area of Howrah district, West Bengal.

    PubMed

    Das, D K; Dey, T K

    2005-01-01

    The study attempted to assess agricultural practices and personal hygiene among 100 agricultural workers in a rural area of West Bengal in 1999. 69% of the study population was marginal farmer with less than 2 acres of land. Organophosphorus group of pesticides were most commonly used pesticides (68%); spraying was irregular in nature (98%), through semiautomatic sprayer (99%) and only 5% used any special dress while spraying pesticides. 40% of workers used to store pesticides either in living room or in food storage area. 88% of them did not take any food during work with pesticides, only 37% used to take regular bath after working with pesticides but regular hand washing was practiced by all of them.

  2. Integrating seasonal climate prediction and agricultural models for insights into agricultural practice

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, James W

    2005-01-01

    Interest in integrating crop simulation models with dynamic seasonal climate forecast models is expanding in response to a perceived opportunity to add value to seasonal climate forecasts for agriculture. Integrated modelling may help to address some obstacles to effective agricultural use of climate information. First, modelling can address the mismatch between farmers' needs and available operational forecasts. Probabilistic crop yield forecasts are directly relevant to farmers' livelihood decisions and, at a different scale, to early warning and market applications. Second, credible ex ante evidence of livelihood benefits, using integrated climate–crop–economic modelling in a value-of-information framework, may assist in the challenge of obtaining institutional, financial and political support; and inform targeting for greatest benefit. Third, integrated modelling can reduce the risk and learning time associated with adaptation and adoption, and related uncertainty on the part of advisors and advocates. It can provide insights to advisors, and enhance site-specific interpretation of recommendations when driven by spatial data. Model-based ‘discussion support systems’ contribute to learning and farmer–researcher dialogue. Integrated climate–crop modelling may play a genuine, but limited role in efforts to support climate risk management in agriculture, but only if they are used appropriately, with understanding of their capabilities and limitations, and with cautious evaluation of model predictions and of the insights that arises from model-based decision analysis. PMID:16433092

  3. Effects of Zero Tillage (No-Till) Conservation Agriculture on soil physical and biological properties and their contributions to sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landers, John N.; Rass, Gerard; de Freitas, Pedro L.; Basch, Gottlieb; González Sanchez, Emilio J.; Tabaglio, Vincenzo; Kassan, Amir; Derpsch, Rolf; Friedrich, Theodor; Giupponi, Luca

    2013-04-01

    Not cultivating soil, rotating crops over the years, and leaving crop residues on the surface in the practice of zero tillage/conservation agriculture (ZT/CA) reverses the historically accelerating degradation of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil structure, while increasing soil biological activity by a factor of 2 to 4. The results of this are many: (a) not cultivating reduces soil compaction, leaving old root holes to facilitate internal drainage, averts the pulverization of soil aggregates and formation of pans, reduces draft power for planting and gives shelter, winter food and nesting sites for fauna, (b) crop residues on the surface practically eliminate wind and water erosion, reduce soil moisture loss through the mulch effect, slow spring warm-up (possibly offset by a lower specific heat demand with less water retention in surface soil) and act as a reserve of organically-compounded nutrients (as they decompose to humus), (c) more SOM means higher available water and nutrient retention, higher biological activity year round (enhancing biological controls), higher levels of water-stable aggregates and a positive carbon sink in incremental SOM. The positive impacts for society are: (i) more and cheaper food, (ii) reduced flood and drought-induced famine risks, (iii) a positive carbon sink in SOM and possible reductions in NO2 emissions, (iv) cleaner water and greater aquifer recharge due to reduced runoff, (v) cleaner air through effective elimination of dust as a product of cultivation (vi) less water pollution and greater aquifer recharge from reduced rainfall runoff, (vii) farm diesel consumption halved, (viii) reduced demand for (tropical) de-forestation, by permitting crop expansion on steeper lands, (ix) increased wildlife populations (skylarks, plovers, partridge and peccaries) and (x) an improved conservation mindset in farmers. It is notable that, in spite of successful practitioners in all European countries, mainstream adoption is still to come

  4. Tools to improve the placement of conservation practices in watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation programs can become costly and ineffective if implemented based solely on voluntary landowner participation rather than on implementing BMPs where reduction potentials are greatest and their impacts most cost-effective. Studies have long reported that the successes of nonpoint source po...

  5. Sensitivity of simulated conservation practice effectiveness to representation of field and in-stream processes in the Little River Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation practices (CPs) is an important step to achieving efficient and successful water quality management. Watershed-scale simulation models can provide useful and convenient tools for this evaluation, but simulated conservation practice effectiveness should be...

  6. Influence of agricultural practices on fruit quality of bell pepper.

    PubMed

    Abu-Zahra, T R

    2011-09-15

    An experiment was carried out under plastic house conditions to compare the effect of four fermented organic matter sources (cattle, poultry and sheep manure in addition to 1:1:1 mixture of the three organic matter sources) in which 4 kg organic matter m(-2) were used, with that of the conventional agriculture (chemical fertilizers) treatments on Marvello red pepper fruit quality, by using a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replicates. Pepper fruits characteristics cultivated in soil supplemented with manure were generally better than those from plants grown in soil only. Addition of animal manure increased bell pepper fruit content of soluble solids, ascorbic acid, total phenols, crude fibre and intensity of red color as compare with conventional agriculture that produced fruits with higher titratable acidity, water content, lycopene and bigger fruit size. In most cases of animal manure treatments, best results were obtained by the sheep manure treatment that produced the highest TSS, while the worst results were obtained by the poultry manure treatment that produced the smallest fruit and lowest fruit lycopene content.

  7. Smallholder farmers' behavioural intentions towards sustainable agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Zeweld, Woldegebrial; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido; Tesfay, Girmay; Speelman, Stijn

    2017-02-01

    The introduction of sustainable practices is considered a win-win strategy for low-income countries because of its potential to simultaneously improve food security and address environmental issues. Despite the numerous studies that focus on the adoption of technological innovations, little work has been done on the socio-psychological behaviour of farmers with regard to sustainable practices. This study investigates smallholder farmers' intentions towards two practices: minimum tillage and row planting. The decomposed theory of planned behaviour is used as a theoretical framework to analyse the intentions. The findings reveal that attitudes and normative issues positively explain farmers' intentions to adopt both practices. Perceived control also has a positive significant effect on the intention to apply minimum tillage. When the intention is formed, farmers are expected to carry out their intention when opportunities arise. Moreover, perceived usefulness, social capital, and perceived ease of operation are also significant predictors of farmers' attitudes. Furthermore, social capital and training are factors that positively affect the normative issue, which in turn also positively mediates the relationship between training, social capital and intention. Finally, it is shown that neither the perceived resources nor information from the media significantly affect farmers' intentions. This paper thus confirms that social capital, personal efficacy, training and perceived usefulness play significant roles in the decision to adopt sustainable practices. In addition, willingness to adopt seems to be limited by negative attitudes and by weak normative issues. Therefore, to improve adoption of sustainable practices by smallholder farmers, attention should be given to socio-psychological issues. This could lead to improvements in farm productivity and enhance the livelihoods of smallholders.

  8. Presentation: Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This presentation was given by Dr. James Johnson at the STAR Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices Kick-off Meeting and Webinar held on Oct. 26-27, 2016.

  9. Best Practices for Water Conservation and Efficiency as an Alternative for Water Supply Expansion

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA released a document that provides water conservation and efficiency best practices for evaluating water supply projects. The document can help water utilities and federal and state governments carry out assessments of the potential for future

  10. Local land uses and downstream benefits: How farmer attitudes influence watershed conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The applicability of the traditional adoption diffusion model to conservation practices has been debated for decades. We examine farmer adoption of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the context of the Cannonsville watershed, part of the New York City drinking water supply system, usin...

  11. Effect of conservation practices implementd by USDA programs at field and watershed scales

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of conservation practices actually implemented in reducing sediment and nutrient loads at field and watershed scales. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to model the load reduction effectiveness of more than 5500 conservation pract...

  12. Critical Practice and the Public Pedagogy of Environmental and Conservation Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blewitt, John

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses the reluctance of mainstream corporate and commercial media to critically address major environmental and conservation issues. The resulting public pedagogy largely reproduces the neoliberal ideology informing much conservation practice and discourse. Nonetheless, the media retains an unrealised critical educative potential…

  13. The science behind the use of prescribed grazing as a conservation practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation Practice Standard 528 of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) defines prescribed grazing as “managing the harvest of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals”. Prescribed grazing or browsing incorporates a variety of management actions. For the purposes of this presen...

  14. An Analysis of Selected Data Practices: A Case Study of the Purdue College of Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouchard, Line; Bracke, Marianne Stowell

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes a survey of data practices given to the Purdue College of Agriculture. Data practices are a concern for many researchers with new governmental funding mandates that require data management plans, and for the institution providing resources to comply with these mandates. The survey attempted to answer these questions: What are…

  15. Impact of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon: simulation of Australian wheat systems.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Gang; Bryan, Brett A; King, Darran; Luo, Zhongkui; Wang, Enli; Song, Xiaodong; Yu, Qiang

    2013-05-01

    Quantifying soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics at a high spatial and temporal resolution in response to different agricultural management practices and environmental conditions can help identify practices that both sequester carbon in the soil and sustain agricultural productivity. Using an agricultural systems model (the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator), we conducted a high spatial resolution and long-term (122 years) simulation study to identify the key management practices and environmental variables influencing SOC dynamics in a continuous wheat cropping system in Australia's 96 million ha cereal-growing regions. Agricultural practices included five nitrogen application rates (0-200 kg N ha(-1) in 50 kg N ha(-1) increments), five residue removal rates (0-100% in 25% increments), and five residue incorporation rates (0-100% in 25% increments). We found that the change in SOC during the 122-year simulation was influenced by the management practices of residue removal (linearly negative) and fertilization (nonlinearly positive) - and the environmental variables of initial SOC content (linearly negative) and temperature (nonlinearly negative). The effects of fertilization were strongest at rates up to 50 kg N ha(-1) , and the effects of temperature were strongest where mean annual temperatures exceeded 19 °C. Reducing residue removal and increasing fertilization increased SOC in most areas except Queensland where high rates of SOC decomposition caused by high temperature and soil moisture negated these benefits. Management practices were particularly effective in increasing SOC in south-west Western Australia - an area with low initial SOC. The results can help target agricultural management practices for increasing SOC in the context of local environmental conditions, enabling farmers to contribute to climate change mitigation and sustaining agricultural production.

  16. 78 FR 51139 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-20

    ... Practices. These standards include: Contour Farming (Code 330), Critical Area Planting (Code 342), Cross... Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service... Conservation Practices for public review and comment. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the intention of...

  17. Pastureland and hayland in the U.S.: conservation practices and ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage, grasslands, and grazing lands constitute more than two-thirds of all agricultural land in the U.S. and provide several ecosystem goods and services. Sustaining these ecosystem goods and services sometimes requires the investment of public resources to conserve and protect soil, water, and ai...

  18. Agriculture Teachers' Perception and Practice for Teaching Students with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killingsworth, Justin Lee

    2011-01-01

    Federal legislation mandates that appropriate education be provided for all students in US public schools (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004; No Child Left Behind, 2001). The use of evidence-based instructional practices for special education, such as Direct Instruction and Strategy Instruction, is one example of mandated…

  19. The eco-evolutionary impacts of domestication and agricultural practices on wild species.

    PubMed

    Turcotte, Martin M; Araki, Hitoshi; Karp, Daniel S; Poveda, Katja; Whitehead, Susan R

    2017-01-19

    Agriculture is a dominant evolutionary force that drives the evolution of both domesticated and wild species. However, the various mechanisms of agriculture-induced evolution and their socio-ecological consequences are not often synthetically discussed. Here, we explore how agricultural practices and evolutionary changes in domesticated species cause evolution in wild species. We do so by examining three processes by which agriculture drives evolution. First, differences in the traits of domesticated species, compared with their wild ancestors, alter the selective environment and create opportunities for wild species to specialize. Second, selection caused by agricultural practices, including both those meant to maximize productivity and those meant to control pest species, can lead to pest adaptation. Third, agriculture can cause non-selective changes in patterns of gene flow in wild species. We review evidence for these processes and then discuss their ecological and sociological impacts. We finish by identifying important knowledge gaps and future directions related to the eco-evolutionary impacts of agriculture including their extent, how to prevent the detrimental evolution of wild species, and finally, how to use evolution to minimize the ecological impacts of agriculture.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  20. Refining Operational Practice for Controlling Introduced European Rabbits on Agricultural Lands in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Latham, A. David M.; Latham, M. Cecilia; Nugent, Graham; Smith, James; Warburton, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) pose a major threat to agricultural production and conservation values in several countries. In New Zealand, population control via poisoning is a frontline method for limiting rabbit damage, with large areas commonly treated using the metabolic toxin sodium fluoroacetate (‘1080’) delivered in bait via aerial dispersal. However, this method is expensive and the high application rates of the active ingredient cause public antipathy towards it. To guide reductions in cost and toxin usage, we evaluated the economics and efficacy of rabbit control using an experimental approach of sowing 1080-bait in strips instead of the commonly-used broadcast sowing method (i.e. complete coverage). Over a 4-year period we studied aerial delivery of 0.02% 1080 on diced carrot bait over ~3500 ha of rabbit-prone land in the North and South islands. In each case, experimental sowing via strip patterns using 10–15 kg of bait per hectare was compared with the current best practice of aerial broadcast sowing at 30–35 kg/ha. Operational kill rates exceeded 87% in all but one case and averaged 93–94% across a total of 19 treatment replicates under comparable conditions; there was no statistical difference in overall efficacy observed between the two sowing methods. We project that strip-sowing could reduce by two thirds the amount of active 1080 applied per hectare in aerial control operations against rabbits, both reducing the non-target poisoning risk and promoting cost savings to farming operations. These results indicate that, similarly to the recently-highlighted benefits of adopting strip-sowing for poison control of introduced brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand, aerial strip-sowing of toxic bait could also be considered a best practice method for rabbit control in pest control policy. PMID:27341209

  1. Macroinvertebrate assemblages in agricultural, mining, and urban tropical streams: implications for conservation and management.

    PubMed

    Mwedzi, Tongayi; Bere, Taurai; Mangadze, Tinotenda

    2016-06-01

    The study evaluated the response of macroinvertebrate assemblages to changes in water quality in different land-use settings in Manyame catchment, Zimbabwe. Four land-use categories were identified: forested commercial farming, communal farming, Great Dyke mining (GDM) and urban areas. Macroinvertebrate community structure and physicochemical variables data were collected in two seasons from 41 sites following standard methods. Although not environmentally threatening, urban and GDM areas were characterised by higher conductivity, total dissolved solids, salinity, magnesium and hardness. Chlorides, total phosphates, total nitrogen, calcium, potassium and sodium were significantly highest in urban sites whilst dissolved oxygen (DO) was significantly higher in the forested commercial faming and GDM sites. Macroinvertebrate communities followed the observed changes in water quality. Macroinvertebrates in urban sites indicated severe pollution (e.g. Chironomidae) whilst those in forested commercial farming sites and GDM sites indicated relatively clean water (e.g. Notonemouridae). Forested watersheds together with good farm management practices are important in mitigating impacts of urbanisation and agriculture. Strategies that reduce oxygen-depleting substances must be devised to protect the health of Zimbabwean streams. The study affirms the wider applicability of the South African Scoring System in different land uses.

  2. Practical implications of understanding the influence of motivations on commitment to voluntary urban conservation stewardship.

    PubMed

    Asah, Stanley T; Blahna, Dale J

    2013-08-01

    Although the word commitment is prevalent in conservation biology literature and despite the importance of people's commitment to the success of conservation initiatives, commitment as a psychological phenomenon and its operation in specific conservation behaviors remains unexplored. Despite increasing calls for conservation psychology to play a greater role in meeting conservation goals, applications of the psychological sciences to specific conservation behaviors, illustrating their utility to conservation practice, are rare. We examined conservation volunteers' motivations and commitment to urban conservation volunteering. We interviewed key informant volunteers and used interview findings to develop psychometric scales that we used to assess motivations and commitment to volunteer. We surveyed 322 urban conservation volunteers and used factor analysis to reveal how volunteers structure their motivations and commitment to volunteer for urban conservation activities. Six categories of motivations and 2 categories of commitment emerged from factor analysis. Volunteers were motivated by desires to help the environment, defend and enhance the ego, career and learning opportunities, escape and exercise, social interactions, and community building. Two forms of commitment, affective and normative commitment, psychologically bind people to urban conservation volunteerism. We used linear-regression models to examine how these categories of motivations influence volunteers' commitment to conservation volunteerism. Volunteers' tendency to continue to volunteer for urban conservation, even in the face of fluctuating counter urges, was motivated by personal, social, and community functions more than environmental motivations. The environment, otherwise marginally important, was a significant motivator of volunteers' commitment only when volunteering met volunteers' personal, social, and community-building goals. Attention to these personal, social, and community

  3. [Estimation on value of water and soil conservation of agricultural ecosystems in Xi' an metropolitan, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen-yan; Zhou, Zhong-xue

    2014-12-01

    With the urban eco-environment increasingly deteriorating, the ecosystem services provided by modern urban agriculture are exceedingly significant to maintain and build more suitable environment in a city. Taking Xi' an metropolitan as the study area, based on remote sensing data, DEM data and the economic and social statistics data, the water and soil conservation service of the agricultural ecosystems was valued employing the remote sensing and geographic information system method, covering the reduction values on land waste, soil fertility loss and sediment loss from 2000 to 2011, and analyzed its changes in time and space. The results showed that during the study period, the total value of water and soil conservation service provided by agricultural systems in Xi' an metropolitan was increased by 46,086 and 33.008 billion yuan respectively from period of 2000 to 2005 and from 2005 to 2011. The cultivated land (including grains, vegetables and other farming land), forest (including orchard) and grassland provided higher value on the water and soil conservation service than waters and other land use. Ecosystem service value of water and soil conserva- tion provided by agriculture was gradually decreasing from the southern to the northern in Xi' an metropolitan. There were significantly positive relationship between the ecosystem service value and the vegetation coverage. Forest, orchard and grassland distributed intensively in the southern which had higher vegetation coverage than in northern where covered by more cultivated land, sparse forest and scattered orchard. There were significantly negative correlation between the urbanization level and the value of water and soil conservation. The higher level of urbanization, the lower value there was from built-up area to suburban and to countryside within Xi' an metropolitan.

  4. From working collections to the World Germplasm Project: agricultural modernization and genetic conservation at the Rockefeller Foundation.

    PubMed

    Curry, Helen Anne

    2017-06-01

    This paper charts the history of the Rockefeller Foundation's participation in the collection and long-term preservation of genetic diversity in crop plants from the 1940s through the 1970s. In the decades following the launch of its agricultural program in Mexico in 1943, the Rockefeller Foundation figured prominently in the creation of world collections of key economic crops. Through the efforts of its administrators and staff, the foundation subsequently parlayed this experience into a leadership role in international efforts to conserve so-called plant genetic resources. Previous accounts of the Rockefeller Foundation's interventions in international agricultural development have focused on the outcomes prioritized by foundation staff and administrators as they launched assistance programs and especially their characterization of the peoples and "problems" they encountered abroad. This paper highlights instead how foundation administrators and staff responded to a newly emergent international agricultural concern-the loss of crop genetic diversity. Charting the foundation's responses to this concern, which developed only after agricultural modernization had begun and was understood to be produced by the successes of the foundation's own agricultural assistance programs, allows for greater interrogation of how the foundation understood and projected its central position in international agricultural research activities by the 1970s.

  5. Effects of agricultural land-management practices on water quality in northeastern Guilford County, North Carolina, 1985-90

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harned, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    The effects of different agricultural land- management practices on sediment, nutrients, and selected pesticides in surface water, and on nutrients and pesticides in ground water were studied in four small basins in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The basins included two adjacent basins in row-crop fields, a mixed land-use basin, and a forested basin. One of the row-crop fields was farmed using conservation land-management practices, including strip cropping, contour plowing, field borders, and grassed waterways. The other field was farmed using standard land- management practices, including continuous cropping, straight-row plowing, and ungrassed waterways. The sediment yield for the standard land-management basin was 2.3 times that for the conservation land-management basin, 14.1 times that for the mixed land-use basin, and 19.5 times that for the forested basin. Nutrient concentra- tions in surface water from the row-crop and mixed land-use basins were higher than those in surface water for the forested basin. Nutrient concentra- tions in soil water and ground water beneath the row-crop basins were lower than those in surface- water runoff for these basins. The lowest nutrient concentrations measured in the row-crop basins generally were in soil-water samples collected just below the root zone (3-foot depth) and in ground water. No significant differences in pesticide concentrations were identified between the surface-water runoff from the standard land- management basin and that from the conservation land-management basin. Concentrations of the soil pesticides isopropalin and flumetralin were higher in the standard land-management basin than in the conservation land-management basin.

  6. Using knowledge of agricultural practices to enhance through-the-season interpretation of Landsat data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malila, W. A.; Pestre, C. R.

    1984-01-01

    Landsat data contain features that can be interpreted to produce information about crops, in support of crop estimation procedures. This paper considers ways in which detailed knowledge of agricultural practices and events might increase and improve the utilization of Landsat data in both the predictive and observational or measurement components of such procedures. Landsat observables related to agricultural practices and events throughout the cropping season are listed. Agricultural fields are identified as the preferred observational units for incorporating refined agricultural understanding, such as crop rotation patterns, into machine procedures. Uses of Landsat data from both prior seasons and the current season are considered, as is use of predictive models of crop appearance. The investigation of knowledge engineering systems tailored to through-the-season estimation problems is recommended for long range development.

  7. The Evaluation of Conservation Practice Placement in the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW) Using a GIS Tool

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program – Watershed Assessment Studies is a joint effort between the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to evaluate the effectiveness of federally funded conservation programs. In response to this in...

  8. Selection criteria for water disinfection techniques in agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Haute, Sam van; Sampers, Imca; Jacxsens, Liesbeth; Uyttendaele, Mieke

    2015-01-01

    This paper comprises a selection tool for water disinfection methods for fresh produce pre- and postharvest practices. A variety of water disinfection technologies is available on the market and no single technology is the best choice for all applications. It can be difficult for end users to choose the technology that is best fit for a specific application. Therefore, the different technologies were characterized in order to identify criteria that influence the suitability of a technology for pre- or postharvest applications. Introduced criteria were divided into three principal components: (i) criteria related to the technology and which relate to the disinfection efficiency, (ii) attention points for the management and proper operation, and (iii) necessities in order to sustain the operation with respect to the environment. The selection criteria may help the end user of the water disinfection technology to obtain a systematic insight into all relevant aspects to be considered for preliminary decision making on which technologies should be put to feasibility testing for water disinfection in pre- and postharvest practices of the fresh produce chain.

  9. Ergonomic risks and musculoskeletal disorders in production agriculture: recommendations for effective research to practice.

    PubMed

    Kirkhorn, Steven R; Earle-Richardson, Giulia; Banks, R J

    2010-07-01

    Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are increasingly recognized as a significant hazard of agricultural occupation. In agricultural jobs with significant physical labor, MSDs are typically the most frequently reported injury. Although not as lethal as tractor roll-overs, MSDs can result in disability, lost work time, and increased production costs. MSDs increase production costs as a result of worker absence, medical and insurance costs, decreased work capacity, and loss of employees to turnover and competition from other less physically demanding industries. This paper will provide an overview of what is currently known about MSDs in agriculture, including high-risk commodities, tasks and work practices, and the related regulatory factors and workers' compensation costs. As agricultural production practices evolve, the types of MSDs also change, as do ergonomic risk factors. One example is the previous higher rates of knee and hip arthritis identified in farmers in stanchion dairies evolving into upper extremity tendonitis, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome now found in milking technicians in dairy milking parlors. This paper summarizes the presentation, "Musculoskeletal Disorders in Labor-Intensive Operations," at the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conference, "Be Safe, Be Profitable: Protecting Workers in Agriculture," January 27-28, 2010, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. The primary focus of the paper is to address current research on ergonomic solutions for MSDs in agriculture. These include improved tools, carts or equipment, as well as work practices. One of the key challenges in this area pertains to measurement, due to the fact that musculoskeletal strain is a chronic condition that can come and go, with self-reported pain as its only indicator. Alternative measurement methods will be discussed. Finally, the implementation of research into practice is reviewed, with an emphasis on best

  10. Learning & Knowledge Production in North Carolina Sea Turtle Conservation Communities of Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Kathleen Carol

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation focused upon non-formal and informal learning practices and knowledge production amongst [adult] participants involved in local sea turtle conservation practices along the US Atlantic coast. In the United States, adult learning and adult education has historically occurred within non-formal settings (e.g., through community-based…

  11. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  12. School Meal Programs: Sharing Information on Best Practices May Improve Programs' Operations. Report to the Secretary of Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Div.

    At the request of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, this investigation identified state and local school food authorities' (SFA) management and operating practices recognized as best practice by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other officials. In addition, the study determined whether some of these practices could be…

  13. Trade-offs between cattle production and bird conservation in an agricultural frontier of the Gran Chaco of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Mastrangelo, Matias E; Gavin, Michael C

    2012-12-01

    Intensification of food production in tropical landscapes in the absence of land-use planning can pose a major threat to biological diversity. Decisions on whether to spatially integrate or segregate lands for production and conservation depend in part on the functional relations between biological diversity and agricultural productivity. We measured diversity, density, and species composition of birds along a gradient of production intensification on an agricultural frontier of the Argentine Chaco, where dry tropical forests are cleared for cattle production. Bird species diversity in intact forests was higher than in any type of cattle-production system. Bird species richness decreased nonlinearly as cattle yield increased. Intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems, those in which forest understory is selectively cleared to grow pastures of non-native plants beneath the tree canopy, produced 80% of the mean cattle yield obtained in pastures on cleared areas and were occupied by 70-90% of the number of bird species present in the nearest forest fragments. Densities of >50% of bird species were significantly lower in open pastures than in silvopastoral systems. Therefore, intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems may have the greatest potential to sustain cattle yield and conserve a large percentage of bird species. However, compared with low-intensity production systems, in which forest structure and extent were intact, intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems supported significantly fewer forest-restricted bird species and fewer frugivorous birds. These data suggest that the integration of production and conservation through intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems combined with the protection of forest fragments may be required to maintain cattle yield, bird diversity, and conservation of forest-restricted species in this agricultural frontier.

  14. Walnut Creek and Squaw Creek Watersheds, Iowa: National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Walnut Creek Watershed NIFA-CEAP Watershed project was designed to assess water quality benefits and economic costs from the adoption of a prairie ecosystem (conservation practice implementation) at a watershed scale. This chapter describes and summarizes the paired watershed (Walnut Creek and S...

  15. Grasslands, wetlands, and agriculture: the fate of land expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morefield, Philip E.; LeDuc, Stephen D.; Clark, Christopher M.; Iovanna, Richard

    2016-09-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest agricultural land-retirement program in the United States, providing many environmental benefits, including wildlife habitat and improved air, water, and soil quality. Since 2007, however, CRP area has declined by over 25% nationally with much of this land returning to agriculture. Despite this trend, it is unclear what types of CRP land are being converted, to what crops, and where. All of these specific factors greatly affect environmental impacts. To answer these questions, we quantified shifts in expiring CRP parcels to five major crop-types (corn, soy, winter and spring wheat, and sorghum) in a 12-state, Midwestern region of the United States using a US Department of Agriculture (USDA), field-level CRP database and USDA’s Cropland Data Layer. For the years 2010 through 2013, we estimate almost 30%, or more than 530 000 ha, of expiring CRP land returned to the production of these five crops in our study area, with soy and corn accounting for the vast majority of these shifts. Grasslands were the largest type of CRP land converted (360 000 ha), followed by specifically designated wildlife habitat (76 000 ha), and wetland areas (53 000 ha). These wetland areas were not just wetlands themselves, but also a mix of land covers enhancing or protecting wetland ecosystem services (e.g., wetland buffers). Areas in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and southern Iowa were hotspots of change, with the highest areas of CRP land moving back to agriculture. By contrast, we estimate only a small amount (∼3%) of the expiring land shifted into similar, non-CRP land-retirement or easement programs. Reconciling needs for food, feed, fuel, and healthy ecosystems is an immense challenge for farmers, conservationists, and state and federal agencies. Reduced enrollment and the turnover of CRP land from conservation to agriculture raises questions about sustaining ecosystem services in this region.

  16. Sustainability of current agriculture practices, community perception, and implications for ecosystem health: an Indian study.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Atanu; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary

    2011-12-01

    In order to support agribusiness and to attain food security for ever-increasing populations, most countries in the world have embraced modern agricultural technologies. Ecological consequences of the technocentric approaches, and their sustainability and impacts on human health have, however, not received adequate attention particularly in developing countries. India is one country that has undergone a rapid transformation in the field of agriculture by adopting strategies of the Green Revolution. This article provides a comparative analysis of the effects of older and newer paradigms of agricultural practices on ecosystem and human health within the larger context of sustainability. The study was conducted in three closely situated areas where different agricultural practices were followed: (a) the head-end of a modern canal-irrigated area, (b) an adjacent dryland, and (c) an area (the ancient area) that has been provided with irrigation for some 800 years. Data were collected by in-depth interviews of individual farmers, focus-group discussions, participatory observations, and from secondary sources. The dryland, receiving limited rainfall, continues to practice diverse cropping centered to a large extent on traditional coarse cereals and uses only small amounts of chemical inputs. On the other hand, modern agriculture in the head-end emphasizes continuous cropping of rice supported by extensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Market forces have, to a significant degree, influenced the ancient area to abandon much of its early practices of organic farming and to take up aspects of modern agricultural practice. Rice cultivation in the irrigated parts has changed the local landscape and vegetation and has augmented the mosquito population, which is a potential vector for malaria, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. Nevertheless, despite these problems, perceptions of adverse environmental effects are lowest in the heavily irrigated area.

  17. Location and agricultural practices influence spring use of harvested cornfields by cranes and geese in Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, Michael J.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Bishop, Andrew A.

    2011-01-01

    Millions of ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis; hereafter cranes) stop in the Central Platte River Valley (CPRV) of Nebraska to store nutrients for migration and reproduction by consuming corn remaining in fields after harvest. We examined factors that influence use of cornfields by cranes and geese (all mid-continent species combined; e.g., Anser, Chen, and Branta spp.) because it is a key step to efficient conservation planning aimed at ensuring that adequate food resources are available to migratory birds stopping in the CPRV. Distance to night-time roost site, segment of the CPRV (west to east), and agricultural practices (post-harvest treatment of cornfields: idle, grazed, mulched, mulched and grazed, and tilled) were the most important and influential variables in our models for geese and cranes. Probability of cornfield use by geese and cranes decreased with increasing distance from the closest potential roosting site. The use of cornfields by geese increased with the density of corn present there during the early migration period, but field use by cranes appeared not to be influenced by early migration corn density. However, probability of cornfield use by cranes did increase with the amount of wet grassland habitat within 4.8 km of the field. Geese were most likely to use fields that were tilled and least likely to use fields that were mulched and grazed. Cranes were most likely to use fields that were mulched and least likely to use fields that were tilled, but grazing appeared not to influence the likelihood of field use by cranes. Geese were more likely to use cornfields in western segments of the CPRV, but cranes were more likely to use cornfields in eastern segments. Our data suggest that managers could favor crane use of fields and reduce direct competition with geese by reducing fall and spring tilling and increasing mulching. Moreover, crane conservation efforts would be most beneficial if they were focused in the eastern portions

  18. Location and agricultural practices influence spring use of harvested cornfields by cranes and geese in Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, M.J.; Sherfy, M.H.; Bishop, A.A.

    2011-01-01

    Millions of ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis; hereafter cranes) stop in the Central Platte River Valley (CPRV) of Nebraska to store nutrients for migration and reproduction by consuming corn remaining in fields after harvest. We examined factors that influence use of cornfields by cranes and geese (all mid-continent species combined; e.g., Anser, Chen, and Branta spp.) because it is a key step to efficient conservation planning aimed at ensuring that adequate food resources are available to migratory birds stopping in the CPRV. Distance to night-time roost site, segment of the CPRV (west to east), and agricultural practices (post-harvest treatment of cornfields: idle, grazed, mulched, mulched and grazed, and tilled) were the most important and influential variables in our models for geese and cranes. Probability of cornfield use by geese and cranes decreased with increasing distance from the closest potential roosting site. The use of cornfields by geese increased with the density of corn present there during the early migration period, but field use by cranes appeared not to be influenced by early migration corn density. However, probability of cornfield use by cranes did increase with the amount of wet grassland habitat within 4.8 km of the field. Geese were most likely to use fields that were tilled and least likely to use fields that were mulched and grazed. Cranes were most likely to use fields that were mulched and least likely to use fields that were tilled, but grazing appeared not to influence the likelihood of field use by cranes. Geese were more likely to use cornfields in western segments of the CPRV, but cranes were more likely to use cornfields in eastern segments. Our data suggest that managers could favor crane use of fields and reduce direct competition with geese by reducing fall and spring tilling and increasing mulching. Moreover, crane conservation efforts would be most beneficial if they were focused in the eastern portions

  19. Consuming the forest in an environment of crisis: nature tourism, forest conservation and neoliberal agriculture in south India.

    PubMed

    Münster, Daniel; Münster, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    This article engages ethnographically with the neoliberalization of nature in the spheres of tourism, conservation and agriculture. Drawing on a case study of Wayanad district, Kerala, the article explores a number of themes. First, it shows how a boom in domestic nature tourism is currently transforming Wayanad into a landscape for tourist consumption. Second, it examines how tourism in Wayanad articulates with projects of neoliberalizing forest and wildlife conservation and with their contestations by subaltern groups. Third, it argues that the contemporary commodification of nature in tourism and conservation is intimately related to earlier processes of commodifying nature in agrarian capitalism. Since independence, forest land has been violently appropriated for intensive cash-cropping. Capitalist agrarian change has transformed land into a (fictitious) commodity and produced a fragile and contested frontier of agriculture and wildlife. When agrarian capitalism reached its ecological limits and entered a crisis of accumulation, farming became increasingly speculative, exploring new modes of accumulation in out-of-state ginger cultivation. In this scenario nature and wildlife tourism emerges as a new prospect for accumulation in a post-agrarian economy. The neoliberalization of nature in Wayanad, the authors argue, is a process driven less by new modes of regulation than by the agrarian crisis and new modes of speculative farming.

  20. Modeling the impacts of climate change and agricultural management practices on surface erosion in a dryland agricultural basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ottenbreit, E.; Adam, J. C.; Barber, M. E.

    2010-12-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of climate change and agricultural management practices on suspended sediment concentrations in the Potlach River basin in northwestern Idaho. Suspended sediment is a pollutant in many water systems and contributes to the impairment of streams. Conventional tillage practices and rain-on-snow events in the Palouse region of northern Idaho and eastern Washington can produce some of the highest sediment losses per acre in the United States. Climate change may lead to further problems as more frequent and intense winter storm events are predicted to occur. Many hydrological models have been developed which examine suspended sediment in river systems. The Potlatch River basin near Julietta, ID was examined using the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM), which has a sediment module that includes surface erosion and channel sediment transport. DHSVM was calibrated and evaluated over the historical period of streamflow observations and was used to predict soil erosion rates and suspended sediment concentrations using a range of downscaled Global Climate Models (GCMs) emissions scenarios for the year 2045. Furthermore, the sensitivity of suspended sediment concentrations to conventional versus convservative tillage practices was explored. The results show that as the projected climate-driven intensity of storms increase, more sediment is predicted in the Potlatch River. Suspended sediment and streamflow are predicted to increase during the late fall through the early spring. This increase occurs during times of heightened runoff when suspended sediment concentration in the river is highest. Three tillage scenarios were incorporated into DHSVM for winter wheat: conventional till, reduced till, and no till. Erosion and suspended sediment were higher during storm events under conventional agricultural tillage scenarios. In the long-term, this research can lead to examination of the effects of climate

  1. Nursing organizations call for phase-out of agricultural practices that promote antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Clouse, Rebecca

    2006-02-01

    The use of antibiotics in agriculture is considered a contributing factor to the problem of antibiotic resistance. A majority of antibiotics and related drugs produced in the United States are not used to treat the infirm, but rather are used as feed additives for agricultural animals to promote growth and compensate for stressful and crowded growing conditions. Significant efforts must be made to decrease inappropriate overuse in animals and agriculture. Several leading health and political organizations have begun to address the issue. The American Nurses Association has established policies that call on Congress, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and meat producers to promptly phase out the agricultural practices that promote antibiotic resistance.

  2. Setting practical conservation priorities for birds in the Western Andes of Colombia.

    PubMed

    Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L

    2014-10-01

    We aspired to set conservation priorities in ways that lead to direct conservation actions. Very large-scale strategic mapping leads to familiar conservation priorities exemplified by biodiversity hotspots. In contrast, tactical conservation actions unfold on much smaller geographical extents and they need to reflect the habitat loss and fragmentation that have sharply restricted where species now live. Our aspirations for direct, practical actions were demanding. First, we identified the global, strategic conservation priorities and then downscaled to practical local actions within the selected priorities. In doing this, we recognized the limitations of incomplete information. We started such a process in Colombia and used the results presented here to implement reforestation of degraded land to prevent the isolation of a large area of cloud forest. We used existing range maps of 171 bird species to identify priority conservation areas that would conserve the greatest number of species at risk in Colombia. By at risk species, we mean those that are endemic and have small ranges. The Western Andes had the highest concentrations of such species-100 in total-but the lowest densities of national parks. We then adjusted the priorities for this region by refining these species ranges by selecting only areas of suitable elevation and remaining habitat. The estimated ranges of these species shrank by 18-100% after accounting for habitat and suitable elevation. Setting conservation priorities on the basis of currently available range maps excluded priority areas in the Western Andes and, by extension, likely elsewhere and for other taxa. By incorporating detailed maps of remaining natural habitats, we made practical recommendations for conservation actions. One recommendation was to restore forest connections to a patch of cloud forest about to become isolated from the main Andes.

  3. Effects of conservation tillage practices on ammonia emissions from Loess Plateau rain-fed winter wheat fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yang; Zhou, Chunju; Li, Na; Han, Kun; Meng, Yuan; Tian, Xiaoxiao; Wang, Linquan

    2015-03-01

    Ammonia emissions from agricultural activities contribute to air pollution. For the rain-fed winter wheat system in the Loess Plateau there is a lack of information about ammonia emissions. Current study aimed to provide field data on ammonia emissions affected by conservation tillage practices and nitrogen applications. A two-year field experiment was conducted during 2011-2013 wheat growing seasons followed a split-plot design. Main plots consisted of one conventional tillage (CT, as the control) and five conservation tillage systems, i.e., stalk mulching (SM), film mulching (FM), ridge tillage (RT), ridge tillage with film mulch on the ridge (RTfm), and ridge tillage with film mulch on the ridge and stalk mulch in the furrow (RTfmsm); while subplots consisted of two nitrogen application rates, i.e., 0 and 180 kg N ha-1. Ammonia emissions were measured using an acid trapping method with vented chambers. Results showed ammonia fluxes peaked during the first 10 days after fertilization. On average, nitrogen application increased ammonia emissions by 26.5% (1.31 kg N ha-1) compared with treatments without nitrogen application (P < 0.05). Ammonia fluxes were strongly dependent on soil ammonium, moisture, and temperature. Tillage systems had significant effects on ammonia emissions. On average, conservation tillage practices reduced ammonia emissions by 7.7% (0.46 kg N ha-1) compared with conventional tillage (P < 0.05), with FM most effective. Deep-band application of nitrogen fertilizer, stalk mulches, and film mulches were responsible for reductions in ammonia emissions from nitrogen fertilization in conservation tillage systems, thus they were recommended to reduce ammonia emissions from winter wheat production regions in the southern Loess Plateau.

  4. Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,…

  5. EFFECT OF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON THE SOIL MICROBIAL COMMUNITY IN AGRICULTURAL AND NATIVE SYSTEMS IN BRAZIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increase in agricultural practices in the Cerrado (tropical savannah) and Amazon regions in Brazil is causing drastic changes in the nutrient and carbon cycling of native areas. Because microorganisms play a key role in biogeochemical cycling, monitoring the shifts in the microb...

  6. Occupational Safety and Health: A View of Current Practices in Agricultural Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Threeton, Mark D.; Ewing, John C.; Evanoski, Danielle C.

    2015-01-01

    Providing safe and secure teaching and learning environments within schools is an ongoing process which requires a significant amount of attention. Therefore, this study sought to: 1) explore safety and health practices within secondary Agricultural Mechanics Education; and 2) identify the perceived obstacles which appear to hinder implementation…

  7. Responses of corn physiology and yield to six agricultural practices over three years in middle Tennessee

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Chih-Li; Hui, Dafeng; Deng, Qi; Wang, Junming; Reddy, K. Chandra; Dennis, Sam

    2016-01-01

    Different agricultural practices may have substantial impacts on crop physiology and yield. However, it is still not entirely clear how multiple agricultural practices such as tillage, biochar and different nutrient applications could influence corn physiology and yield. We conducted a three-year field experiment to study the responses of corn physiology, yield, and soil respiration to six different agricultural practices. The six treatments included conventional tillage (CT) or no tillage (NT), in combination with nitrogen type (URAN or chicken litter) and application method, biochar, or denitrification inhibitor. A randomized complete block design was applied with six replications. Leaf photosynthetic rate, transpiration, plant height, leaf area index (LAI), biomass, and yield were measured. Results showed that different agricultural practices had significant effects on plant leaf photosynthesis, transpiration, soil respiration, height, and yield, but not on LAI and biomass. The average corn yield in the NT-URAN was 10.03 ton/ha, 28.9% more than in the CT-URAN. Compared to the NT-URAN, the NT-biochar had lower soil respiration and similar yield. All variables measured showed remarkable variations among the three years. Our results indicated that no tillage treatment substantially increased corn yield, probably due to the preservation of soil moisture during drought periods. PMID:27272142

  8. The Influence of Time Management Practices on Job Stress Level among Beginning Secondary Agriculture Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambert, Misty D.; Torres, Robert M.; Tummons, John D.

    2012-01-01

    Monitoring the stress of teachers continues to be important--particularly stress levels of beginning agriculture teachers. The study sought to describe the relationship between beginning teachers' perceived ability to manage their time and their level of stress. The Time Management Practices Inventory and the Job Stress Survey were used to measure…

  9. Responses of corn physiology and yield to six agricultural practices over three years in middle Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chih-Li; Hui, Dafeng; Deng, Qi; Wang, Junming; Reddy, K Chandra; Dennis, Sam

    2016-06-07

    Different agricultural practices may have substantial impacts on crop physiology and yield. However, it is still not entirely clear how multiple agricultural practices such as tillage, biochar and different nutrient applications could influence corn physiology and yield. We conducted a three-year field experiment to study the responses of corn physiology, yield, and soil respiration to six different agricultural practices. The six treatments included conventional tillage (CT) or no tillage (NT), in combination with nitrogen type (URAN or chicken litter) and application method, biochar, or denitrification inhibitor. A randomized complete block design was applied with six replications. Leaf photosynthetic rate, transpiration, plant height, leaf area index (LAI), biomass, and yield were measured. Results showed that different agricultural practices had significant effects on plant leaf photosynthesis, transpiration, soil respiration, height, and yield, but not on LAI and biomass. The average corn yield in the NT-URAN was 10.03 ton/ha, 28.9% more than in the CT-URAN. Compared to the NT-URAN, the NT-biochar had lower soil respiration and similar yield. All variables measured showed remarkable variations among the three years. Our results indicated that no tillage treatment substantially increased corn yield, probably due to the preservation of soil moisture during drought periods.

  10. Net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity of conventional and conservation agriculture system in rainfed semi arid tropics of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pratibha, G.; Srinivas, I.; Rao, K. V.; Shanker, Arun K.; Raju, B. M. K.; Choudhary, Deepak K.; Srinivas Rao, K.; Srinivasarao, Ch.; Maheswari, M.

    2016-11-01

    Agriculture has been considered as one of the contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and it continues to increase with increase in crop production. Hence development of sustainable agro techniques with maximum crop production, and low global warming potential is need of the hour. Quantifying net global warming potential (NGWP) and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) of an agricultural activity is a method to assess the mitigation potential of the activity. But there is dearth of information on NGWP of conservation agriculture under rainfed conditions. Hence in this study two methods such as crop based (NGWPcrop) and soil based (NGWPsoil) were estimated from the data of the experiment initiated in 2009 in rainfed semiarid regions of Hyderabad, India with different tillage practices like conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT), zero tillage (ZT) and residue retention levels by harvesting at different heights which includes 0, 10 and 30 cm anchored residue in pigeonpea-castor systems. The results of the study revealed that under rainfed conditions CT recorded 24% higher yields over ZT, but CT and RT were on par with each other. However, the yield gap between the tillage treatments is narrowing down over 5 years of study. ZT and RT recorded 26 and 11% lower indirect GHG emissions (emissions from farm operations and input use) over CT, respectively. The percent contribution of CO2 eq. N2O emission is higher to total GHG emissions in both the crops. Both NGWPcrop, NGWPsoil, GHGIcrop, and GHGIsoil based were influenced by tillage and residue treatments. Further, castor grown on pigeonpea residue recorded 20% higher GHG emissions over pigeonpea grown on castor residues. The fuel consumption in ZT was reduced by 58% and 81% as compared to CT in pigeonpea and castor, respectively. Lower NGWP and GHGI based on crop and soil was observed with increase in crop residues and decrease in tillage intensity in both the crops. The results of the study indicate that, there

  11. Water and Agriculture in the Western U.S.: Conservation, Reallocation, and Markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lord, William B.

    Water conservation has long been an unqualified good in the western United States. But when westerners have said “conservation,” they have usually meant reservoir storage to prevent water from escaping downstream before it could be diverted and put to beneficial use. They took particular umbrage when the Carter Administration defined it to mean water demand management, a way of avoiding or postponing the construction of reservoirs. To oppose reservoir development in the West most certainly is to defy the conventional wisdom and to court political extinction. It is to brand oneself as daft or disloyal as well.

  12. Agriculture in the Mississippi River Basin; effects on water quality, aquatic biota, and watershed conservation.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture has been identified as a potential leading source of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment enrichment of water bodies within the Mississippi River basin (MRB) and contributes to impaired water quality and biological resources in the MRB and the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM). T...

  13. Reconciling Agricultural Needs with Biodiversity and Carbon Conservation in a Savanna Transformation Frontier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiegel, M. P.; Estes, L. D.; Caylor, K. K.; Searchinger, T.

    2015-12-01

    Zambia is a major hotspot for agricultural development in the African savannas, which will be targeted for agricultural expansion to relieve food shortages and economic insecurity in the next few decades. Recent scholarship rejects the assumption that the large reserves of arable land in the African savannas could be converted to cropland with low ecological costs. In light of these findings, the selection of land for agricultural expansion must consider not only its potential productivity, but also the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss that would result from the land conversion. To examine these tradeoffs, we have developed a multi-objective optimization technique to seek scenarios for agricultural development in Zambia that simultaneously achieve production targets and minimize carbon, biodiversity, and economic cost constraints, while factoring in the inter-annual variability in crop production in this highly uncertain climate. Potential production is determined from well-characterized yield potential estimates while robust metrics of biodiversity and high resolution mapping of carbon storage provide fine scale estimates of ecological impact. We draw production targets for individual crops from potential development pathways, primarily export, commodity-crop driven expansion and identify ecologically responsible agricultural development scenarios that are resilient to climate change and meet these demands. In order to achieve a doubling of production of nine key crops, assuming a modest 20% overall increase in yield potential, we find a range of scenarios that use less than 1600 km2 of new land without infringing on any protected areas or exceeding 6.7 million tons of carbon emissions.

  14. Testing the Runoff Tool in Sicilian vineyards: adopting best management practices to prevent agricultural surface runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Manpriet; Dyson, Jeremy; Capri, Ettore

    2016-04-01

    Over the last decades rainfall has become more intense in Sicily, making large proportions of steeply sloping agricultural land more vulnerable to soil erosion, mainly orchards and vineyards (Diodato and Bellocchi 2010). The prevention of soil degradation is indirectly addressed in the European Union's Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and Sustainable Use Directive (2009/128/EC). As a consequence, new EU compliance conditions for food producers requires them to have tools and solutions for on-farm implementation of sustainable practices (Singh et al. 2014). The Agricultural Runoff and Best Management Practice Tool has been developed by Syngenta to help farm advisers and managers diagnose the runoff potential from fields with visible signs of soil erosion. The tool consists of 4 steps including the assessment of three key landscape factors (slope, topsoil permeability and depth to restrictive horizon) and 9 mainly soil and crop management factors influencing the runoff potential. Based on the runoff potential score (ranging from 0 to 10), which is linked to a runoff potential class, the Runoff Tool uses in-field and edge-of-the-field Best Management Practices (BMPs) to mitigate runoff (aligned with advice from ECPA's TOPPS-prowadis project). The Runoff tool needs testing in different regions and crops to create a number of use scenarios with regional/crop specific advice on BMPs. For this purpose the Tool has been tested in vineyards of the Tasca d'Almerita and Planeta wineries, which are large family-owned estates with long-standing tradition in viticulture in Sicily. In addition to runoff potential scores, Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) scores have been calculated to allow for a comparison between different diagnostic tools. VSA allows for immediate diagnosis of soil quality (a higher score means a better soil quality) including many indicators of runoff (Shepherd 2008). Runoff potentials were moderate to high in all tested fields. Slopes were classified as

  15. Ten-year assessment of agricultural management and land-use practices on pesticide loads and risk to aquatic biota of an oxbow lake in the Mississippi Delta, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The current chapter examined the combined influence of changing row crop production, implementation of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), and enrollment of 112 ha into Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on pesticide contamination and potential risk to lake aquatic biota in a 914-ha Beasl...

  16. Evaluation and Assessment of Conservation Management Practice Effects on Water Quality – AnnAGNPS Watershed Modeling Studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)–Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollutant Loading model (AnnAGNPS) is a watershed scale, continuous simulation, daily time step, conservation management planning tool that is currently utilized in many field and watershed-scale locations ar...

  17. Current status and potential of conservation biological control for agriculture in the developing world

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation biological control (CBC), often described as the field of biological control with the the greatest potential for use in the developing world, has received only marginal, scattered research attention outside Western Europe or North America. Thus, pesticide overuse remains rampant in many...

  18. Economic impacts on irrigated agriculture of water conservation programs in drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Frank A.

    2014-01-01

    This study analyzes vulnerability, impacts, and adaptability by irrigation to drought.It accounts for economic incentives affecting choices on irrigation technology, crop mix, and water sources.When surface water supplies fall, farmers increase pumping, even when pumping raises production costs.Conservation program subsidies raise the value of food production but can increase crop water depletions.

  19. Farmer Perceptions of Soil and Water Conservation Issues: Implications to Agricultural and Extension Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruening, Thomas; Martin, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    A survey of 731 Iowa farmers received 432 responses indicating that (1) groundwater and water quality were of greater concern than soil conservation; (2) field demonstrations and county meetings were useful information sources on these issues; and (3) government agencies such as cooperative extension and state universities were useful sources of…

  20. The Reduction of Partitioned Wind and Water Erosion by Conservation Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil loss due to wind and water erosion degrades the soil and results in environmental problems downstream and downwind of the source field. Wind and water erosion may both occur to varying extents particularly in semi-arid environments. Soil conservation strategies require information about the p...

  1. Winter Cereal Termination and Conservation Agriculture Cotton Yield Following Mechanical and Chemical Management Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An integral component of conservation-tillage systems in cotton is the use of a high-residue winter cover crop; however, managing such cover crops is a challenge. Black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.), rye (Secale cereale L.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) winter cover crops were established in ear...

  2. Health Teachers' Perceptions and Teaching Practices Regarding Hearing Loss Conservation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Amy; Pakulski, Lori; Price, James; Kleinfelder, Joanne

    2013-01-01

    Background: Limited research has examined the role of school health personnel in the prevention and early identification of hearing impairment. Purpose: This study assessed high school health teachers' perceptions and teaching practices regarding hearing loss conservation. Methods: A 26-item survey based on selected components of the health…

  3. Nitrogen dynamics affected by management practices in croplands transitioning from Conservation Reserve Program

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil N may be lost through mineralization, leaching, and other processes when land under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is converted into croplands. Improved management practices are needed to restore soil N levels and reduce N losses. We evaluated the effects of irrigation, tillage, croppin...

  4. Characterization and placement of wetlands for integrated watershed conservation practice planning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Constructed wetlands have been recognized as an efficient and cost-effective conservation practice to protect water quality through reducing the transport of sediments and nutrients from upstream croplands to downstream water bodies. The challenge resides in targeting the strategic location of wetla...

  5. Quantifying the effects of conservation practice implementation on predicted runoff and chemical losses under climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Soil and Water Assessment Tool with downscaled weather data generated using the MarkSim weather file generator was used to evaluate the impact of long-term conservation practice implementation on runoff, sediment, atrazine, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses in the AXL Watershed located in n...

  6. Effects of Agronomic and Conservation Management Practices On Organic Matter and Associated Properties in Claypan Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic matter plays several important roles in the biogeochemistry of soil and impacts the sustainability and profitability of agroecosystems. Retention and transformation of soil organic matter (SOM) are affected by agronomic and conservation management practices. The primary objective of this stu...

  7. Namibia specific climate smart agricultural land use practices: Challenges and opportunities for enhancing ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Talamondjila Naanda, Martha; Bloemertz, Lena

    2015-04-01

    Agriculture is a backbone for many African economies, with an estimated 70% of Africans active in agricultural production. The sector often does not only directly contribute to, but sustains food security and poverty reduction efforts. Sustaining this productivity poses many challenges, particularly to small scale subsistence farmers (SSF) in dry land areas and semi-arid countries like Namibia. SSF in northern central Namibia mix crop and livestock production on degraded semi-arid lands and nutrient-poor sandy soils. They are fully dependent on agricultural production with limited alternative sources of income. Mostly, their agricultural harvests and outputs are low, not meeting their livelihood needs. At the same time, the land use is often not sustainable, leading to degradation. The Namibia case reveals that addressing underlying economic, social and environmental challenges requires a combination of farm level-soil management practices with a shift towards integrated landscape management. This forms the basis for SSF to adopt sustainable land management practices while building institutional foundations, like establishing SSF cooperatives. One way in which this has been tested is through the concept of incentive-based motivation, i.e. payment for ecosystem services (PES), in which some of the beneficiaries pay, for instance for farmers or land users, who provide the services. The farmers provide these services by substituting their unsustainable land and soil management and adopting new (climate smart agricultural) land use practices. Climate Smart Agricultural land use practices (CSA-LUP) are one way of providing ecosystem services, which could be fundamental to long-term sustainable soil and land management solutions in Africa. There are few PES cases which have been systematically studied from an institutional development structure perspective. This study presents lessons evolving from the notion that direct participation and involvement of local people

  8. 75 FR 4525 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-28

    ...), Combustion System Improvement (Code 372), Conservation Crop Rotation (Code 328), Diversion (Code 362), Dust... energy efficiency of agricultural combustion systems. Conservation Crop Rotation (Code 328)--The revised standard adds a purpose for cropping system diversity and pollinator habitat. Additional criteria have...

  9. Practices to reduce nitrate leaching and increase nitrogen use efficiency in irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quemada, Miguel; Baranski, Marcin; Nobel de Lange, Majimcha; Vallejo, Antonio; Cooper, Julia

    2013-04-01

    Despite the large body of research in irrigated agriculture, it is still not clear which practices most effectively reduce nitrate leaching (NL) while maintaining crop yield. A meta-analysis (MA) of published experimental results from agricultural irrigated systems was conducted to identify those agricultural practices that have proven effective at reducing NL and to quantify the scale of reduction that can be achieved. Forty-four scientific articles were identified which investigated four main strategies (water and fertilizer management, use of cover crops and fertilizer technology) creating a database with 279 observations on NL and 166 on crop yield. Management practices that adjust water application to crop needs reduced NL by a mean of 80% without a reduction in crop yield. Improved fertilizer management reduced NL by 40%, and the best relationship between yield and NL was obtained when applying the recommended N fertilizer rate. Applications above the recommended rate increased leaching without enhancing yield. Replacing a fallow with a non-legume cover crop (CC) reduced NL by 50% while using a legume CC did not have any effect on NL. Legume CC increased yield and N use efficiency while yields following non-legume CC were not different from the fallow. Improved fertilizer technology also decreased NL but was the least effective of the selected strategies. The risk of nitrate leaching from irrigated systems is high, but optimum management practices may mitigate this risk and maintain crop yields while enhancing environmental sustainability.

  10. Hydrologic analysis for selection and placement of conservation practices at the watershed scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C.; Brooks, E. S.; Boll, J.

    2012-12-01

    When a water body is exceeding water quality standards and a Total Maximum Daily Load has been established, conservation practices in the watershed are able to reduce point and non-point source pollution. Hydrological analysis is needed to place conservation practices in the most hydrologically sensitive areas. The selection and placement of conservation practices, however, is challenging in ungauged watersheds with little or no data for the hydrological analysis. The objective of this research is to perform a hydrological analysis for mitigation of erosion and total phosphorus in a mixed land use watershed, and to select and place the conservation practices in the most sensitive areas. The study area is the Hangman Creek watershed in Idaho and Washington State, upstream of Long Lake (WA) reservoir, east of Spokane, WA. While the pollutant of concern is total phosphorus (TP), reductions in TP were translated to total suspended solids or reductions in nonpoint source erosion and sediment delivery to streams. Hydrological characterization was done with a simple web-based tool, which runs the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model for representative land types in the watersheds, where a land type is defined as a unique combination of soil type, slope configuration, land use and management, and climate. The web-based tool used site-specific spatial and temporal data on land use, soil physical parameters, slope, and climate derived from readily available data sources and provided information on potential pollutant pathways (i.e. erosion, runoff, lateral flow, and percolation). Multiple land types representative in the watershed were ordered from most effective to least effective, and displayed spatially using GIS. The methodology for the Hangman Creek watershed was validated in the nearby Paradise Creek watershed that has long-term stream discharge and monitoring as well as land use data. Output from the web-based tool shows the potential reductions for different

  11. Development and application of conservation tillage technologies toward sustainable agriculture in Northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Hong; He, Di; Zhang, Xun

    2005-09-01

    Health and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems in Northeast China have been challenged by over-utilization and inappropriate management. A set of protective measures were developed and applied in Heilongjiang, China, to enhance the farmland sustainability while increasing or maintaining the needed productivity. These measures included no-till farming, return of agricultural residuals, high-efficiency irrigation, integrative pest management, crop rotation, and precision farming with remote sensing and GIS. Equipment and technologies were developed to implement the protective measures. Application of these technologies in the past several years has produced a significant improvement in both ecological and economical aspects. Potential application of such protective measures in other regions of China was also discussed.

  12. The Role of Networks of Practice and Webs of Influencers on Farmers' Engagement with and Learning about Agricultural Innovations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oreszczyn, Sue; Lane, Andy; Carr, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Drawing on the UK research project, "Farmers' understandings of GM crops within local communities", this paper considers the application of the concepts of communities of practice and networks of practice in the agricultural context. A brief review of theories about communities of practice and networks of practice is given and some of…

  13. EPA Announces $3.3 Million in Funding for Water Reuse and Conservation Research/Research will measure health and ecological impacts of water conservation practices

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    WASHINGTON-- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced funding to five institutions to research human and ecological health impacts associated with water reuse and conservation practices.

  14. Effectiveness of Integrated Best Management Practices on Mitigation of Atrazine and Metolachlor in an Agricultural Lake Watershed.

    PubMed

    Lizotte, Richard; Locke, Martin; Bingner, Ronald; Steinriede, R Wade; Smith, Sammie

    2017-04-01

    The study examined the influence of land-use (cropping patterns) and integrated agricultural best management practices (BMPs) on spring herbicide levels in an agricultural watershed. Atrazine and metolachlor were applied for weed control during spring of 1998-2002, 2005, and 2007-2013. Watershed-wide mass of applied herbicides ranged from 12.7 to 209.2 g atrazine and 10.9-302.2 g metolachlor with greatest application during 1998, 2009-2010 (atrazine) and 2007-2013 (metolachlor). Spring herbicide concentrations in Beasley Lake water ranged from below detection to 3.54 μg atrazine/L and 3.01 μg metolachlor/L. Multiple linear regression analyses with cropping patterns, BMPs, rainfall and time as independent variables, showed atrazine applications were associated with increases in cotton acreage and quail buffer, while metolachlor applications increased over time. Multiple linear regressions showed lake atrazine concentrations were associated with conservation tillage, rainfall, and corn, while lake metolachlor concentrations were associated with the cumulative metolachlor application and sediment retention pond installation.

  15. Resource Use Among Rural Agricultural Households Near Protected Areas in Vietnam: The Social Costs of Conservation and Implications for Enforcement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McElwee, Pamela D.

    2010-01-01

    This article examines the use of forests in a protected area by nearby agriculturalists in central Vietnam. Research indicates that the majority of rural farmers interviewed who lived near a state designated protected area were receiving both subsistence and cash incomes from forest-based activities, primarily from the collection of forest products. However, much of the collection of forest produce was officially illegal, as it occurred in state protected forests, and interdiction efforts were on the increase. Yet, little attention has been paid in Vietnam to the need for income substitution for households who lose access to forest produce as a result of conservation enforcement, particularly in the case of farmers who live near, but not in, protected areas; their resources use has been ‘invisible’ due to a lack of attention and research on the topic. This misunderstanding of the importance of forests to rural farmers has the potential to result in households facing adverse welfare and livelihood outcomes as protected areas boundaries are tightened, and local communities face increased opportunity costs due to stricter conservation enforcement. The article concludes that substitution for loss of income due to conservation activities would best be achieved through carefully targeted interventions to specific high-impact and high-dependency households. Additionally, investments in new sources of wage labor and other low capital-input activities, rather than in agriculture, would likely be of most benefit.

  16. Emerging health risks associated with modern agriculture practices: a comprehensive study in India.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Atanu; Aronson, Kristan J; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary W

    2012-05-01

    In order to enhance food production, India has adopted modern agriculture practices and achieved noteworthy success. This achievement was essentially the result of a paradigm shift in agriculture that included high inputs of agrochemicals, water, and widespread practice of monoculture, as well as bureaucratic changes that promoted these changes. There are very few comprehensive analyses of potential adverse health outcomes that may be related to these changes. The objective of this study is to identify health risks associated with modern agricultural practices in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. This study aims to compare high-input and low-input agricultural practices and the consequences for health of people in these communities. The fieldwork was conducted from May to August, 2009 and included a survey carried out in six villages. Data were collected by in-depth personal interviews among 240 households and key informants, field observations, laboratory analyses, and data from secondary sources. The study identified four major visible impacts: occupational hazards, vector borne diseases, changing nutritional status, and inequity in development. In the high-input area, mechanization has resulted in more occurrences of serious accidents and injuries. Ecological changes due to rice cultivation in this area have further augmented mosquito breeding, and there has been a surge in the incidence of Japanese encephalitis and malaria. The traditional coarse cereals (complex carbohydrates, high protein) have been replaced by mill-polished rice (simple carbohydrate, low protein). The prevalence of overweight (BMI>25) has emerged as a new public health challenge, and this is most evident in large-landholding households, especially in the high-input agriculture areas. In all agro-ecological areas, it was observed that women faced a greater risk of both extremes of under-nutrition and being overweight. Output-driven and market-oriented modern agricultural practices have

  17. [Reduction effects of agricultural management practices on non-point source pollution in a watershed in Three Gorges Reservoir Area].

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhi-Lin; Tian, Yao-Wu; Xiao, Wen-Fa; Liu, Zhi-Yan

    2010-06-01

    Taking a typical watershed in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area (TGRA) as test object, the AnnAGNPS model was used to evaluate the reduction effects of different cropping, different fertilization level, conservation tillage practice (CTP), conservation reserve program (CRP), and conversion of cropland into forestland program (CCFP) on the output of agricultural non-point source pollution (NPS) in the watershed. The simulation results showed that different cropping had no significant difference in the effect of reducing sediment yield, but had significant difference in the effect of reducing phosphorus output. Fertilization level had significant effects on the outputs of total nitrogen and total phosphorus. CTP decreased the sediment yield significantly but increased the nutrient output. CRP reduced sediment yield, but had less effect in reducing nutrient output. CCFP reduced both sediment yield and nutrient output significantly. After the implementation of CCFP, the sediment yield output on the croplands with a slope greater than 10 degrees was less than 5 t x hm(-2) and the nutrient output was within the permissible limit.

  18. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-12-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

  19. Innovative use of controlled availability fertilizers with high performance for intensive agriculture and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Shoji, Sadao

    2005-09-01

    A variety of slow release fertilizers, controlled release (availability) fertilizers (CAFs), and stability fertilizers have been developed in response to the serious drawbacks of the conventional fertilizers since the early 1960's. Of these fertilizers, CAFs which are coated with resin are consumed in the largest quantity in the world. Selecting CAFs with higher performance, the author will discuss about: 1) Innovation of agro-technologies for various field crops including new concepts of fertilizer application, 2) high yielding of field crops, 3) enhancing quality and safety of farm products, and 4) controlling the adverse effect of intensive agriculture on the environment.

  20. Are we making the grade? Practices and reported efficacy measures of primate conservation education programs.

    PubMed

    Kling, Katherine J; Hopkins, Mariah E

    2015-04-01

    Conservation education is often employed alongside primate conservation efforts with the aim of changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward non-human primates. Recommended best-use practices include longevity, use of program incentives, collaboration among educators, and adaptive program assessment, among others. This study surveys primate conservation education programs (PCEPs) to assess the frequency of suggested best-use practices, and to investigate impacts on program efficacy. Online surveys were collected from PCEPs in 2013-2014 (N = 43). The majority of programs reported lengths of 5-10 years, with participant involvement ranging widely from a day to several years. Non-economic and economic incentives were distributed by approximately half of all programs, with programs that provided economic incentives reporting positive participant attitude changes more frequently than those that did not (P = 0.03). While >70% of PCEPs consulted with community leaders, local teachers, and research scientists, only 45.9% collaborated with other conservation educators and only 27% collaborated with cultural experts such as cultural anthropologists. Programs that collaborated with other conservation educators were more likely to report reductions in threats to primates, specifically to bushmeat hunting and capture of primates for the pet trade (P = 0.07). Formal program evaluations were employed by 72.1% of all programs, with the majority of programs using surveys to assess changes to participant attitudes and knowledge. Formal evaluations of participant behavior, community attitudes and behaviors, and threats to primate populations were less common. While results indicate that PCEPs follow many suggested best-use practices, program impacts may be enhanced by greater discussion of economic incentivization, increased collaboration between conservation educators, and improved commitment to adaptive evaluation of changes to behaviors in addition to attitudes and

  1. South America's neoliberal agricultural frontiers: places of environmental sacrifice or conservation opportunity?

    PubMed

    Brannstrom, Christian

    2009-05-01

    Neoliberal agricultural frontiers, defined as export-oriented farming areas motivated more by global demand and land privatization than by government subsidies, present at least two major challenges for environmental researchers: estimating land change and understanding governance types and outcomes. Environmental governance, the "filter" between human and biophysical systems, is considered in terms of two models in light of empirical evidence from a neoliberal frontier in the Brazilian Cerrado (savanna) ecoregion. Land-change analysis indicates that agricultural land uses increased from 12% of the study region in 1986 to 44% in 2000 and 55% in 2005, with a corresponding loss of native Cerrado. A prominent farming organization formed in 1990 has participated in or led several environmental policy initiatives. Evidence of both governance models is found, and dilemmas facing environmental activists and managers, as well as the farming sector, are presented. For organizations representing large commercial farmers, compliance with environmental regulations may be seen as both a cost to be borne by the farming sector and as a means to establish environmental credentials. Suggestions are made for future longitudinal work on compliance, information, agenda-setting, and discursive strategies of nonstate actors in neoliberal frontiers.

  2. High-Resolution Biogeochemical Simulation Identifies Practical Opportunities for Bioenergy Landscape Intensification Across Diverse US Agricultural Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Field, J.; Adler, P. R.; Evans, S.; Paustian, K.; Marx, E.; Easter, M.

    2015-12-01

    The sustainability of biofuel expansion is strongly dependent on the environmental footprint of feedstock production, including both direct impacts within feedstock-producing areas and potential leakage effects due to disruption of existing food, feed, or fiber production. Assessing and minimizing these impacts requires novel methods compared to traditional supply chain lifecycle assessment. When properly validated and applied at appropriate spatial resolutions, biogeochemical process models are useful for simulating how the productivity and soil greenhouse gas fluxes of cultivating both conventional crops and advanced feedstock crops respond across gradients of land quality and management intensity. In this work we use the DayCent model to assess the biogeochemical impacts of agricultural residue collection, establishment of perennial grasses on marginal cropland or conservation easements, and intensification of existing cropping at high spatial resolution across several real-world case study landscapes in diverse US agricultural regions. We integrate the resulting estimates of productivity, soil carbon changes, and nitrous oxide emissions with crop production budgets and lifecycle inventories, and perform a basic optimization to generate landscape cost/GHG frontiers and determine the most practical opportunities for low-impact feedstock provisioning. The optimization is constrained to assess the minimum combined impacts of residue collection, land use change, and intensification of existing agriculture necessary for the landscape to supply a commercial-scale biorefinery while maintaining exiting food, feed, and fiber production levels. These techniques can be used to assess how different feedstock provisioning strategies perform on both economic and environmental criteria, and sensitivity of performance to environmental and land use factors. The included figure shows an example feedstock cost-GHG mitigation tradeoff frontier for a commercial-scale cellulosic

  3. Climate sensitivity of DSSAT under different agriculture practice scenarios in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, L.; Robock, A.

    2014-12-01

    Crop yields are sensitive to both agricultural practice and climate changes. Under different agricultural practice scenarios, crop yield may have different climate sensitivities. Since it is important to understand how future climate changes affect agriculture productivity and what the potential adaptation strategies would be to compensate for possible negative impacts on crop production, we performed experiments to study climate sensitivity under different agricultural practice scenarios for rice, maize and wheat in the top four production provinces in China using the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) crop model. The agricultural practice scenarios include four categories: different amounts of nitrogen fertilizer or no nitrogen stress; irrigation turned on or off, or no water stress; all possible seeds in the DSSAT cultivar data base; and different planting dates. For the climate sensitivity test, the control climate is from 1998 to 2007, and we individually modify four climate variables: daily maximum and minimum temperature by +2 °C and -2 °C, daily precipitation by +20% and -20%, and daily solar radiation by + 20% and -20%. With more nitrogen fertilizer applied, crops are more sensitive to temperature changes as well as precipitation changes because of their release from nitrogen limitation. With irrigation turned on, crop yield sensitivity to temperature decreases in most of the regions depending on the amount of the local precipitation, since more water is available and soil temperature varies less with higher soil moisture. Those results indicate that there could be possible agriculture adaptation strategies under certain future climate scenarios. For example, increasing nitrogen fertilizer usage by a certain amount might compensate for the negative impact on crop yield from climate changes. However, since crops are more sensitive to climate changes when there is more nitrogen fertilizer applied, if the climate changes are

  4. Effects of different management practices on fungal biodiversity in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borriello, R.; Lumini, E.; Bonfante, P.; Bianciotto, V.

    2009-04-01

    Symbiotic associations between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant roots are widespread in natural environments and provide a range of benefits to the host plant. These include improved nutrition, enhanced resistance to soil-borne pests, diseases, and drought, as well as tolerance to heavy metals. In addition, the presence of a well developed AMF hyphal network improve the soil structure. As obligate mutualistic symbionts these fungi colonize the roots of many agricultural crops and it is often claimed that agricultural practices (use of fertilizers and biocides, tillage, dominance of monocultures and the growing of non-mycorrhizal crops) are detrimental to AMF. As a result, agro ecosystems impoverished in AMF may not get the fully expected range of benefits from these fungi. Using molecular markers on DNA extracted directly from soil and roots we studied the effects of different management practices (tillage and nitrogen fertilization) on the AMF populations colonizing an experimental agro ecosystem in Central Italy. Fungi in roots and soil were identified by cloning and sequencing a region of ~550bp of the 18S rDNA and ~600bp of the 28S rDNA. In symbiosis with the maize roots we detected only members of Glomeraceae group A that showed decrement in number under nitrogen fertilization. Instead in soil were mainly present members of two AMF groups, respectively Gigasporaceae and Glomeraceae group A. In addition only the low input management practices preserve also members of Diversisporaceae and Glomeraceae group B. From our study we can conclude that agricultural practices can directly or indirectly influence AMF biodiversity. The result of this study highlight the importance and significant effects of the long term nitrogen fertilization and tillage practices on specific groups of fungi playing a key role in arable soils. The research was founded by Biodiversity Project (IPP-CNR) and by SOILSINK (FISR-MIUR)

  5. Production and conservation outcomes of a decade-long field-scale precision agriculture system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evaluation of site-specific crop management has often considered only a single management practice at a time. Research is needed that simultaneously considers economic and environmental objectives in crop production. From over a decade (1993-2003) of yield and soil mapping and water quality assess...

  6. Influence of management practices on microbial nitrogen cyclers in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; McMillan, Mary; Pereg, Lily

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural land management has great influences on soil properties, in particular on microbial communities, due to their sensitivity to the perturbations of the soils. This is even more relevant in Mediterranean agricultural areas under semi-arid conditions. The Mediterranean belt is suffering from an intense degradation of its soils due to the millennia of intense land use and due to unsustainable management practices. As a consequence this area is suffering from a depletion of N content. In this work we investigated the effect of several traditional agricultural management practices on specific functional groups related to the nitrogen cycle in the soil. A field experiment was performed with orchard orange trees (citrus sinesis) in Eastern Spain to assess the long-term effects of ploughing with inorganic fertilization (PI) and ecological practices (EP) (chipped pruned branches and weeds as well as manure from sheep and goats) on microbes that can undertake nitrogen fixation and denitrification. Nine samples of soil were taken from every treatment, near the drip irrigation point and in a zone without the influence of drip irrigation (between trees row), and total DNA extracted. DNA samples were stored at minus-20°C to be analysed by qPCR. Microbial populations involved in the N biochemical cycle were analysed by targeted amplification of key functional biomarker genes: the abundance of nifH (nitrogen fixation), nirS, nirK and nosZ (denitrification) detected by quantitative PCR (qPCR) has shown significant differences between treatments with higher abundance of all four genes in soils from ecological agricultural treatments. This may indicate that the ecological treatment created conditions that are more suitable for N cyclers in the soil and a better fertility and quality status of these soils.

  7. Effects of agricultural practices of three crops on the soil communities under Mediterranean conditions: field evaluation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo

    2014-05-01

    Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil

  8. Indigenous burning as conservation practice: neotropical savanna recovery amid agribusiness deforestation in Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Welch, James R; Brondízio, Eduardo S; Hetrick, Scott S; Coimbra, Carlos E A

    2013-01-01

    International efforts to address climate change by reducing tropical deforestation increasingly rely on indigenous reserves as conservation units and indigenous peoples as strategic partners. Considered win-win situations where global conservation measures also contribute to cultural preservation, such alliances also frame indigenous peoples in diverse ecological settings with the responsibility to offset global carbon budgets through fire suppression based on the presumed positive value of non-alteration of tropical landscapes. Anthropogenic fire associated with indigenous ceremonial and collective hunting practices in the Neotropical savannas (cerrado) of Central Brazil is routinely represented in public and scientific conservation discourse as a cause of deforestation and increased CO2 emissions despite a lack of supporting evidence. We evaluate this claim for the Xavante people of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Reserve, Brazil. Building upon 23 years of longitudinal interdisciplinary research in the area, we used multi-temporal spatial analyses to compare land cover change under indigenous and agribusiness management over the last four decades (1973-2010) and quantify the contemporary Xavante burning regime contributing to observed patterns based on a four year sample at the end of this sequence (2007-2010). The overall proportion of deforested land remained stable inside the reserve (0.6%) but increased sharply outside (1.5% to 26.0%). Vegetation recovery occurred where reserve boundary adjustments transferred lands previously deforested by agribusiness to indigenous management. Periodic traditional burning by the Xavante had a large spatial distribution but repeated burning in consecutive years was restricted. Our results suggest a need to reassess overreaching conservation narratives about the purported destructiveness of indigenous anthropogenic fire in the cerrado. The real challenge to conservation in the fire-adapted cerrado biome is the long

  9. Indigenous Burning as Conservation Practice: Neotropical Savanna Recovery amid Agribusiness Deforestation in Central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Welch, James R.; Brondízio, Eduardo S.; Hetrick, Scott S.; Coimbra, Carlos E. A.

    2013-01-01

    International efforts to address climate change by reducing tropical deforestation increasingly rely on indigenous reserves as conservation units and indigenous peoples as strategic partners. Considered win-win situations where global conservation measures also contribute to cultural preservation, such alliances also frame indigenous peoples in diverse ecological settings with the responsibility to offset global carbon budgets through fire suppression based on the presumed positive value of non-alteration of tropical landscapes. Anthropogenic fire associated with indigenous ceremonial and collective hunting practices in the Neotropical savannas (cerrado) of Central Brazil is routinely represented in public and scientific conservation discourse as a cause of deforestation and increased CO2 emissions despite a lack of supporting evidence. We evaluate this claim for the Xavante people of Pimentel Barbosa Indigenous Reserve, Brazil. Building upon 23 years of longitudinal interdisciplinary research in the area, we used multi-temporal spatial analyses to compare land cover change under indigenous and agribusiness management over the last four decades (1973–2010) and quantify the contemporary Xavante burning regime contributing to observed patterns based on a four year sample at the end of this sequence (2007–2010). The overall proportion of deforested land remained stable inside the reserve (0.6%) but increased sharply outside (1.5% to 26.0%). Vegetation recovery occurred where reserve boundary adjustments transferred lands previously deforested by agribusiness to indigenous management. Periodic traditional burning by the Xavante had a large spatial distribution but repeated burning in consecutive years was restricted. Our results suggest a need to reassess overreaching conservation narratives about the purported destructiveness of indigenous anthropogenic fire in the cerrado. The real challenge to conservation in the fire-adapted cerrado biome is the long

  10. Practical approaches for assessing local land use change and conservation priorities in the tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivas, Cassandra J.

    Tropical areas typically support high biological diversity; however, many are experiencing rapid land-use change. The resulting loss, fragmentation, and degradation of habitats place biodiversity at risk. For these reasons, the tropics are frequently identified as global conservation hotspots. Safeguarding tropical biodiversity necessitates successful and efficient conservation planning and implementation at local scales, where land use decisions are made and enforced. Yet, despite considerable agreement on the need for improved practices, planning may be difficult due to limited resources, such as funding, data, and expertise, especially for small conservation organizations in tropical developing countries. My thesis aims to assist small, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), operating in tropical developing countries, in overcoming resource limitations by providing recommendations for improved conservation planning. Following a brief introduction in Chapter 1, I present a literature review of systematic conservation planning (SCP) projects in the developing tropics. Although SCP is considered an efficient, effective approach, it requires substantial data and expertise to conduct the analysis and may present challenges for implementation. I reviewed and synthesized the methods and results of 14 case studies to identify practical ways to implement and overcome limitations for employing SCP. I found that SCP studies in the peer-reviewed literature were primarily implemented by researchers in large organizations or institutions, as opposed to on-the-ground conservation planners. A variety of data types were used in the SCP analyses, many of which data are freely available. Few case studies involved stakeholders and intended to implement the assessment; instead, the case studies were carried out in the context of research and development, limiting local involvement and implementation. Nonetheless, the studies provided valuable strategies for employing each step of

  11. Assessment of MODIS spectral indices for determining rice paddy agricultural practices and hydroperiod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tornos, Lucia; Huesca, Margarita; Dominguez, Jose Antonio; Moyano, Maria Carmen; Cicuendez, Victor; Recuero, Laura; Palacios-Orueta, Alicia

    2015-03-01

    Rice agricultural practices and hydroperiod dates must be determined to obtain information on water management practices and their environmental effects. Spectral indices derived from an 8-day MODIS composite allows to identify rice phenometrics at varying degrees of success. The aims of this study were (1) to assess the dynamics of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI(1) and NDWI(2)) and Shortwave Angle Slope Index (SASI) in relation to rice agricultural practices and hydroperiod, and (2) to assess the capability for these indices to detect phenometrics in rice under different flooding regimes. Two rice farming areas in Spain that are governed under different water management practices, the Ebro Delta and Orellana, were studied over a 12-year period (2001-2012). The index time series autocorrelation function was calculated to determine index dynamics in both areas. Secondly, average indices were calculated to identify significant points close to key agricultural and flooding dates, and index behaviors and capacities to identify phenometrics were assessed on a pixel level. The index autocorrelation function produced a regular pattern in both zones, being remarkably homogeneous in the Ebro Delta. It was concluded that a combination of NDVI, NDWI(1), NDWI(2) and SASI may improve the results obtained through each index. NDVI was more effective at detecting the heading date and flooding trends in the Ebro Delta. NDWI(1), NDWI(2) and SASI identified the harvest and the end of environmental flooding in the Delta, and the flooding in Orellana, more effectively. These results may set strong foundations for the development of new strategies in rice monitoring systems, providing useful information to policy makers and environmental studies.

  12. Spatial data in geographic information system format on agricultural chemical use, land use, cropping practices in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Battaglin, W.A.; Goolsby, D.A.

    1995-01-01

    The spatial data in geographic information system format described in this report consist of estimates for all counties in the conterminous United States of the annual use of 96 herbicides in 1989; annual sales of nitrogen fertilizer, in tons, for 1985-91; and agricultural expenses, land use, chemical use, livestock holdings, and cropping practices in 1987. The source information, originally in tabular form, is summarized as digital polygon attribute data in the 18 geographic information system spatial data layers (coverages) provided. The information in these coverages can be used in estimating regional agricultural-chemical use or agricultural practices and in producing visual displays and mapping relative rates of agricultural-chemical use or agricultural practices across broad regions of the United States.

  13. Conservation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camp Fire Girls, Inc., New York, NY.

    The first section of this manual has been developed to help leaders and youth examine and gradually understand some of the more complex environmental factors. It helps to explain what things are where and why, why a certain project has been suggested, whether it is a practical one for a given place, and what must be known before it can be…

  14. Ammonia Emissions from the Agriculture Sector of Argentina in a Context of Changing Technologies and Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dawidowski, L. E.

    2015-12-01

    Agriculture is a key sector of the Argentinean economy, accounting for 6 to 8 5% of the GDP in the last ten years. Argentina switched in the 90´s from an articulated co-evolution between extensive livestock and crop farming, with annual rotation of crops and livestock, to intensive decoupled practices. Under these new production schemes, ecosystems were supplied with more nutrients, generating increasing levels of wastes. Other changes have also occurred, associated with the shift of the agricultural frontier and the consequent reduction in the cattle stock. In addition, changes related to climate through the strong increase in rainfall in the 80s and 90s in the west Pampas, helped to boost agricultural development. The agriculture sector accounts for practically all NH3 emissions in Argentina, however no inventory has been thus far available. To bridge this gap and particularly to have accurate input information to run coupled atmospheric chemistry models for secondary inorganic aerosols, we estimated 2000-2012 NH3 emissions, both at national and spatially disaggregated levels. Of particular interest for us was also temporal disaggregation as crops growing and temperature exhibit strong seasonal variability. As no NH3 inventory was available we also estimated related N2O emissions to verify our estimates with those of national GHG emission inventory (NEI). National NH3 emissions in 2012 amounted to 309.9 Gg, use of fertilizers accounted for 43.6%, manure management 18,9%, manure in pasture 36,0% and agricultural waste burning 1.5%. Our N2O estimates are in good agreement with the GHG-NEI. NH3 estimates in the EDGAR database for 2008 are 84.0% higher than ours for this year, and exhibit more significant differences per category, namely 113,6% higher for use of fertilizers and about 500% higher for agricultural waste burning. Urea dominates national NH3 emissions, accounting for 32,8% of the total and its use for wheat and corn crops dominates the trend.

  15. Glucosinolates profile and antioxidant capacity of Romanian Brassica vegetables obtained by organic and conventional agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Vicas, Simona I; Teusdea, Alin C; Carbunar, Mihai; Socaci, Sonia A; Socaciu, Carmen

    2013-09-01

    The profile of glucosinolates in relation to the antioxidant capacity of five Brassica vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, White and Red Cabbage) grown by organic and conventional agricultural practices in Transylvania region-Romania, were determined and compared. The qualitative and quantitative compositions of glucosinolates were determined by HPLC-PDA technique. The antioxidant capacity was comparatively determined by ABTS, DPPH, FRAP and Folin-Ciocalteu assays. The highest glucosinolates levels were found in the Broccoli samples grown under conventional practices (14.24 μmol/g dry weight), glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin and neo-glucobrassicin being the major components. The total glucosinolates content was similar in Kohlrabi and Cauliflower (4.89 and 4.84 μmol/g dry weight, respectively), the indolyl glucosinolates were predominant in Kohlrabi, while the aliphatic derivatives (sinigrin and glucoiberin) were major in Cauliflower. In Cabbage samples, the aliphatic glucosinolates were predominat against indolyl derivatives, glucoraphanin and glucoiberin being the main ones in Red Cabbage. The principal component analysis was applied to discriminate among conventional and organic samples and demonstrated non-overlaps between these two agricultural practices. Meanwhile it was shown that glucosinolates may represent appropriate molecular markers of Brassica vegetables, their antioxidant capacity being higher in organic crops, without significant differences among different Brassica varieties.

  16. Modeling Soil Organic Carbon for Agricultural Land Use Under Various Management Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotamarthi, V. R.; Drewniak, B.; Song, J.; Prell, J.; Jacob, R. L.

    2009-12-01

    Bioenergy is generating tremendous interest as an alternative energy source that is both environmentally friendly and economically competitive. The amount of land designated for agriculture is expected to expand, including changes in the current distribution of crops, as demand for biofuels increases as a carbon neutral alternative fuel source. However, the influence of agriculture on the carbon cycle is complex, and varies depending on land use change and management practices. The purpose of this research is to integrate agriculture in the carbon-nitrogen based Community Land Model (CLM) to evaluate the above and below ground carbon storage for corn, soybean, and wheat crop lands. The new model, CLM-Crop simulates carbon allocation during four growth stages, a soybean nitrogen fixation scheme, fertilizer, and harvest practices. We present results from this model simulation, which includes the impact of a new dynamic roots module to simulate the changing root structure and depth with growing season based on the availability of water and nitrogen in the root zone and a retranslocation scheme to simulate redistribution of nitrogen from leaves, roots, and stems to grain during organ development for crop yields, leaf area index (LAI), carbon allocation, and changes in soil carbon budgets under various practices such as fertilizer and residue management. Simulated crop yields for corn, soybean and wheat are in general agreement with measurements. Initial model results indicate a loss of soil organic carbon over cultivated lands after removal of natural vegetation which continues in the following years. Soil carbon in crop lands is a strong function of the residue management and has the potential to impact crop yields significantly.

  17. Metal uptake by agricultural plant species grown in sludge-amended soil following ecosystem restoration practices

    SciTech Connect

    Peles, J.D.; Barrett, G.W.; Brewer, S.R.

    1996-12-01

    The disposal of municipal sewage sludge is an important environmental problem presently facing society. Because sludge is rich in plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, land application as a fertilizer has been proposed as a cost-effective means of disposal. This method of disposal, however, is frequently the subject of public health concern since municipal sludge may contain heavy metals that potentially could be introduced into the human food chain. This study examined metal concentrations in two agricultural species at a study site where ecosystem restoration practices (liming and tilling) had been conducted for 5 years following 11 years of sludge enrichment. 11 refs., 2 tabs.

  18. Using agricultural practices information for multiscale environmental assessment of phosphorus risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matos Moreira, Mariana; Lemercier, Blandine; Michot, Didier; Dupas, Rémi; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2015-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for plant growth. In intensively farmed areas, excessive applications of animal manure and mineral P fertilizers to soils have raised both economic and ecological concerns. P accumulation in agricultural soils leads to increased P losses to surface waterbodies contributing to eutrophication. Increasing soil P content over time in agricultural soils is often correlated with agricultural practices; in Brittany (NW France), an intensive livestock farming region, soil P content is well correlated with animal density (Lemercier et al.,2008). Thus, a better understanding of the factors controlling P distribution is required to enable environmental assessment of P risk. The aim of this study was to understand spatial distribution of extractable (Olsen method) and total P contents and its controlling factors at the catchment scale in order to predict P contents at regional scale (Brittany). Data on soil morphology, soil tests (including P status, particles size, organic carbon…) for 198 punctual positions, crops succession since 20 years, agricultural systems, field and animal manure management were obtained on a well-characterized catchment (ORE Agrhys, 10 km²). A multivariate analysis with mixed quantitative variables and factors and a digital soil mapping approach were performed to identify variables playing a significant role in soil total and extractable P contents and distribution. Spatial analysis was performed by means of the Cubist model, a decision tree-based algorithm. Different scenarios were assessed, considering various panels of predictive variables: soil data, terrain attributes derived from digital elevation model, gamma-ray spectrometry (from airborne geophysical survey) and agricultural practices information. In the research catchment, mean extractable and total P content were 140.0 ± 63.4 mg/kg and 2862.7 ± 773.0 mg/kg, respectively. Organic and mineral P inputs, P balance, soil pH, and Al contents were

  19. Sustainable Farming Practices: Ghanaian Farmers' Perception of Erosion and Their Use of Conservation Measures.

    PubMed

    Veihe

    2000-04-01

    / Soil erosion in Africa has been in the limelight over the last two decades with researchers and policy-makers calling for sustainable farming practices. This is often based on the assumption that farmers have a poor perception and little knowledge about soil erosion and conservation measures and completely ignores the realities of the Africanenvironment and the socioeconomic constraints farmers are faced with. This paper investigates the way farmers in northern Ghana perceive soil erosion and their rationality when it comes to their choice of conservation measures, and the question is asked whether the existing farming practices can be considered sustainable. Based on this study it appears that farmers have a clear perception of the problem and adopt a wide range of conservation measures, depending on the availability of stones and grasses, possible side effects associated with using these measures, as well as the time spent on establishing and maintaining them. This study shows that when trying to find solutions to soil erosion problems, both the physical and socioeconomic realities of the environment have to be considered.

  20. Climate benefits of changes in agricultural practices in the context of heat wave mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davin, E.; Seneviratne, S. I.; Ciais, P.; Olioso, A.; Wang, T.

    2014-12-01

    About half of the terrestrial biosphere is under direct human influence through land management (i.e., agricultural areas and managed forests). Changing management practices is therefore a promising avenue for climate change mitigation. The mitigation potential arising from changes in land management practices has been mainly evaluated in terms of carbon storage and GHG emissions [2]. On the other hand, these practices can also influence climate by altering the physical properties of the land surface, but these effects have received less attention so far. Here we show that peak temperatures during heat heaves can be attenuated through cropland albedo management [2]. We first present observational evidence that a substantial summer albedo increase can be obtained by switching from conventional to no-till agriculture. Then, using a regional climate model, we investigate the biogeophysical effect of a full conversion to no-till management over Europe. The cooling effect owing to albedo increase under no-till farming appears to be strongly amplified during warm events. This is due to the low cloud cover during these events, thus leading to a more efficient radiative cooling from albedo change. This implies a strong potential of no-till farming to mitigate heat wave impacts. The reduced evaporation associated with the crop residue cover tends to counteract the albedo-induced cooling, but during hot days the albedo effect remains the dominating factor. For heatwave summer days the local cooling effect gained from no-till practice is of the order of 2 degrees. These findings strongly suggest that the biogeophysical effect of management practices should be considered in the design of climate mitigation policies involving land management. References:[1] Smith, P. et al. (2014): Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). In Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel

  1. [Good agricultural practice (GAP) of Chinese materia medica (CMM) for ten years: achievements, problems and proposals].

    PubMed

    Guo, Lan-Ping; Zhang, Yan; Zhu, Shou-Dong; Wang, Gui-Hua; Wang, Xiu; Zhang, Xiao-Bo; Chen, Mei-Lan; He, Ya-Li; Han, Bang-Xing; Chen, Nai-Fu; Huang, Lu-Qi

    2014-04-01

    This paper aims to summarize the achievements during the implementation process of good agricultural practice (GAP) in Chinese Materia Medica (CMM), and on basis of analyzing the existing problems of GAP, to propose further implementation of GAP in TCM growing. Since the launch of GAP in CMM growing ten years ago, it has acquired great achievements, including: (1) The promulgation of a series of measures for the administration of the GAP approval in the CMM growing; (2) The expanded planting area of CMM; (3) The increased awareness of standardized CMM growing among farmers and enterprises; (4) The establishment of GAP implementation bases for CMM growing; (5) The improvement of theory and methodology for CMM growing; (6) The development of a large group of experts and scholars in GAP approval for CMM production. The problems existing in the production include: (1) A deep understanding of GAP and its certification is still needed; (2) The distribution of the certification base is not reasonable; (3) The geo-economics effect and the backward farming practices are thought to be the bottlenecks in the standardization of CMM growing and the scale production of CMM; (4) Low comparative effectiveness limits the development of the GAP; (5) The base of breeding improved variety is blank; (6) The immature of the cultivation technique lead to the risk of production process; (7) The degradation of soil microbial and the continuous cropping obstacle restrict the sustainable development of the GAP base. To further promote the health and orderly GAP in the CMM growing, the authors propose: (1) To change the mode of production; (2) To establish a sound standard system so as to ensure quality products for fair prices; (3) To fully consider the geo-economic culture and vigorously promote the definite cultivating of traditional Chinese medicinal materials; (4) To strengthen the transformation and generalization of basic researches and achievements, in order to provide technical

  2. Reductions in non-point source pollution through different management practices for an agricultural watershed in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yaowu; Huang, Zhilin; Xiao, Wenfa

    2010-01-01

    Non-point source water pollution generated by agricultural production is considered a major environmental issue in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area (TGRA) of China. The Annualised Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution (AnnAGNPS) model was selected to assess the impact of the application of various management treats, including seven crops, five fertilizer levels and three-group management practice scenarios, on water quality from Heigou River Watershed in TGRA. The scenario subsets include conservation tillage practice (CTP), conservation reserve program (CRP) and conversion of cropland into forestland program (CCFP). Results indicated that tea can not be replaced by other crops because comparatively tea resulted in a higher sediment yield. CTP with no-tillage was more effective to reduce sediment yield, but could increased nutrient loss. CRP reduced sediment yield significantly, but slightly benefited on nutrient loss. CCFP reduced not only sediment yield but also the nutrient loss significantly. The conversion of cropland with a slope greater than 10 degrees into forestland was found to be the best scenario as the sediment yield export is less than 5 tons/ha and nutrient loss is within the permissible limit.

  3. Collaboration between the US Forest Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service on the complementary conservation of crop wild relatives in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two USDA agencies, the Forest Service (USFS) and the Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) are cooperating on the complementary conservation of crop wild relatives (CWR) native to the United States. The USFS manages 193 million acres of National Forest System lands in 43 states and provides suppo...

  4. An investigation of the practice of scientific inquiry in secondary science and agriculture courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grady, Julie R.

    The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to investigate the practice of scientific inquiry in two secondary biology classes and one agriculture class from different schools in different communities. The focus was on teachers' interests and intentions for the students' participation in inquiry, the voices contributing to the inquiry, and students' opportunities to confront their conceptions of the nature of science (NOS). The Partnership for Research and Education in Plants (PREP) served as the context by providing students with opportunities to design and conduct original experiments to help elucidate the function(s) of a disabled gene in Arabidopsis thaliana . Transcripts of teacher and student semi-structured interviews, field notes of classroom observations and classroom conversations, and documents (e.g., student work, teacher handouts, school websites, PREP materials) were analyzed for evidence of the practice of scientific inquiry. Teachers were interested in implementing inquiry because of potential student learning about scientific research and because PREP supports course content and is connected to a larger scientific project outside of the school. Teachers' intentions regarding the implementation of inquiry reflected the complexity of their courses and the students' previous experiences. All inquiries were student-directed. The biology students' participation more closely mirrored the practice of scientists, while the agriculture students were more involved with the procedural display of scientific inquiry. All experiences could have been enhanced from additional knowledge-centered activities regarding scientific reasoning. No activities brought explicit attention to NOS. Biology activities tended to implicitly support NOS while the agriculture class activities tended to implicitly contradict NOS. Scientists' interactions contributed to implied support of the NOS. There were missed opportunities for explicit attention to NOS in all classes

  5. Impact of agricultural management practices on DOC leaching - results of a long-term lysimeter study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, A.; Ollesch, G.; Seeger, J.; Meißner, R.; Rode, M.

    2009-04-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes are recently increasing in surface waters of humid climate regions. Due to its substantial importance for leaching processes, aquatic foodwebs, and drinking water purification a better understanding of sources and pathways of DOC is needed. Therefore this study aims to analyse and simulate DOC fluxes in agricultural ecosystems with selected crop rotations. A data set of 24 lysimeters of the UFZ Lysimeter station at Falkenberg (Saxony-Anhalt) covering nine years of DOC investigation has been selected and examined. The data set covers a wide range of climatic conditions with deviating management practices for grasslands and agricultural crop rotations. The monthly DOC concentrations assessed in the leached water range from 2.4 to 34.1 mg /l. DOC concentrations depend on temperature, precipitation and discharge. The type of crop grown on the lysimeter is an important trigger for DOC leaching - especially lysimeters used as pasture, or planted with rape and carrots exhibit high DOC concentrations. Management practices and fertilizer application modify the leaching of DOC and offer potentials to reduce DOC losses. The results form the basis of further process simulation studies and upscaling of the results to the small catchment scale.

  6. Irrigation water quality and the benefits of implementing good agricultural practices during tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) production.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Acosta, M; Jiménez, M; Chaidez, C; León-Félix, J; Castro-Del Campo, N

    2014-07-01

    The implementation of good agricultural practices (GAP) from irrigation water to the tomato packaging process enhances the safety of fresh produce and its value throughout the food chain. The aim of the present study was to show that fresh produce farms that apply and enforce GAP could reduce the presence of Salmonella in finished produce. Samples were collected biweekly from six packing houses from the central region of Sinaloa, México, for the isolation of Salmonella spp by the ISO 6579:2002 method, and the isolated strains were serotyped and genotyped by the Kauffmman-White scheme and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively. Salmonella strains were detected in 13 (36.1 %) irrigation water samples, while only two tomato samples were positive (5.5 %). Eight different serotypes were identified in irrigation water, and Salmonella Oranienburg (34 %) was the most prevalent; however, only Salmonella Agona and Salmonella Weltevreden were present on tomatoes. Salmonella Oranienburg was the most widely dispersed and variable serotype, with 10 different PFGE profiles. Salmonella Weltevreden was isolated from both types of samples, albeit with distinct genetic profiles, implying that the sources of contamination differ. These results confirm the utility of implementing good agricultural practices to reduce Salmonella contamination in irrigation water and the packaging process.

  7. The effect of changes in agricultural practices on the density of Dermacentor reticulatus ticks.

    PubMed

    Mierzejewska, Ewa J; Alsarraf, Mohammed; Behnke, Jerzy M; Bajer, Anna

    2015-07-30

    The impact of agricultural practices/ activities on the environment has been falling in many areas of Europe due to the widespread exodus of inhabitants from rural areas. The associated abandonment of agricultural lands has enabled a wide range of wild animals to prosper in the countryside, including birds, ungulates and large carnivores. One consequence has been the increase in ticks and associated tick-borne diseases which now constitute a greater threat for public health than earlier. The aim of the present study was to compare tick densities in different habitats (pasture, meadow, fallow land, post-fire areas) to assess the impact of different agricultural practices on tick densities in vicinities close to human habitation. Between September 2011 and June 2014, 2985 Dermacentor reticulatus ticks were collected by conventional dragging, in the Mazowieckie (Mazovia) and Warmińsko-Mazurskie (Masuria) regions of Poland. In each region, 3 study sites were selected, each situated near surface water sources (i.e., ponds or canals). At each site, three neighboring habitats of surface area 150-600 m(2) were dragged: one on a cattle/horse pasture; the second on meadow; the third on fallow land (abandoned field or meadow), at least twice during each spring and autumn. Additionally, four post-fire areas (one in 2013 and three in 2014) were identified in the Mazowieckie region, and dragging was conducted there in spring and autumn, including in each case a 'control area' comprising intact unburned fallow land situated in close vicinity to the burned areas. Eight hundred D. reticulatus ticks were collected and the densities were compared by multifactorial ANOVA. The highest tick densities were recorded on the fallow lands, and the lowest - on the grazed pastures. Tick densities were up to 10 × times higher on the control sites compared to neighboring post-fire sites.

  8. Final report on implementation of energy conservation practices training in selected public housing developments

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

    This report on the implementation of energy conservation practices training in selected public housing developments represents an initiative of the Research and Education Division, Office of Minority Economic Impact, US Department of Energy. The Office of Minority Economic Impact (MI) was created by Congress in 1979, within the US Department of Energy, to afford the Secretary advice on the effect policies, regulations and other actions of DOE respecting minority participation in energy programs. The Director of MI is responsible for the conduct of ongoing research into the effects, including socio-economic and environmental, of national energy programs, policies, and regulations of the Department of minorities. Public housing in the United States is dominated by minorities, public housing is a large consumer of residential energy. Consequently, this project is a logical merging of these two factors and an attempt to somehow influence energy savings through improving public housing residents` energy-consumption practices. This final report attempts to capture the results of this current demonstration, and incorporate the historical basis for today`s results by renewing the efforts that preceded the implementation of energy conservation practices training in selected public housing developments.

  9. Final report on implementation of energy conservation practices training in selected public housing developments

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

    This report on the implementation of energy conservation practices training in selected public housing developments represents an initiative of the Research and Education Division, Office of Minority Economic Impact, US Department of Energy. The Office of Minority Economic Impact (MI) was created by Congress in 1979, within the US Department of Energy, to afford the Secretary advice on the effect policies, regulations and other actions of DOE respecting minority participation in energy programs. The Director of MI is responsible for the conduct of ongoing research into the effects, including socio-economic and environmental, of national energy programs, policies, and regulations of the Department of minorities. Public housing in the United States is dominated by minorities, public housing is a large consumer of residential energy. Consequently, this project is a logical merging of these two factors and an attempt to somehow influence energy savings through improving public housing residents' energy-consumption practices. This final report attempts to capture the results of this current demonstration, and incorporate the historical basis for today's results by renewing the efforts that preceded the implementation of energy conservation practices training in selected public housing developments.

  10. Nutrient delivery from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and effects of cropland conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Excessive nutrients transported from the Mississippi River Basin have created an ecological disaster - Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. Also, in recent years, federal expenditures on agricultural conservation practices have received intense scrutiny. Partly driven by these factors, the USDA Conservation Ef...

  11. An integrated modeling approach for estimating the water quality benefits of conservation practices at the river basin scale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA initiated the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices at regional and national scales. For this assessment, a sampling and modeling approach is used. This paper provides a technical overview of the modeling approach use...

  12. Farmer's Incentives for Adoption of Recommended Farm Practices in Wheat Crop in Aligarh Intensive Agricultural District, India.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vidyarthy, Gopal Saran

    This study was undertaken to identify farmer incentives that led them to adopt wheat crop practices in Aligarh Intensive Agricultural District Program: the association between the farmer's characteristics and adoption groups; the incentives that lead the farmers to adopt recommended wheat crop practices; relationship between identified incentives…

  13. Conservation program and practice effects on ecosystem services in the mid atlantic region of the U.S

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Mid-Atlantic Regional (MIAR) Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP-Wetland) study area covers approximately ~58,000 km2 in the eastern United States, including areas of within five states (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New...

  14. Identification and Prioritization of Management Practices to Reduce Methylmercury Exports from Wetlands and Irrigated Agricultural Lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCord, Stephen A.; Heim, Wesley A.

    2015-03-01

    The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta's (Delta) beneficial uses for humans and wildlife are impaired by elevated methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in fish. MeHg is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs. The total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plan aimed at reducing MeHg in Delta fish obligates dischargers to conduct MeHg control studies. Over 150 stakeholders collaborated to identify 24 management practices (MPs) addressing MeHg nonpoint sources (NPS) in three categories: biogeochemistry (6), hydrology (14), and soil/vegetation (4). Land uses were divided into six categories: permanently and seasonally flooded wetlands, flooded and irrigated agricultural lands, floodplains, and brackish-fresh tidal marshes. Stakeholders scored MPs based on seven criteria: scientific certainty, costs, MeHg reduction potential, spatial applicability, technical capacity to implement, negative impacts to beneficial uses, and conflicting requirements. Semi-quantitative scoring for MPs applicable to each land use (totaling >400 individual scores) led to consensus-based prioritization. This process relied on practical experience from diverse and accomplished NPS stakeholders and synthesis of 17 previous studies. Results provide a comprehensive, stakeholder-driven prioritization of MPs for wetland and irrigated agricultural land managers. Final prioritization highlights the most promising MPs for practical application and control study, and a secondary set of MPs warranting further evaluation. MPs that address hydrology and soil/vegetation were prioritized because experiences were positive and implementation appeared more feasible. MeHg control studies will need to address the TMDL conundrum that MPs effective at reducing MeHg exports could both exacerbate MeHg exposure and contend with other management objectives on site.

  15. Evaluating sustainable water quality management in the U.S.: Urban, Agricultural, and Environmental Protection Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Oel, P. R.; Alfredo, K. A.; Russo, T. A.

    2015-12-01

    Sustainable water management typically emphasizes water resource quantity, with focus directed at availability and use practices. When attention is placed on sustainable water quality management, the holistic, cross-sector perspective inherent to sustainability is often lost. Proper water quality management is a critical component of sustainable development practices. However, sustainable development definitions and metrics related to water quality resilience and management are often not well defined; water quality is often buried in large indicator sets used for analysis, and the policy regulating management practices create sector specific burdens for ensuring adequate water quality. In this research, we investigated the methods by which water quality is evaluated through internationally applied indicators and incorporated into the larger idea of "sustainability." We also dissect policy's role in the distribution of responsibility with regard to water quality management in the United States through evaluation of three broad sectors: urban, agriculture, and environmental water quality. Our research concludes that despite a growing intention to use a single system approach for urban, agricultural, and environmental water quality management, one does not yet exist and is even hindered by our current policies and regulations. As policy continues to lead in determining water quality and defining contamination limits, new regulation must reconcile the disparity in requirements for the contaminators and those performing end-of-pipe treatment. Just as the sustainable development indicators we researched tried to integrate environmental, economic, and social aspects without skewing focus to one of these three categories, policy cannot continue to regulate a single sector of society without considering impacts to the entire watershed and/or region. Unequal distribution of the water pollution burden creates disjointed economic growth, infrastructure development, and policy

  16. Evaluating the impacts of agricultural land management practices on water resources: A probabilistic hydrologic modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Prada, A F; Chu, M L; Guzman, J A; Moriasi, D N

    2017-02-24

    Evaluating the effectiveness of agricultural land management practices in minimizing environmental impacts using models is challenged by the presence of inherent uncertainties during the model development stage. One issue faced during the model development stage is the uncertainty involved in model parameterization. Using a single optimized set of parameters (one snapshot) to represent baseline conditions of the system limits the applicability and robustness of the model to properly represent future or alternative scenarios. The objective of this study was to develop a framework that facilitates model parameter selection while evaluating uncertainty to assess the impacts of land management practices at the watershed scale. The model framework was applied to the Lake Creek watershed located in southwestern Oklahoma, USA. A two-step probabilistic approach was implemented to parameterize the Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model using global uncertainty and sensitivity analysis to estimate the full spectrum of total monthly water yield (WYLD) and total monthly Nitrogen loads (N) in the watershed under different land management practices. Twenty-seven models were found to represent the baseline scenario in which uncertainty of up to 29% and 400% in WYLD and N, respectively, is plausible. Changing the land cover to pasture manifested the highest decrease in N to up to 30% for a full pasture coverage while changing to full winter wheat cover can increase the N up to 11%. The methodology developed in this study was able to quantify the full spectrum of system responses, the uncertainty associated with them, and the most important parameters that drive their variability. Results from this study can be used to develop strategic decisions on the risks and tradeoffs associated with different management alternatives that aim to increase productivity while also minimizing their environmental impacts.

  17. Identification and prioritization of management practices to reduce methylmercury exports from wetlands and irrigated agricultural lands.

    PubMed

    McCord, Stephen A; Heim, Wesley A

    2015-03-01

    The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta's (Delta) beneficial uses for humans and wildlife are impaired by elevated methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in fish. MeHg is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs. The total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plan aimed at reducing MeHg in Delta fish obligates dischargers to conduct MeHg control studies. Over 150 stakeholders collaborated to identify 24 management practices (MPs) addressing MeHg nonpoint sources (NPS) in three categories: biogeochemistry (6), hydrology (14), and soil/vegetation (4). Land uses were divided into six categories: permanently and seasonally flooded wetlands, flooded and irrigated agricultural lands, floodplains, and brackish-fresh tidal marshes. Stakeholders scored MPs based on seven criteria: scientific certainty, costs, MeHg reduction potential, spatial applicability, technical capacity to implement, negative impacts to beneficial uses, and conflicting requirements. Semi-quantitative scoring for MPs applicable to each land use (totaling >400 individual scores) led to consensus-based prioritization. This process relied on practical experience from diverse and accomplished NPS stakeholders and synthesis of 17 previous studies. Results provide a comprehensive, stakeholder-driven prioritization of MPs for wetland and irrigated agricultural land managers. Final prioritization highlights the most promising MPs for practical application and control study, and a secondary set of MPs warranting further evaluation. MPs that address hydrology and soil/vegetation were prioritized because experiences were positive and implementation appeared more feasible. MeHg control studies will need to address the TMDL conundrum that MPs effective at reducing MeHg exports could both exacerbate MeHg exposure and contend with other management objectives on site.

  18. The potential of agricultural practices to increase C storage in cropped soils: an assessment for France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chenu, Claire; Angers, Denis; Métay, Aurélie; Colnenne, Caroline; Klumpp, Katja; Bamière, Laure; Pardon, Lenaic; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2014-05-01

    Though large progress has been achieved in the last decades, net GHG emissions from the agricultural sector are still more poorly quantified than in other sectors. In this study, we examined i) technical mitigation options likely to store carbon in agricultural soils, ii) their potential of additional C storage per unit surface area and iii) applicable areas in mainland France. We considered only agricultural practices being technically feasible by farmers and involving no major change in either production systems or production levels. Moreover, only currently available techniques with validated efficiencies and presenting no major negative environmental impacts were taken into account. Four measures were expected to store additional C in agricultural soils: - Reducing tillage: either a switch to continuous direct seeding, direct seeding with occasional tillage once every five years, or continuous superficial (<15 cm) tillage. - Introducing cover crops in cropping systems: sown between two cash crops on arable farms, in orchards and vineyards (permanent or temporary cover cropping) . - Expanding agroforestry systems; planting of tree lines in cultivated fields and grasslands, and hedges around the field edges. - Increasing the life time of temporary sown grasslands: increase of life time to 5 years. The recent literature was reviewed in order to determine long term (>20yrs) C storage rates (MgC ha-1 y-1,) of cropping systems with and without the proposed practice. Then we analysed the conditions for potential application, in terms of feasibility, acceptance, limitation of yield losses and of other GHG emissions. According to the literature, additional C storage rates were 0.15 (0-0.3) MgC ha-1 y-1 for continuous direct seeding, 0.10 (0-0.2) MgC ha-1 y-1for occasional tillage one year in five, and 0.0 MgC ha-1 y-1 for superficial tillage. Cover crops were estimated to store 0.24 (0.13-0.37) MgC ha-1 y-1 between cash crops and 0.49 (0.23-0.72) MgC ha-1 y-1 when

  19. Homogenizing and diversifying effects of intensive agricultural land-use on plant species beta diversity in Central Europe - A call to adapt our conservation measures.

    PubMed

    Buhk, Constanze; Alt, Martin; Steinbauer, Manuel J; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Warren, Steven D; Jentsch, Anke

    2017-01-15

    The prevention of biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes to protect ecosystem stability and functions is of major importance to stabilize overall diversity. Intense agriculture leads to a loss in species richness and homogenization of species pools, but the processes behind are poorly understood due to a lack of systematic case studies: The specific impacts by agriculture in contrast to other land-use creating open habitat are not studied as such landscapes hardly exist in temperate regions. Applying systematic grids, we compared the plant species distribution at the landscape scale between an active military training areas in Europe and an adjacent rather intensively used agricultural landscape. As the study areas differ mainly in the type of disturbance regime (agricultural vs. non-agricultural), differences in species pattern can be traced back more or less directly to the management. Species trait analyses and multiple measures of beta diversity were applied to differentiate between species similarities between plots, distance-decay, or nestedness. Contrary to our expectation, overall beta diversity in the agricultural area was not reduced but increased under agricultural. This was probably the result of species nestedness due to fragmentation. The natural process of increasing dissimilarity with distance (distance-decay) was suppressed by intense agricultural land-use, generalist and long-distance dispersers gained importance, while rare species lost continuity. There are two independent processes that need to be addressed separately to halt biodiversity loss in agricultural land. There is a need to conserve semi-natural open habitat patches of diverse size to favor poor dispersers and specialist species. At the same time, we stress the importance of mediating biotic homogenization caused by the decrease of distance-decay: The spread of long-distance dispersers in agricultural fields may be acceptable, however, optimized fertilizer input and erosion

  20. Assessing the impacts of sustainable agricultural practices for water quality improvements in the Vouga catchment (Portugal) using the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas

    2015-12-01

    The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods.

  1. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) Initiative: Developing methods and best practices for global agricultural monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champagne, C.; Jarvis, I.; Defourny, P.; Davidson, A.

    2014-12-01

    Agricultural systems differ significantly throughout the world, making a 'one size fits all' approach to remote sensing and monitoring of agricultural landscapes problematic. The Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was established in 2009 to bring together the global scientific community to work towards a set of best practices and recommendations for using earth observation data to map, monitor and report on agricultural productivity globally across an array of diverse agricultural systems. These methods form the research and development component of the Group on Earth Observation Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative to harmonize global monitoring efforts and increase market transparency. The JECAM initiative brings together researchers from a large number of globally distributed, well monitored agricultural test sites that cover a range of crop types, cropping systems and climate regimes. Each test site works independently as well as together across multiple sites to test methods, sensors and field data collection techniques to derive key agricultural parameters, including crop type, crop condition, crop yield and soil moisture. The outcome of this project will be a set of best practices that cover the range of remote sensing monitoring and reporting needs, including satellite data acquisition, pre-processing techniques, information retrieval and ground data validation. These outcomes provide the research and development foundation for GEOGLAM and will help to inform the development of the GEOGLAM "system of systems" for global agricultural monitoring. The outcomes of the 2014 JECAM science meeting will be discussed as well as examples of methods being developed by JECAM scientists.

  2. Implementation of genetic conservation practices in a muskellunge propagation and stocking program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennings, Martin J.; Sloss, Brian L.; Hatzenbeler, Gene R.; Kampa, Jeffrey M.; Simonson, Timothy D.; Avelallemant, Steven P.; Lindenberger, Gary A.; Underwood, Bruce D.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation of genetic resources is a challenging issue for agencies managing popular sport fishes. To address the ongoing potential for genetic risks, we developed a comprehensive set of recommendations to conserve genetic diversity of muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) in Wisconsin, and evaluated the extent to which the recommendations can be implemented. Although some details are specific to Wisconsin's muskellunge propagation program, many of the practical issues affecting implementation are applicable to other species and production systems. We developed guidelines to restrict future brood stock collection operations to lakes with natural reproduction and to develop a set of brood lakes to use on a rotational basis within regional stock boundaries, but implementation will require considering lakes with variable stocking histories. Maintaining an effective population size sufficient to minimize the risk of losing alleles requires limiting brood stock collection to large lakes. Recommendations to better approximate the temporal distribution of spawning in hatchery operations and randomize selection of brood fish are feasible. Guidelines to modify rearing and distribution procedures face some logistic constraints. An evaluation of genetic diversity of hatchery-produced fish during 2008 demonstrated variable success representing genetic variation of the source population. Continued evaluation of hatchery operations will optimize operational efficiency while moving toward genetic conservation goals.

  3. Implementation of genetic conservation practices in a muskellunge propagation and stocking program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jennings, Martin J.; Sloss, Brian L.; Hatzenbeler, Gene R.; Kampa, Jeffrey M.; Simonson, Timothy D.; Avelallemant, Steven P.; Lindenberger, Gary A.; Underwood, Bruce D.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation of genetic resources is a challenging issue for agencies managing popular sport fishes. To address the ongoing potential for genetic risks, we developed a comprehensive set of recommendations to conserve genetic diversity of muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) in Wisconsin, and evaluated the extent to which the recommendations can be implemented. Although some details are specific to Wisconsin's muskellunge propagation program, many of the practical issues affecting implementation are applicable to other species and production systems. We developed guidelines to restrict future broodstock collection operations to lakes with natural reproduction and to develop a set of brood lakes to use on a rotational basis within regional stock boundaries, but implementation will require considering lakes with variable stocking histories. Maintaining an effective population size sufficient to minimize the risk of losing alleles requires limiting broodstock collection to large lakes. Recommendations to better approximate the temporal distribution of spawning in hatchery operations and randomize selection of brood fish are feasible. Guidelines to modify rearing and distribution procedures face some logistic constraints. An evaluation of genetic diversity of hatchery-produced fish during 2008 demonstrated variable success representing genetic variation of the source population. Continued evaluation of hatchery operations will optimize operational efficiency while moving toward genetic conservation goals.

  4. Simulating Sustainable P Management Practices in Tile-Drained Landscapes of Central Ohio Using the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, W. I., III; King, K.; Williams, M.

    2014-12-01

    Despite extensive application of conservation practices to minimize sediment P delivery to streams, hypoxic conditions and harmful algal blooms persist in receiving water bodies. Tile-drainage networks are a focal point for reducing soluble P in the food-producing Midwestern United States in that they promote higher connectivity between upland soils and stream channels which decreases soil contact time, and biogeochemical alterations. A critical next step to reduce the environmental impact and maintain sustainable agriculture is to implement best management practices (BMPs) under a holistic framework that considers adverse effects to water resources and crop production, while maintaining economic feasibility. The objective of this study was to apply a robust numerical model, the Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX), in a tile-drained landscape in Central Ohio in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a suite of BMPs on soluble and particulate P delivery to stream channels. The model was applied and evaluated at two adjacent edge-of-field sites with similar soil, topographic and management characteristics (except for tillage and tile installation on the south field in 2012, preceded by more than 20 years of no-till operations). Three years of daily discharge, total suspended solids, soluble P, soluble N (NO3 and NH4), total P, total N, and crop yields were utilized to verify the model performance. Prevalent BMPs simulated within the modeling framework included drainage water management, tillage and crop rotations, the 4Rs framework (right fertilizer source, rate, time, and placement), and bioreactors. Results of the study quantify the ability of the numerical model to simulate hydrology and P transport for surface runoff and subsurface tile drainage and highlight modifications that improve model performance. Further, results highlight BMPs that effectively reduce P loads to streams while maintaining crop yields, which can later be used to inform BMPs

  5. A field ornithologist’s guide to genomics: Practical considerations for ecology and conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Oh, Kevin; Langin, Kathryn; Aldridge, Cameron L.

    2016-01-01

    Vast improvements in sequencing technology have made it practical to simultaneously sequence millions of nucleotides distributed across the genome, opening the door for genomic studies in virtually any species. Ornithological research stands to benefit in three substantial ways. First, genomic methods enhance our ability to parse and simultaneously analyze both neutral and non-neutral genomic regions, thus providing insight into adaptive evolution and divergence. Second, the sheer quantity of sequence data generated by current sequencing platforms allows increased precision and resolution in analyses. Third, high-throughput sequencing can benefit applications that focus on a small number of loci that are otherwise prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, and technically difficult using traditional sequencing methods. These advances have improved our ability to understand evolutionary processes like speciation and local adaptation, but they also offer many practical applications in the fields of population ecology, migration tracking, conservation planning, diet analyses, and disease ecology. This review provides a guide for field ornithologists interested in incorporating genomic approaches into their research program, with an emphasis on techniques related to ecology and conservation. We present a general overview of contemporary genomic approaches and methods, as well as important considerations when selecting a genomic technique. We also discuss research questions that are likely to benefit from utilizing high-throughput sequencing instruments, highlighting select examples from recent avian studies.

  6. Malaria Control in Amerindian Communities of Venezuela : Strengthening Ecohealth Practice Throughout Conservation Science and Capability Approach.

    PubMed

    Bevilacqua, Mariapia; Rubio-Palis, Yasmin; Medina, Domingo A; Cárdenas, Lya

    2015-06-01

    Adaptive management and ecohealth frameworks were developed for malaria elimination in Amerindian riparian communities of Venezuela. These frameworks were developed as a strategy to capture, organize, and communicate connections among key factors related to local malaria complex systems. Important causal relationships between social, economic, and environmental stressors which are determinant of malaria were identified at different levels and assumptions that guide interventions are offered, based on available scientific knowledge and input from stakeholders. Drawing on our experience of action research committed to the health of Amerindian populations and conservation of areas with biodiversity value, the authors provide lessons to strengthen the practice of an ecohealth approach. First, conservation targets were considered as a way to achieve sustainable human well-being rather than as a consequence of well-being. Second, the effectiveness and sustainability of technical solutions generally proposed for malaria control depend largely on individual knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Hence, it is necessary to look at the real opportunities of choices that Amerindian people have for attaining a life without malaria, and therefore pay attention to local capabilities, needs, and freedom to choose. The ecohealth approach can benefit from the capability approach, and we explain why.

  7. Intra-annual variation of the association between agricultural best management practices and stream nutrient concentrations.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Nolan J T; Yates, Adam G

    2017-05-15

    Temporal variation may influence the ability of best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate the loss of agricultural pollutants to streams. Our goal was to assess variation in mitigation effects of BMPs by examining the associations between instream nutrient concentrations and the abundance and location of four structural BMPs over a hydrologic year. Water samples were collected monthly (Nov. 2013-Oct. 2014) in 15 headwater streams representing a gradient of BMP use in Southern Ontario, Canada. Partial least squares (PLS) regression models were used to associate two groups of collinear nutrient forms with the abundance and location of BMPs, antecedent precipitation and time of year. BMP metrics in PLS models were associated with instream concentrations of major phosphorus forms and ammonium throughout the year. In contrast, total nitrogen and nitrate-nitrite were only associated with BMPs during snowmelt. BMP metrics associated with reductions of phosphorus and ammonium included greater abundances of riparian buffers and manure storage structures, but not livestock restriction fences. Likewise, the abundance and location riparian vegetation in areas capturing more surface runoff were associated with decreased stream nitrogen concentrations during snowmelt. However, the amount of tile drainage was associated with increased nitrogen concentrations following snowmelt, as well as with greater phosphorus and ammonium concentrations throughout the year. Overall, our findings indicate that increasing the abundance of riparian buffers and manure storage structures may decrease instream nutrient concentrations in agricultural areas. Additionally, the implementation of these structural BMPs appear to be an effective year-round strategy to assist management objectives in reducing phosphorus concentrations in small agricultural streams and thus loadings to downstream tributaries. Further mitigation measures, such as managerial BMPs and controlled tile drainage, may be

  8. Using water wisely: New, affordable, and essential water conservation practices for facility and home hemodialysis.

    PubMed

    Agar, John W M; Simmonds, Rosemary E; Knight, Richard; Somerville, Christine A

    2009-01-01

    Despite a global focus on resource conservation, most hemodialysis (HD) services still wastefully or ignorantly discard reverse osmosis (R/O) "reject water" (RW) to the sewer. However, an R/O system is producing the highly purified water necessary for dialysis, it rejects any remaining dissolved salts from water already prefiltered through charcoal and sand filters in a high-volume effluent known as RW. Although the RW generated by most R/O systems lies well within globally accepted potable water criteria, it is legally "unacceptable" for drinking. Consequently, despite being extremely high-grade gray water, under current dialysis practices, it is thoughtlessly "lost-to-drain." Most current HD service designs neither specify nor routinely include RW-saving methodology, despite its simplicity and affordability. Since 2006, we have operated several locally designed, simple, cheap, and effective RW collection and distribution systems in our in-center, satellite, and home HD services. All our RW water is now recycled for gray-water use in our hospital, in the community, and at home, a practice that is widely appreciated by our local health service and our community and is an acknowledged lead example of scarce resource conservation. Reject water has sustained local sporting facilities and gardens previously threatened by indefinite closure under our regional endemic local drought conditions. As global water resources come under increasing pressure, we believe that a far more responsible attitude to RW recycling and conservation should be mandated for all new and existing HD services, regardless of country or region.

  9. Japanese consumer preferences for milk certified with the good agricultural practice(GAP) label.

    PubMed

    Aizaki, Hideo; Nanseki, Teruaki; Zhou, Hui

    2013-01-01

    This study examined Japanese consumers' valuation of a good agricultural practice (GAP) label on packaged milk and investigated the effect of detailed GAP information on valuation. A total of 624 Japanese consumers were asked to select their most preferred milk through an online survey. The milk was assumed to have three attributes: the GAP label, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points certification, and price. The results showed that consumers' valuation of GAP was significantly positive. Although providing additional GAP information to a respondent who was aware of GAP and what it means had a positive effect on the consumers' valuation of GAP, provision of this information had no effect if the respondent knew about GAP either moderately or slightly, and had a negative effect if the respondent did not know about GAP at all. To increase broad consumer awareness and valuation of GAP, it is important to provide GAP information according to the requirements of consumers.

  10. The Association Between Residency Training and Internists’ Ability to Practice Conservatively

    PubMed Central

    Sirovich, Brenda E.; Lipner, Rebecca S.; Johnston, Mary; Holmboe, Eric S.

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Growing concern about rising costs and potential harms of medical care has stimulated interest in assessing physicians’ ability to minimize the provision of unnecessary care. OBJECTIVE To assess whether graduates of residency programs characterized by low-intensity practice patterns are more capable of managing patients’ care conservatively, when appropriate, and whether graduates of these programs are less capable of providing appropriately aggressive care. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Cross-sectional comparison of 6639 first-time takers of the 2007 American Board of Internal Medicine certifying examination, aggregated by residency program (n = 357). EXPOSURES Intensity of practice, measured using the End-of-Life Visit Index, which is the mean number of physician visits within the last 6 months of life among Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older in the residency program’s hospital referral region. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The mean score by program on the Appropriately Conservative Management (ACM) (and Appropriately Aggressive Management [AAM]) subscales, comprising all American Board of Internal Medicine certifying examination questions for which the correct response represented the least (or most, respectively) aggressive management strategy. Mean scores on the remainder of the examination were used to stratify programs into 4 knowledge tiers. Data were analyzed by linear regression of ACM(or AAM) scores on the End-of-Life Visit Index, stratified by knowledge tier. RESULTS Within each knowledge tier, the lower the intensity of health care practice in the hospital referral region, the better residency program graduates scored on the ACM subscale (P < .001 for the linear trend in each tier). In knowledge tier 4 (poorest), for example, graduates of programs in the lowest-intensity regions had a mean ACM score in the 38th percentile compared with the 22nd percentile for programs in the highest-intensity regions; in tier 2, ACM scores

  11. Integrating different knowledge sources and disciplines for practical applications in Forest and Agricultural Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzmán, Gema; Castillo, Carlos; Taguas, Encarnación

    2013-04-01

    One of the aims of 'The Bologna Process' is to promote among the students the acquisition of practical, social and creative skills to face real-life situations and to solve the difficulties they might find during their professional life. It involves an important change in the educational system, from a traditional approach focused on teaching, towards a new one that encourages learning. Under this context, University teaching implies the design of activities addressed to the dissemination of "know-how" to solve different problems associated with two technical disciplines: Forest and Agricultural Engineering. This study presents a preliminary experience where a group of information and communication technologies (ICT) such as, audiovisual resources (videos, reports and photo gallery), virtual visits to blogs and interactive activities have been used to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the environmental and sociocultural components of the landscape in order to facilitate the decision-making process in the engineering project context . With these tools, the students must study and characterize all these aspects in order to justify the chosen solutions and the project design. This approach was followed in the analysis of the limiting factors of practical cases in projects about forestation, landscape restoration and hydrological planning. This communication shows how this methodology has been applied in Forest and Agricultural Engineering and the students' experience with these innovative tools. The use of ICTs involved a friendly framework that stimulated students' interest and made subjects more attractive, since it allowed to assess the complex relationships between landscape, history and economy. Furthermore, this type of activities promotes the interdisciplinary training and the acquisition of creative and autonomous skills which are not included in many cases into the main objectives of the subjects.

  12. Comparison of soil bacterial communities under diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tiehang; Chellemi, Dan O; Graham, Jim H; Martin, Kendall J; Rosskopf, Erin N

    2008-02-01

    The composition and structure of bacterial communities were examined in soil subjected to a range of diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices. Length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) of bacterial DNA extracted from soil was used to generate amplicon profiles that were analyzed with univariate and multivariate statistical methods. Five land management programs were initiated in July 2000: conventional, organic, continuous removal of vegetation (disk fallow), undisturbed (weed fallow), and bahiagrass pasture (Paspalum notatum var Argentine). Similar levels in the diversity of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons were detected in soil samples collected from organically and conventionally managed plots 3 and 4 years after initiation of land management programs, whereas significantly lower levels of diversity were observed in samples collected from bahiagrass pasture. Differences in diversity were attributed to effects on how the relative abundance of individual amplicons were distributed (evenness) and not on the total numbers of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons detected (richness). Similar levels of diversity were detected among all land management programs in soil samples collected after successive years of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cultivation. A different trend was observed after a multivariate examination of the similarities in genetic composition among soil bacterial communities. After 3 years of land management, similarities in genetic composition of soil bacterial communities were observed in plots where disturbance was minimized (bahiagrass and weed fallow). The genetic compositions in plots managed organically were similar to each other and distinct from bacterial communities in other land management programs. After successive years of tomato cultivation and damage from two major hurricanes, only the composition of soil bacterial communities within organically managed plots continued to maintain a high degree of similarity

  13. Perceptions and Practices of Georgia Guidance Counselors Regarding Agricultural Education Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodard, James; Herren, Ray V.

    1995-01-01

    In Georgia high schools with agriculture programs, responses from 133 of 170 guidance counselors indicated that most felt agriculture had benefits. Those who perceived their schools' programs to be of high quality supported agriculture's relevance for college-bound students and were more likely to place students in agriculture programs. As a…

  14. Rapid assessment of ecosystem services provided by two mineral extraction sites restored for nature conservation in an agricultural landscape in eastern England.

    PubMed

    Blaen, Phillip J; Jia, Li; Peh, Kelvin S-H; Field, Rob H; Balmford, Andrew; MacDonald, Michael A; Bradbury, Richard B

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing recognition that mineral sites restored for nature conservation can enhance local biodiversity, the wider societal benefits provided by this type of restoration relative to alternative options are not well understood. This study addresses this research gap by quantifying differences in ecosystem services provision under two common mineral site after-uses: nature conservation and agriculture. Using a combination of site-specific primary field data, benefits transfer and modelling, we show that for our sites restoration for nature conservation provides a more diverse array of ecosystem services than would be delivered under an agricultural restoration scenario. We also explore the effects of addressing different conservation targets, which we find alter the provision of ecosystem services on a service-specific basis. Highly species-focused intervention areas are associated with increased carbon storage and livestock grazing provision, whereas non-intervention areas are important for carbon sequestration, fishing, recreation and flood risk mitigation. The results of this study highlight the wider societal importance of restored mineral sites and may help conservation managers and planners to develop future restoration strategies that provide benefits for both biodiversity and human well-being.

  15. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Services Provided by Two Mineral Extraction Sites Restored for Nature Conservation in an Agricultural Landscape in Eastern England

    PubMed Central

    Blaen, Phillip J.; Jia, Li; Peh, Kelvin S.-H.; Field, Rob H.; Balmford, Andrew; MacDonald, Michael A.; Bradbury, Richard B.

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing recognition that mineral sites restored for nature conservation can enhance local biodiversity, the wider societal benefits provided by this type of restoration relative to alternative options are not well understood. This study addresses this research gap by quantifying differences in ecosystem services provision under two common mineral site after-uses: nature conservation and agriculture. Using a combination of site-specific primary field data, benefits transfer and modelling, we show that for our sites restoration for nature conservation provides a more diverse array of ecosystem services than would be delivered under an agricultural restoration scenario. We also explore the effects of addressing different conservation targets, which we find alter the provision of ecosystem services on a service-specific basis. Highly species-focused intervention areas are associated with increased carbon storage and livestock grazing provision, whereas non-intervention areas are important for carbon sequestration, fishing, recreation and flood risk mitigation. The results of this study highlight the wider societal importance of restored mineral sites and may help conservation managers and planners to develop future restoration strategies that provide benefits for both biodiversity and human well-being. PMID:25894293

  16. 75 FR 46903 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-04

    ... on Open Lot Surfaces (Code 375), Karst Sinkhole Treatment (Code 527), Lined Waterway or Outlet (Code... Open Lot Surfaces (Code 375)-- This is a new Conservation Practice Standard. Karst Sinkhole Treatment (Code 527)--Practice name changed from ``Sinkhole and Sinkhole Area Treatment'' to ``Karst...

  17. Adaptive nitrogen and integrated weed management in conservation agriculture: impacts on agronomic productivity, greenhouse gas emissions, and herbicide residues.

    PubMed

    Oyeogbe, Anthony Imoudu; Das, T K; Bhatia, Arti; Singh, Shashi Bala

    2017-04-01

    Increasing nitrogen (N) immobilization and weed interference in the early phase of implementation of conservation agriculture (CA) affects crop yields. Yet, higher fertilizer and herbicide use to improve productivity influences greenhouse gase emissions and herbicide residues. These tradeoffs precipitated a need for adaptive N and integrated weed management in CA-based maize (Zea mays L.)-wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.) emend Fiori & Paol] cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) to optimize N availability and reduce weed proliferation. Adaptive N fertilization was based on soil test value and normalized difference vegetation index measurement (NDVM) by GreenSeeker™ technology, while integrated weed management included brown manuring (Sesbania aculeata L. co-culture, killed at 25 days after sowing), herbicide mixture, and weedy check (control, i.e., without weed management). Results indicated that the 'best-adaptive N rate' (i.e., 50% basal + 25% broadcast at 25 days after sowing + supplementary N guided by NDVM) increased maize and wheat grain yields by 20 and 14% (averaged for 2 years), respectively, compared with whole recommended N applied at sowing. Weed management by brown manuring (during maize) and herbicide mixture (during wheat) resulted in 10 and 21% higher grain yields (averaged for 2 years), respectively, over the weedy check. The NDVM in-season N fertilization and brown manuring affected N2O and CO2 emissions, but resulted in improved carbon storage efficiency, while herbicide residuals in soil were significantly lower in the maize season than in wheat cropping. This study concludes that adaptive N and integrated weed management enhance synergy between agronomic productivity, fertilizer and herbicide efficiency, and greenhouse gas mitigation.

  18. Water quality and agricultural practices: the case study of southern Massaciuccoli reclaimed land (Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pistocchi, Chiara; Baneschi, Ilaria; Basile, Paolo; Cannavò, Silvia; Guidi, Massimo; Risaliti, Rosalba; Rossetto, Rudy; Sabbatini, Tiziana; Silvestri, Nicola; Bonari, Enrico

    2010-05-01

    Owing to increasing anthropogenic impacts, lagoons and wetlands are being exposed to environmental degradation. Therefore, the sustainable management of these environmental resources is a fundamental issue to maintain either the ecosystems and the human activity. The Massaciuccoli Lake is a coastal lake of fresh to brackish water surrounded by a marsh, which drains a total catchment of about 114 km2. Large part of the basin has been reclaimed since 1930 by means of pumping stations forcing water from the drained areas into the lake. The system is characterized by: high complexity of the hydrological setting; subsidence of the peaty soils in the reclaimed area (2 to 3 m in 70 years), that left the lake perched; reclaimed land currently devoted mainly to conventional agriculture (e.g.: maize monoculture) along with some industrial sites, two sewage treatment plants and some relevant urban settlements; social conflicts among different land users because of the impact on water quality and quantity. The interaction between such a fragile natural system and human activities leads to an altered ecological status mainly due to eutrophication and water salinisation. Hence, the present work aims at identifying and assessing the sources of nutrients (phosphorous in particular) into the lake, and characterising land use and some socio-economic aspects focusing on agricultural systems, in order to set up suitable mitigation measures. Water quantity and quality in the most intensively cultivated sub-catchment, placed 0.5 to 3 m under m.s.l. were monitored in order to underlain the interaction between water and its nutrient load. Questionnaires and interviews to farmers were conducted to obtain information about agricultural practices, farm management, risks and constraints for farming activities. The available information about the natural system and land use were collected and organised in a GIS system: a conceptual model of surface water hydrodinamics was build up and 14

  19. Evaluating Lignite-Derived Products (LDPs) for Agriculture - Does Research Inform Practice?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patti, Antonio; Rose, Michael; Little, Karen; Jackson, Roy; Cavagnaro, Timothy

    2014-05-01

    . However, these growth benefits subsequently diminished over time. Insignificant growth benefits were observed for lucerne. The analysis of the literature and our own work indicates that it is difficult to account for all the possible variables where research is used to inform land management practices. Assisting farmers to conduct localised research in cooperative ventures is likely to bring about the best outcomes where site-specific research directly informs land management practices. 1. Michael T. Rose, Antonio F. Patti, Karen R. Little, Alicia L. Brown, W. Roy Jackson, Timothy R. Cavagnaro, A Meta-Analysis and Review of Plant-Growth Response to Humic Substances: Practical Implications for Agriculture, Advances in Agronomy, 2013, 124, 37-89

  20. The Choptank Watershed Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project: Monitoring the Effect of Wetland Conservation Practices on Water Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Choptank Watershed Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts and resources from multiple federal agencies and the University of Maryland to assess the ability of native, restored, and prior-converted wetlands on cropland to impro...

  1. Effects of agricultural land-management practices on water quality in northeastern Guilford County, North Carolina, 1985-90

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harned, Douglas A.

    1995-01-01

    The effects of selected agricultural land-management practices on water quality were assessed in a comparative study of four small basins in the Piedmont province of North Carolina. Agricultural practices, such as tillage and applications of fertilizer and pesticides, are major sources of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides in surface water, and of nutrients and pesticides in ground water. The four study basins included two adjacent row-crop fields, a mixed land-use basin, and a forested basin. One of the row-crop fields (7.4 acres) was farmed by using conservation land-management (CLM) practices, which included strip cropping, contour plowing, field borders, and grassed waterways. The other row-crop field (4.8 acres) was farmed by using standard land-management (SLM) practices, which included continuous cropping, straight-row plowing without regard to land topography, and poorly maintained waterways. The mixed land-use basin (665 acres) was monitored to compare water quality in surface water as SLM practices were converted to CLM practices during the project. The forested basin (44 acres) provided background surface-water hydrologic and chemical-quality conditions. Surface-water flow was reduced by 18 percent by CLM practices compared to surface-water flow from the SLM practices basin. The thickness of the unsaturated zone in the row-crop basins ranged from a few feet to 25 feet. Areas with thick unsaturated zones have a greater capacity to intercept and store nutrients and pesticides than do areas with thinner zones. Sediment concentrations and yields for the SLM practices basin were considerably higher than those for the other basins. The median sediment concentration in surface water for the SLM basin was 3.4 times that of the CLM basin, 8.2 times that of the mixed land-use basin, and 38.4 times that of the forested basin. The total sediment yield for the SLM basin was 2.3 times that observed for the CLM basin, 14.1 times that observed for the mixed land

  2. Changes in Soil Microbial Community Structure Influenced by Agricultural Management Practices in a Mediterranean Agro-Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage. PMID:24260409

  3. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    PubMed

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Cerdà, Artemi; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  4. Energy conservation awareness and practice in restaurants of Hennepin County, Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Brondum, Jack; Palchick, Susan

    2012-12-01

    Greenhouse gases result mainly from the combustion of fossil fuels in energy use. Restaurants use large amounts of energy in their operation but systematically gathered information about such use is lacking. Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department surveyed owners of licensed restaurants to assess their energy use and awareness of energy conservation measures. Of 434 owners surveyed, 276 (63.6%) returned completed surveys. Responses indicated that large pluralities or majorities of restaurant owners often were aware of energy-efficient methods of operation and the means to achieve greater efficiency but used such means much less frequently. For example, 57% of respondents were familiar with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, but only 33% of this group actually used Energy Star appliances. Given the gap between awareness and practice, opportunities for consultation and outreach to restaurant owners about energy-efficient business operation are manifold.

  5. Interdependence of soil and agricultural practice in a two - year phytoremediation in situ experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nwaichi, Eucharia; Onyeike, Eugene; Frac, Magdalena; Iwo, Godknows

    2016-04-01

    A two - year plant - based soil clean - up was carried out at a crude oil spill agricultural site in a Niger Delta community in Nigeria to access further clean - up potentials of Cymbopogon citratus. Applied diagnostic ratios identified mixed petrogenic and pyrogenic sources as the main contributors of PAHs. Up to 90.8% sequestration was obtained for carcinogenic PAHs especially Benz (a) pyrene in a 2 - phase manner. A community level approach for assessing patterns of sole carbon source utilization by mixed microbial samples was employed to differentiate spatial and temporal changes in the soil microbial communities. In relation to pollution, soil conditioning notably decreased the lag times and showed mixed effects for colour development rates, maximum absorbance and the overall community pattern. For rate and utilization of different carbon substrates in BIOLOG wells, after day 3, in comparison to control soil communities, contamination with hydrocarbons and associated types increased amines and amides consumption. Consumption of carbohydrates in all polluted and unamended regimes decreased markedlyin comparison to those cultivated with C. citratus. We found a direct relationship between cellulose breakdown, measurable with B-glucosidase activity, organic matter content and CO2 realease within all soils in the present study. Organic amendment rendered most studied contaminants unavailable for uptake in preference to inorganic fertilizer in both study years. Generally, phytoremediation improved significantly the microbial community activity and thus would promote ecosystem restoration in relation to most patronised techniques. Supplementation with required nutrients, in a long - term design would present many ecological benefits. Keywords: Agricultural soils; Recovery; Hydrocarbon pollution; Ecology; Management practice.

  6. Soil organic carbon fractionation for improving agricultural soil quality diagnosis in different management practices.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigalet, Sylvain; Chartin, Caroline; Kruger, Inken; Carnol, Monique; Van Oost, Kristof; van Wesemael, Bas

    2016-04-01

    Preserving ecosystem functions of soil organic matter (SOM) in soils is a key challenge. The need for an efficient diagnosis of SOM state in agricultural soils is a priority in order to facilitate the detection of changes in soil quality as a result of changes in management practices. The nature of SOM is complex and cannot readily be monitored due to the heterogeneity of its components. Assessment of the SOM level dynamics, typically characterized as the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC), can be refined by taking into account carbon pools with different turnover rates and stability. Fractionating bulk SOC in meaningful soil organic fractions helps to better diagnose SOC status. By separating carbon associated with clay and fine silt particles (stable carbon with slow turnover rate) and carbon non-associated with this fraction (labile and intermediate carbon with higher turnover rates), effects of management can be detected more efficiently at different spatial and temporal scales. Until now, most work on SOC fractionation has focused on small spatial scales along management or time gradients. The present case study focuses on SOC fractionation applied in order to refine the interpretation of organic matter turnover and SOC sequestration for regional units in Wallonia with comparable climate, management and, to a certain extent, soil conditions. In each unit, random samples from specific land uses are analyzed in order to assess the Normal Operative Ranges (NOR) of SOC fraction contents for each unit and land use combination. Thus, SOC levels of the different fractions of a specific field in a given unit can be compared to its corresponding NOR. It will help to better diagnose agricultural soil quality in terms of organic carbon compared to a bulk SOC diagnosis.

  7. Agricultural Land Use and Best Management Practices to Control Nonpoint Water Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ripa, Maria Nicoletta; Leone, Antonio; Garnier, Monica; Porto, Antonio Lo

    2006-08-01

    In recent years, improvements in point-source depuration technologies have highlighted the problems regarding agricultural nonpoint (diffuse) sources, and this issue has become highly relevant from the environmental point of view. The considerable extension of the areas responsible for this kind of pollution, together with the scarcity of funds available to local managers, make minimizing the impacts of nonpoint sources on a whole basin a virtually impossible task. This article presents the results of a study intended to pinpoint those agricultural areas, within a basin, that contribute most to water pollution, so that operations aimed at preventing and/or reducing this kind of pollution can be focused on them. With this aim, an innovative approach is presented that integrates a field-scale management model, a simple regression model, and a geographic information system (GIS). The Lake Vico basin, where recent studies highlighted a considerable increase in the trophic state, mainly caused by phosphorus (P) compounds deriving principally from the intensive cultivation of hazelnut trees in the lake basin, was chosen as the study site. Using the management model Groundwater Loading Effects of Agricultural Management Systems (GLEAMS), the consequences, in terms of sediment yield and phosphorus export, of hazelnut tree cultivation were estimated on different areas of the basin with and without the application of a best management practice (BMP) that consists of growing meadow under the trees. The GLEAMS results were successively extended to basin scale thanks to the application of a purposely designed regression model and of a GIS. The main conclusions can be summarized as follows: The effectiveness of the above-mentioned BMP is always greater for erosion reduction than for particulate P reduction, whatever the slope value considered; moreover, the effectiveness with reference to both particulate P and sediment yield production decreases as the slope increases. The

  8. Using the soil and water assessment tool to estimate achievable water quality targets through implementation of beneficial management practices in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qi; Benoy, Glenn A; Chow, Thien Lien; Daigle, Jean-Louis; Bourque, Charles P-A; Meng, Fan-Rui

    2012-01-01

    Runoff from crop production in agricultural watersheds can cause widespread soil loss and degradation of surface water quality. Beneficial management practices (BMPs) for soil conservation are often implemented as remedial measures because BMPs can reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. However, the efficacy of BMPs may be unknown because it can be affected by many factors, such as farming practices, land-use, soil type, topography, and climatic conditions. As such, it is difficult to estimate the impacts of BMPs on water quality through field experiments alone. In this research, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to estimate achievable performance targets of water quality indicators (sediment and soluble P loadings) after implementation of combinations of selected BMPs in the Black Brook Watershed in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Four commonly used BMPs (flow diversion terraces [FDTs], fertilizer reductions, tillage methods, and crop rotations), were considered individually and in different combinations. At the watershed level, the best achievable sediment loading was 1.9 t ha(-1) yr(-1) (89% reduction compared with default scenario), with a BMP combination of crop rotation, FDT, and no-till. The best achievable soluble P loading was 0.5 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) (62% reduction), with a BMP combination of crop rotation and FDT and fertilizer reduction. Targets estimated through nonpoint source water quality modeling can be used to evaluate BMP implementation initiatives and provide milestones for the rehabilitation of streams and rivers in agricultural regions.

  9. The Potential Importance of Conservation, Restoration and Altered Management Practices for Water Quality in the Wabash River Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, G.; Best, E. P.; Goodwin, S.

    2013-12-01

    Non-point source (NPS) pollution is one of the leading causes of water quality impairment within the United States. Conservation, restoration and altered management (CRAM) practices may effectively reduce NPS pollutants to receiving water bodies and enhance local and regional ecosystem services. Barriers for the implementation of CRAM include uncertainties related to the extent to which nutrients are removed by CRAM at various spatial and temporal scales, longevity, optimal placement of CRAM within the landscape, and implementation / operation / maintenance costs. We conducted a study aimed at the identification of optimal placement of CRAM in watersheds that reduces N loading to an environmentally sustainable level, at an acceptable, known, cost. For this study, we used a recently developed screening-level modeling approach, WQM-TMDL-N, running in the ArcGIS environment, to estimate nitrogen loading under current land use conditions (NLCD 2006). This model was equipped with a new option to explore the performances of placement of various CRAM types and areas to reduce nitrogen loading to a State-accepted Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) standard, with related annual average TN concentration, and a multi-objective algorithm optimizing load and cost. CRAM practices explored for implementation in rural area included buffer strips, nutrient management practices, and wetland restoration. We initially applied this modeling approach to the Tippecanoe River (TR) watershed (8-digit HUC), a headwater of the Wabash River (WR) watershed, where CRAM implementation in rural and urban areas is being planned and implemented at various spatial scales. Consequences of future land use are explored using a 2050 land use/land cover map forecasted by the Land Transformation Model. The WR watershed, IN, drains two-thirds of the state's 92 counties and supports predominantly agricultural land use. Because the WR accounts for over 40% of the nutrient loads of the Ohio River and

  10. Influence of Voluntary Coffee Certifications on Cooperatives' Advisory Services and Agricultural Practices of Smallholder Farmers in Costa Rica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snider, Anna; Kraus, Eva; Sibelet, Nicole; Bosselmann, Aske Skovmand; Faure, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This article explores how voluntary certifications influence the way cooperatives provide advisory services to their members and the influence of these services on agricultural practices. Design/Methodology/Approach: Case studies were conducted in four representative Costa Rican cooperatives interviewing twenty interviewed cooperative…

  11. The Role of Agricultural Education and Extension in Influencing Best Practice for Managing Mastitis in Dairy Cattle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dillon, E. J.; Hennessy, T.; Cullinan, J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To examine the role of agricultural education and extension in influencing the adoption of best practice with regard to herd-level mastitis management. Design/Methodology/Approach: Somatic cell count (SCC) is an indicator of herd health with regard to mastitis and is negatively related to productivity and profitability. Panel data…

  12. Effects of low-grade weirs on soil microbial communities to advance agricultural best management practices for nitrate remediation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural activities throughout the Mississippi River Basin have been identified as a major source of nutrient pollution, particularly nitrogen from fertilizer application, to downstream waters including the Gulf of Mexico. Utilizing best management practices, such as low-grade weirs have been id...

  13. Sustainable agricultural practices: energy inputs and outputs, pesticide, fertilizer and greenhouse gas management.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yue-Wen

    2009-01-01

    The food security issue was addressed by the development of "modern agriculture" in the last century. But food safety issues and environment degradation were the consequences suffered as a result. Climate change has been recognized as the result of release of stored energy in fossil fuel into the atmosphere. Homogeneous crop varieties, machinery, pesticides and fertilizers are the foundation of uniform commodities in modern agriculture. Fossil fuels are used to manufacture fertilizers and pesticides as well as the energy source for agricultural machinery, thus characterizes modern agriculture. Bio-fuel production and the possibility of the agriculture system as a form of energy input are discussed.

  14. Science deficiency in conservation practice: the monitoring of tiger populations in India

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karanth, K.U.; Nichols, J.D.; Seidensticker, J.; Dinerstein, Eric; Smith, J.L.D.; McDougal, C.; Johnsingh, A.J.T.; Chundawat, Raghunandan S.; Thapar, V.

    2003-01-01

    Conservation practices are supposed to get refined by advancing scientific knowledge. We study this phenomenon in the context of monitoring tiger populations in India, by evaluating the 'pugmark census method' employed by wildlife managers for three decades. We use an analytical framework of modem animal population sampling to test the efficacy of the pugmark censuses using scientific data on tigers and our field observations. We identify three critical goals for monitoring tiger populations, in order of increasing sophistication: (1) distribution mapping, (2) tracking relative abundance, (3) estimation of absolute abundance. We demonstrate that the present census-based paradigm does not work because it ignores the first two simpler goals, and targets, but fails to achieve, the most difficult third goal. We point out the utility and ready availability of alternative monitoring paradigms that deal with the central problems of spatial sampling and observability. We propose an alternative sampling-based approach that can be tailored to meet practical needs of tiger monitoring at different levels of refinement.

  15. Integrating local ecological knowledge and management practices of an isolated semi-arid papyrus swamp (Loboi, Kenya) into a wider conservation framework.

    PubMed

    Terer, Taita; Muasya, A Muthama; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Ndiritu, George G; Triest, Ludwig

    2012-01-01

    The current study documented local utilization of Cyperus papyrus L. (papyrus), harvesting patterns, threats, and local management practices among the Endorois community living around Loboi swamp (Kenya). Papyrus is a highly productive freshwater macrophyte that is widely utilized throughout tropical Africa. However, increased human population and poverty, has led to over exploitation and conversion of papyrus wetlands to agricultural fields. Nonetheless, users of papyrus hold important local ecological knowledge (LEK) and practices. We show that Endorois practices on papyrus uses are compatible with the management priorities of the swamp and a wider conservation framework using data obtained from three focus group discussions (FGD), interviews of 34 households and 15 key informants. The study revealed that papyrus support local livelihood notably as a source of income (papyrus mats are sold), cattle fodder, roofing materials (shelter), and cooking fuel. The study further revealed important LEK relating to harvesting patterns, recovery after harvesting and traditional management practices. Correlation and principal component analyses showed that experienced old harvesters (EXPERT) avoided harvesting repeatedly at the same location (REVISIT), thereby allowing recovery of papyrus when compared to younger harvesters (r = 0.63, p < 0.01). However, over 70% of harvesters predicted a decrease in papyrus coverage in the future due to the current diversion of water from the swamp, and frequent droughts, despite the instituted traditional management strategies (e.g. rotational harvesting) to curb overharvesting. The study concluded that the documentation of site-scale papyrus users' profile, LEK, and traditional practices are vital for the conservation and management of Loboi swamp.

  16. Reconciling nature conservation and traditional farming practices: a spatially explicit framework to assess the extent of High Nature Value farmlands in the European countryside

    PubMed Central

    Lomba, Angela; Alves, Paulo; Jongman, Rob H G; McCracken, David I

    2015-01-01

    Agriculture constitutes a dominant land cover worldwide, and rural landscapes under extensive farming practices acknowledged due to high biodiversity levels. The High Nature Value farmland (HNVf) concept has been highlighted in the EU environmental and rural policies due to their inherent potential to help characterize and direct financial support to European landscapes where high nature and/or conservation value is dependent on the continuation of specific low-intensity farming systems. Assessing the extent of HNV farmland by necessity relies on the availability of both ecological and farming systems' data, and difficulties associated with making such assessments have been widely described across Europe. A spatially explicit framework of data collection, building out from local administrative units, has recently been suggested as a means of addressing such difficulties. This manuscript tests the relevance of the proposed approach, describes the spatially explicit framework in a case study area in northern Portugal, and discusses the potential of the approach to help better inform the implementation of conservation and rural development policies. Synthesis and applications: The potential of a novel approach (combining land use/cover, farming and environmental data) to provide more accurate and efficient mapping and monitoring of HNV farmlands is tested at the local level in northern Portugal. The approach is considered to constitute a step forward toward a more precise targeting of landscapes for agri-environment schemes, as it allowed a more accurate discrimination of areas within the case study landscape that have a higher value for nature conservation. PMID:25798221

  17. The impact of agricultural practices on shallow groundwater in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Hampson, S.K.; Sendlein, L.V.A. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-03-01

    To study the effects of agricultural practices on the groundwater quality of the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, a large representative row crop and livestock production operation was chosen. Located in southeastern Bourbon County, the study area encompasses a 1,400 acre watershed underlain by limestones and shales of the Ordovician age Lexington Limestone Formation. Sampling and testing of surface water, ephemeral, and perennial spring waters began in the area in October, 1989. At crop and pasture micro-sites within the study area, nests containing porous-cup lysimeters and monitoring wells were installed prior to the 1992 growing season. Samples from the nest locations were analyzed for Nitrate-N, triazines, metolochlor, carbofuran, alachlor, and 2,4-D. While only ten per cent of the total samples from the study area showed triazine or Nitrate-N concentrations in excess of EPA limits, greater than 80 per cent of the samples showed concentrations of triazines above detection limits, and greater than 70 per cent of the samples contained concentrations of Nitrate-N above detection limits. Occurrences of detectable concentrations of triazines and Nitrate-N were more frequent at crop-site nests, than at pasture-site nests. Nests at both the crop and pasture sites indicated dilution of Nitrate-N and triazine concentrations with depth.

  18. Agricultural and Management Practices and Bacterial Contamination in Greenhouse versus Open Field Lettuce Production

    PubMed Central

    Holvoet, Kevin; Sampers, Imca; Seynnaeve, Marleen; Jacxsens, Liesbeth; Uyttendaele, Mieke

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to gain insight into potential differences in risk factors for microbial contamination in greenhouse versus open field lettuce production. Information was collected on sources, testing, and monitoring and if applicable, treatment of irrigation and harvest rinsing water. These data were combined with results of analysis on the levels of Escherichia coli as a fecal indicator organism and the presence of enteric bacterial pathogens on both lettuce crops and environmental samples. Enterohemorragic Escherichia coli (EHEC) PCR signals (vt1 or vt2 positive and eae positive), Campylobacter spp., and Salmonella spp. isolates were more often obtained from irrigation water sampled from open field farms (21/45, 46.7%) versus from greenhouse production (9/75, 12.0%). The open field production was shown to be more prone to fecal contamination as the number of lettuce samples and irrigation water with elevated E. coli was significantly higher. Farmers comply with generic guidelines on good agricultural practices available at the national level, but monitoring of microbial quality, and if applicable appropriateness of water treatment, or water used for irrigation or at harvest is restricted. These results indicate the need for further elaboration of specific guidelines and control measures for leafy greens with regard to microbial hazards. PMID:25546272

  19. Utah farm owner/operators' safety practices and risk awareness regarding confined space work in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Pate, M L; Merryweather, A S

    2012-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe current safety practices and risk awareness associated with confined spaces in agriculture among Utah farm owner/operators. There were 399 farm owner/operators in the sample. The final response rate was 82.2%. The typical farm owner/operator in this study was male, between the ages of 50 and 59, with some education beyond high school. Grain and dairy production comprised 48.7% of the operations responding to the survey. A majority (50.2%) of respondents reported having entered a confined space without an observer waiting from the outside. All but 9.5% of the respondents indicated that they had no written emergency response plan in the event of a confined space emergency involving an entrant. Only 49.1% of farm owner/operators perceived entering a grain bin while unloading as a high risk for fatal injury. More research is needed to determine the farmers' knowledge of the variety of hazards associated with confined space work. Few farm owner/operators reported using accessible safety equipment. A limited number of respondents indicated having access to gas monitors, lifeline and harness systems, or ventilation blowers with flexible ducting. This may be associated with the costs of the equipment, or lack of awareness of the need for specific safety equipment.

  20. Integrated resource management: Moving from rhetoric to practice in Australian agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Bellamy, J.A.; Johnson, A.K.L.

    2000-03-01

    Implementing the concept of sustainability through integrated approaches to natural resource management poses enormous challenges for both the rural communities and government agencies concerned. This paper reviews the underlying rhetoric of sustainable agricultural systems and the integrated resource management paradigm and identifies some of the challenges being experienced in translating this rhetoric into practice. A relatively recently implemented community-based integrated catchment management (ICM) process in a rural community in northeast Australia is examined in terms of some of the lessons learned that may be relevant to other similar integrated resource management (IRM) processes. It reveals a pragmatic, opportunistic, and evolving implementation process based on adaptive learning rather than a more traditional rational planning approach. Some essential characteristics of a community-based IRM process are identified, including fostering communication; providing a structure that fosters cooperation and facilities coordination among community, industry, and government agencies; the integration of IRM principles into local government planning schemes; and an emergent strategic approach to IRM program implementation. The authors conclude by identifying some essential characteristics of an IRM process that can assist a community to adapt to, and manage change for, sustainable resource use.

  1. Ancient lipids reveal continuity in culinary practices across the transition to agriculture in Northern Europe

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Oliver E.; Steele, Val J.; Fischer, Anders; Hartz, Sönke; Andersen, Søren H.; Donohoe, Paul; Glykou, Aikaterini; Saul, Hayley; Jones, D. Martin; Koch, Eva; Heron, Carl P.

    2011-01-01

    Farming transformed societies globally. Yet, despite more than a century of research, there is little consensus on the speed or completeness of this fundamental change and, consequently, on its principal drivers. For Northern Europe, the debate has often centered on the rich archaeological record of the Western Baltic, but even here it is unclear how quickly or completely people abandoned wild terrestrial and marine resources after the introduction of domesticated plants and animals at ∼4000 calibrated years B.C. Ceramic containers are found ubiquitously on these sites and contain remarkably well-preserved lipids derived from the original use of the vessel. Reconstructing culinary practices from this ceramic record can contribute to longstanding debates concerning the origins of farming. Here we present data on the molecular and isotopic characteristics of lipids extracted from 133 ceramic vessels and 100 carbonized surface residues dating to immediately before and after the first evidence of domesticated animals and plants in the Western Baltic. The presence of specific lipid biomarkers, notably ω-(o-alkylphenyl)alkanoic acids, and the isotopic composition of individual n-alkanoic acids clearly show that a significant proportion (∼20%) of ceramic vessels with lipids preserved continued to be used for processing marine and freshwater resources across the transition to agriculture in this region. Although changes in pottery use are immediately evident, our data challenge the popular notions that economies were completely transformed with the arrival of farming and that Neolithic pottery was exclusively associated with produce from domesticated animals and plants. PMID:22025697

  2. Ancient lipids reveal continuity in culinary practices across the transition to agriculture in Northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Craig, Oliver E; Steele, Val J; Fischer, Anders; Hartz, Sönke; Andersen, Søren H; Donohoe, Paul; Glykou, Aikaterini; Saul, Hayley; Jones, D Martin; Koch, Eva; Heron, Carl P

    2011-11-01

    Farming transformed societies globally. Yet, despite more than a century of research, there is little consensus on the speed or completeness of this fundamental change and, consequently, on its principal drivers. For Northern Europe, the debate has often centered on the rich archaeological record of the Western Baltic, but even here it is unclear how quickly or completely people abandoned wild terrestrial and marine resources after the introduction of domesticated plants and animals at ∼4000 calibrated years B.C. Ceramic containers are found ubiquitously on these sites and contain remarkably well-preserved lipids derived from the original use of the vessel. Reconstructing culinary practices from this ceramic record can contribute to longstanding debates concerning the origins of farming. Here we present data on the molecular and isotopic characteristics of lipids extracted from 133 ceramic vessels and 100 carbonized surface residues dating to immediately before and after the first evidence of domesticated animals and plants in the Western Baltic. The presence of specific lipid biomarkers, notably ω-(o-alkylphenyl)alkanoic acids, and the isotopic composition of individual n-alkanoic acids clearly show that a significant proportion (∼20%) of ceramic vessels with lipids preserved continued to be used for processing marine and freshwater resources across the transition to agriculture in this region. Although changes in pottery use are immediately evident, our data challenge the popular notions that economies were completely transformed with the arrival of farming and that Neolithic pottery was exclusively associated with produce from domesticated animals and plants.

  3. Understanding the relative influence of climatic variations and agricultural management practices on crop yields at the US county level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leng, G.; Zhang, X.; Huang, M.; Yang, Q.; Rafique, R.; Asrar, G.; Leung, L. R.

    2015-12-01

    Crop yields are largely determined by climate variations and agricultural management practices, such as irrigation, fertilization and residue management. Understanding the role of these factors in regulating crop yield variations is not only important for improved crop yield production, but also equally valuable for future crop yield prediction and food security assessments. Recently, the Community Land Model (CLM) has been augmented and evaluated for simulating corn, soybean and cereals at coarse aerial resolutions of 2 degrees (2000x2000 km). To better understand the underlying mechanisms controlling yield variations, we implemented and validated the agricultural version of CLM (CLM-crop) at a 0.125 degree resolution over the Conterminous United States (CONUS). We conducted a suite of numerical experiments to untangle the relative influence of climatic variations (temperature, precipitation, and radiation) and agricultural management practices on yield variations for the past 30 years at the US county level. Preliminary results show that the model with default parameter settings captures well the temporal variations in crop yields, as compared with the actual yield reported by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the magnitude of simulated crop yields is substantially higher, especially in the Mid-western US. We find that improved characterization of fertilizers and irrigation practices is key to model performance. Retrospectively (1979-2012), crop yields are more sensitive to changes in climate factors (such as temperature) than to changes in crop management practices. The results of this study advances understanding of the dominant factors in regulating the crop yield variations at the county level, which is essential for credible prediction of crop yields in a changing climate, under different agricultural management practices.

  4. Public Progress, Data Management and the Land Grant Mission: A Survey of Agriculture Researchers' Practices and Attitudes at Two Land-Grant Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernandez, Peter; Eaker, Christopher; Swauger, Shea; Davis, Miriam L. E. Steiner

    2016-01-01

    This article reports results from a survey about data management practices and attitudes sent to agriculture researchers and extension personnel at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. Results confirm agriculture…

  5. Development of an Assessment Tool for Agricultural Best Management Practice Implementation in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Priority Watersheds—Eagle Creek, Tributary to Maumee River, Ohio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriman, Katherine R.

    2015-11-19

    The Great Lakes face a number of serious challenges that cause damage to water quality, habitat, ecology, and coastal health. Excess nutrients from point and nonpoint sources have a history of causing harmful algal blooms (HABs); since the late 1990s, a resurgence of HABs have forced beach closures and resulted in water quality impairments across the Great Lakes. Studies increasingly point to phosphorus (P) runoff from agricultural lands as the cause of these HABs. In 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was launched to revitalize the Great Lakes. The GLRI aims to address the challenges facing the Great Lakes and provide a framework for restoration and protection. As part of this effort, the Priority Watersheds Work Group (PWWG), cochaired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA–NRCS), is targeting Priority Watersheds (PWs) to reduce the amount of P reaching the Great Lakes. Within the PWs, USDA–NRCS identifies small-scale subbasins with high concentrations of agriculture for coordinated nutrient reduction efforts and enhanced monitoring and modeling. The USDA–NRCS supplies financial and/or technical assistance to producers to install or implement best management practices (BMPs) to lessen the negative effects of agriculture to water quality; additional funding is provided by the GLRI through USDA–NRCS to saturate the small-scale subbasins with BMPs. The watershed modeling component, introduced in this fact sheet, assesses the effectiveness of USDA–NRCS funded BMPs, and nutrient reductions because of GLRI or other funding programs are differentiated. Modeling scenarios consider BMPs that have already been applied and those planned to be implemented across the small-scale subbasins.

  6. Development of an Assessment Tool for Agricultural Best Management Practice Iimplementation in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Priority Watersheds—Alger Creek, Tributary to Saginaw River, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriman, Katherine R.

    2015-11-19

    The Great Lakes face a number of serious challenges that cause damage to water quality, habitat, ecology, and coastal health. Excess nutrients from point and nonpoint sources have a history of causing harmful algal blooms (HABs); since the late 1990s, a resurgence of HABs have forced beach closures and resulted in water quality impairments across the Great Lakes. Studies increasingly point to phosphorus (P) runoff from agricultural lands as the cause of these HABs. In 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was launched to revitalize the Great Lakes. The GLRI aims to address the challenges facing the Great Lakes and provide a framework for restoration and protection. As part of this effort, the Priority Watersheds Work Group (PWWG), cochaired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA–NRCS), is targeting Priority Watersheds (PWs) to reduce the amount of P reaching the Great Lakes. Within the PWs, USDA–NRCS identifies small-scale subbasins with high concentrations of agriculture for coordinated nutrient reduction efforts and enhanced monitoring and modeling. The USDA–NRCS supplies financial and/or technical assistance to producers to install or implement best management practices (BMPs) to lessen the negative effects of agriculture to water quality; additional funding is provided by the GLRI through USDA–NRCS to saturate the small-scale subbasins with BMPs. The watershed modeling component, introduced in this fact sheet, assesses the effectiveness of USDA–NRCS funded BMPs, and nutrient reductions because of GLRI or other funding programs are differentiated. Modeling scenarios consider BMPs that have already been applied and those planned to be implemented across the small-scale subbasins.

  7. Development of an Assessment Tool for Agricultural Best Management Practice Implementation in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Priority Watersheds—Upper East River, Tributary to Green Bay, Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriman, Katherine R.

    2015-11-19

    The Great Lakes face a number of serious challenges that cause damage to water quality, habitat, ecology, and coastal health. Excess nutrients from point and nonpoint sources have a history of causing harmful algal blooms (HABs); since the late 1990s, a resurgence of HABs have forced beach closures and resulted in water quality impairments across the Great Lakes. Studies increasingly point to phosphorus (P) runoff from agricultural lands as the cause of these HABs. In 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was launched to revitalize the Great Lakes. The GLRI aims to address the challenges facing the Great Lakes and provide a framework for restoration and protection. As part of this effort, the Priority Watersheds Work Group (PWWG), cochaired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA–NRCS), is targeting Priority Watersheds (PWs) to reduce the amount of P reaching the Great Lakes. Within the PWs, USDA–NRCS identifies small-scale subbasins with high concentrations of agriculture for coordinated nutrient reduction efforts and enhanced monitoring and modeling. The USDA–NRCS supplies financial and/or technical assistance to producers to install or implement best management practices (BMPs) to lessen the negative effects of agriculture to water quality; additional funding is provided by the GLRI through USDA–NRCS to saturate the small-scale subbasins with BMPs. The watershed modeling component, introduced in this fact sheet, assesses the effectiveness of USDA–NRCS funded BMPs, and nutrient reductions because of GLRI or other funding programs are differentiated. Modeling scenarios consider BMPs that have already been applied and those planned to be implemented across the small-scale subbasins.

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity influenced by different agricultural management practices in a semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mar Alguacil, Maria; Torrecillas, Emma; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta; Torres, Maria Pilar; Roldan, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are a key, integral component of the stability, sustainability and functioning of ecosystems. In this study a field experiment was performed at the El Teularet-Sierra de Enguera Experimental Station (eastern Spain) to assess the influence during a 6-yr period of different agricultural practices on the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). The management practices included residual herbicide use, ploughing, ploughing + oats, addition of oat straw mulch and a control (land abandonment). Adjacent soil under natural vegetation was used as a reference for local, high-quality soil and as a control for comparison with the agricultural soils under different management practices. The AM fungal small-subunit (SSU) rRNA genes were subjected to PCR, cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analyses. Thirty-six different phylotypes were identified, which were grouped in four families: Glomeraceae, Paraglomeraceae, Ambisporaceae and Claroideoglomeraceae. The first results showed significant differences in the distribution of the AMF phylotypes as consequence of the difference between agricultural management practices. Thus, the lowest diversity was observed for the plot that was treated with herbicide. The management practices including ploughing and ploughing + oats had similar AMF diversity. Oat straw mulching yielded the highest number of different AMF sequence types and showed the highest diversity index. Thus, this treatment could be more suitable in sustainable soil use and therefore protection of biodiversity.

  9. Development of a natural practice to adapt conservation goals to global change.

    PubMed

    Heller, Nicole E; Hobbs, Richard J

    2014-06-01

    Conservation goals at the start of the 21st century reflect a combination of contrasting ideas. Ideal nature is something that is historically intact but also futuristically flexible. Ideal nature is independent from humans, but also, because of the pervasiveness of human impacts, only able to reach expression through human management. These tensions emerge in current management rationales because scientists and managers are struggling to accommodate old and new scientific and cultural thinking, while also maintaining legal mandates from the past and commitments to preservation of individual species in particular places under the stresses of global change. Common management goals (such as integrity, wilderness, resilience), whether they are forward looking and focused on sustainability and change, or backward looking and focused on the persistence and restoration of historic states, tend to create essentialisms about how ecosystems should be. These essentialisms limit the options of managers to accommodate the dynamic, and often novel, response of ecosystems to global change. Essentialisms emerge because there is a tight conceptual coupling of place and historical species composition as an indicator of naturalness (e.g., normal, healthy, independent from humans). Given that change is increasingly the norm and ecosystems evolve in response, the focus on idealized ecosystem states is increasingly unwise and unattainable. To provide more open-ended goals, we propose greater attention be paid to the characteristics of management intervention. We suggest that the way we interact with other species in management and the extent to which those interactions reflect the interactions among other biotic organisms, and also reflect our conservation virtues (e.g., humility, respect), influences our ability to cultivate naturalness on the landscape. We call this goal a natural practice (NP) and propose it as a framework for prioritizing and formulating how, when, and where to

  10. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    PubMed

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  11. Position of the American Dietetic Association: dietetics professionals can implement practices to conserve natural resources and protect the environment. (Previously titled "natural resource conservation and waste management").

    PubMed

    2001-10-01

    It is the position of the American Dietetic Association to encourage environmentally responsible practices that conserve natural resources, minimize the quantity of waste that is generated, and have the least adverse affect on the health of all living organisms and the environment. All components of the food system, from farmer to consumer, are affected by the availability and cost of energy and the availability and quality of water. Outdoor and indoor air quality significantly impacts the health of all living organisms. Decisions that dietetics professionals make as practitioners and consumers can affect the quantity and type of solid waste generated. The demand for natural resources should be evaluated when selecting the most cost-effective, environmentally sensitive approach to the management of solid waste. Special precautions are needed when using and disposing of hazardous and medical waste to protect the safety of our clients and employees. This position paper provides information and resources for dietetics professionals for addressing the complexity of the environmental issue presented. Conservation strategies are identified that dietetics professionals can use in their worksites and at home. These conservation practices may reduce cost and decrease the environmental impact we have on our communities and the world.

  12. Effects of Land Management Practices on Cold Region Hydrological Processes in an Agricultural Prairie Basin (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmood, T. H.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Wheater, H. S.; Baulch, H. M.

    2013-12-01

    Conservation tillage including zero and reduced tillage, crop rotation and upstream reservoirs are commonly implemented as beneficial management practices (BMPs) in the Canadian Prairies. However, their effects are strongly dependent on interactions with cold region hydrological processes, such as wind redistribution of snow, snowmelt, infiltration to frozen soils and evaporation, due to strong coupling between land surface characteristics and hydrology. These interactions are poorly understood and few studies have investigated them using a physically-based modeling framework. In this study, we deploy a physically-based, semi-distributed cold regions hydrological model (CRHM) to investigate the impacts of land management practices in the South Tobacco Creek Basin (STC) which forms part of the Red River Basin in southern Manitoba, Canada. The STC (~73 km2) is set in a gently rolling landscape of low relief (~200 m). Detailed field data such as crop type, tillage practices, crop residue and planting and harvesting dates are available from 1995 and are used to parameterize the model. While the majority of parameters are specified a priori, we have manually calibrated roughness and initial soil water storage parameters to compare the simulations with runoff observations at multiple scales (upstream catchment, mid-basin gauge and outlet gauge) and snow observations during 2000-2001 water year. The calibrated model based on the 2000-2001 period is further evaluated over the 2001-2011 period, which includes high inter-annual variability. The results suggest good agreement between observations and simulations and provide insight into hydrological controls. Snowmelt runoff is a major contributor to streamflow while the contribution of summer rainfall runoff is highly variable. The evaporative fraction is high during dry years (2002-2004) indicating a vertical flux controlled mass balance while the runoff fraction dominates during wet years (2005-2011), suggesting overland

  13. The Potential Importance of Conservation, Restoration, and Altered Management Practices for Water Quality in the Wabash River Watershed

    EPA Science Inventory

    Non-point source (NPS) pollution is one of the leading causes of water quality impairment within the United States. Conservation, restoration and altered management (CRAM) practices may effectively reduce NPS pollutants discharge into receiving water bodies and enhance local and ...

  14. HR Practices Perceptions, Emotional Exhaustion, and Work Outcomes: A Conservation-of-Resources Theory in the Chinese Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sun, Li-Yun; Pan, Wen

    2008-01-01

    The conservation-of-resources theory provided the theoretical underpinning for the relationship among HR practices perceived by employees, emotional exhaustion, and work outcomes (job satisfaction and job performance). To fully understand the underlying mechanism of the relationship, the study examined (1) the main and interactive effects of HR…

  15. The Practice of Conservation of Library Materials in Sub-Saharan Africa. Monograph on Africana Librarianship No. 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ojo-Igbinoba, M. E.

    This document is concerned with the practice of conservation of library materials in African university libraries south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo. Data were collected using a questionnaire mailed to 42 university libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Responses were received from 27 libraries for a 64% response rate. Data analysis was…

  16. Federal-State partnership yields success in remote sensing evaluation of conservation practice effectiveness: Results from the Choptank river CEAP

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of winter cover crops to sequester residual soil nitrogen (N) following the summer row-crop growing season has been identified as an important and successful conservation practice in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Nitrogen losses to groundwater are reduced during the winter season, provided ...

  17. Going Green Doesn't Have to Be Sexy: Lakeland Community College's Practical Approach to Addressing Energy Conservation and Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayher, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    Lakeland Community College is recognized for its energy conservation leadership in Ohio and nationally. The college's program will detail the practical, incremental approach taken in Lakeland's "Energy Journey." Setting the standard statewide, that journey recently resulted in a sustainable, guaranteed reduction of energy use by 40%.

  18. The Potential Importance of Conservation, Restoration and Altered Management Practices for Water Quality in the Wabash River Watershed

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Potential Importance of Conservation, Restoration and Altered Management Practices for Water Quality in the Wabash River Watershed Guoxiang Yang1, Elly P.H. Best2, Staci Goodwin3 1 ORISE Postdoc Research Associate at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Risk...

  19. ISO 14 001 at the farm level: analysis of five methods for evaluating the environmental impact of agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Galan, M B; Peschard, D; Boizard, H

    2007-02-01

    Faced with society's increasing expectations, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) review considers environmental management to be an ever more critical criterion in the allocation of farm subsidies. With the goal of evaluating the environmental friendliness of farm practices, France's agricultural research and extension services have built a range of agricultural/environmental diagnostic tools over recent years. The objective of the present paper is to compare the five tools most frequently used in France: IDEA, DIAGE, DIALECTE, DIALOGUE and INDIGO. All the tools have the same purpose: evaluation of the impact of farm practices on the environment via indicators and monitoring of farm management practices. When tested on a sample of large-scale farms in Picardie, the five tools sometimes produced completely different results: for a given farm, the most supposedly significant environmental impacts depend on the tool used. These results lead to differing environmental management plans and raise the question of the methods' pertinence. An analysis grid of diagnostic tools aimed at specifying their field of validity, limits and relevance was drawn up. The resulting comparative analysis enables to define each tool's domain of validity and allows to suggest lines of thought for developing more relevant tools for (i) evaluating a farm's environmental performance and (ii) helping farmers to develop a plan for improving practices within the framework of an environmental management system.

  20. Ecology and behavior of Anopheles arabiensis in relation to agricultural practices in central Kenya.

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Mwangangi, Joseph M; Beier, John C; Blackshear, Millon; Wauna, James; Sang, Rosemary; Mukabana, Wolfgang R

    2013-09-01

    Ecological changes associated with anthropogenic ecosystem disturbances can influence human risk of exposure to malaria and other vector-borne infectious diseases. This study in Mwea, Kenya, investigated the pattern of insecticide use in irrigated and nonirrigated agroecosystems and association with the density, survival, and blood-feeding behavior of the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis. The parity rates of adult An. arabiensis from randomly selected houses were determined by examining their ovaries for tracheal distension, and polymerase chain reaction was used to identify the host blood meals. In addition, structured questionnaires were used to generate data on insecticide use. Anopheles arabiensis densities were highest in irrigated rice agroecosystems, intermediate in irrigated French beans agroecosystems, and lowest in the nonirrigated agroecosystem. Anopheles arabiensis adult survivorship was significantly lower in irrigated rice agroecosystems than in irrigated French beans agroecosystems. The human blood index (HBI) was significantly higher in the nonirrigated agroecosystem compared to irrigated agroecosystems. Moreover, there was marked variation in HBI among villages in irrigated agroecosystems with significantly lower HBI in Kangichiri and Mathangauta compared to Kiuria, Karima, and Kangai. The proportion of mosquitoes with mixed blood meals varied among villages ranging from 0.25 in Kangichiri to 0.83 in Kiuria. Sumithion, dimethoate, and alpha cypermethrin were the most commonly used insecticides. The 1st was used mostly in irrigated rice agroecosystems, and the last 2 were used mostly in irrigated French beans agroecosystems. These findings indicate that agricultural practices may influence the ecology and behavior of malaria vectors and ultimately the risk of malaria transmission.

  1. Agricultural practices and residual corn during spring crane and waterfowl migration in Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherfy, M.H.; Anteau, M.J.; Bishop, A.A.

    2011-01-01

    Nebraska's Central Platte River Valley (CPRV) is a major spring-staging area for migratory birds. Over 6 million ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) stage there en route to tundra, boreal forest, and prairie breeding habitats, storing nutrients for migration and reproduction by consuming primarily corn remaining in fields after harvest (hereafter residual corn). In springs 2005-2007, we measured residual corn density in randomly selected harvested cornfields during early (n=188) and late migration (n=143) periods. We estimated the mean density of residual corn for the CPRV and examined the influence of agricultural practices (post-harvest field management) and migration period on residual corn density. During the early migration period, residual corn density was greater in idle harvested fields than any other treatments of fields (42%, 48%, 53%, and 92% more than grazed, grazed and mulched, mulched, and tilled fields, respectively). Depletion of residual corn from early to late migration did not differ among post-harvest treatments but was greatest during the year when overall corn density was lowest (2006). Geometric mean early-migration residual corn density for the CPRV in 2005-2007 (42.4 kg/ha; 95% CI=35.2-51.5 kg/ha) was markedly lower than previously published estimates, indicating that there has been a decrease in abundance of residual corn available to waterfowl during spring staging. Increases in harvest efficiency have been implicated as a cause for decreasing corn densities since the 1970s. However, our data show that post-harvest management of cornfields also can substantially influence the density of residual corn remaining in fields during spring migration. Thus, managers may be able to influence abundance of high-energy foods for spring-staging migratory birds in the CPRV through programs that influence post-harvest management of cornfields. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  2. Practice and Reflection on Interactive Three-Dimensional Teaching System in Agricultural and Forestry Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lei, Zhimin

    2013-01-01

    Ever since the new curriculum was implemented, Sichuan Agricultural University that is characterized by agricultural science has conducted ideological and political teaching reform, explored a basic route to integrate scientific outlook on development into theoretical teaching and initially formed a human-oriented interactive three-dimensional…

  3. Conceptualizations of water security in the agricultural sector: Perceptions, practices, and paradigms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malekian, Atefe; Hayati, Dariush; Aarts, Noelle

    2017-01-01

    Conceptions of agricultural water security are conditioned by larger understandings of being and reality. It is still unclear what such understandings mean for perspectives on water security in general and on causes and solutions related to perceived water security risks and problems in agricultural sector in particular. Based on a systematic literature review, three conceptualizations of water security, related to different paradigms, are presented. Also the consequences of such conceptualizations for determining research objectives, research activities, and research outcomes on agricultural water security are discussed. The results showed that agricultural water security from a positivist paradigm referred to tangible and measurable water-related hazards and threats, such as floods and droughts, pollution, and so forth. A constructivist approach to agricultural water security, constituted by a process of interaction and negotiation, pointed at perceptions of water security of farmers and other stakeholders involved in agricultural sector. A critical approach to agricultural water security focused on the processes of securing vulnerable farmers and others from wider political, social, and natural impediments to sufficient water supplies. The conclusions of the study suggest that paradigms, underlying approaches should be expressed, clarified, and related to one another in order to find optimal and complementary ways to study water security issues in agricultural sector.

  4. Multifunctional Agriculture in Policy and Practice? A Comparative Analysis of Norway and Australia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjorkhaug, Hilde; Richards, Carol Ann

    2008-01-01

    Ideals of productivist agriculture in the Western world have faded as the unintended consequences of intensive agriculture and pastoralism have contributed to rural decline and environmental problems. In Norway and Australia, there has been an increasing acceptance of the equal importance of social and environmental sustainability as well as…

  5. Factors Associated with the Adoption of Agricultural Practices; Kampong Bukit Kapar, Selangor, Malaysia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pesson, Lynn L.

    The focus of this study was to procure data about adoption behavior of Malaysian smallholders (farmers) that would be useful in the instructional program in extension education at the College of Agriculture, Malaysia. Students interviewed 76 persons in a rural village of two hundred families, all engaged in agriculture. The major sources of income…

  6. Using Perceived Differences in Views of Agricultural Water Use to Inform Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamm, Alexa J.; Taylor, Melissa R.; Lamm, Kevan W.

    2016-01-01

    Water use has become increasingly contentious as the population grows and water resources become scarcer. Recent media coverage of agricultural water use has brought negative attention potentially influencing public and decision makers' attitudes towards agriculture. Negative perceptions could result in uninformed decisions being made that impact…

  7. 75 FR 17683 - Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative-Chesapeake Bay Watershed

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-07

    ... (CBWI) objectives by implementing conservation practices on agricultural land to improve water quality... conservation practices to improve water quality, restore wetlands, and enhance wildlife habitat. Additional... day-to-day labor and management of the farm or ranch consistent with the practices in the county...

  8. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  9. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael J; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  10. Sustaining the Earth's Watersheds-Agricultural Research Data System: Data development, user interaction, and operations management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To support the Agricultural Research Service’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in assessing USDA conservation programs and practices on soil and water quality, a publicly available web-based watershed data system, called Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data Sy...

  11. Managing climate change in conservation practice: an exploration of the science-management interface in beech forest management.

    PubMed

    de Koning, Jessica; Turnhout, Esther; Winkel, Georg; Blondet, Marieke; Borras, Lars; Ferranti, Francesca; Geitzenauer, Maria; Sotirov, Metodi; Jump, Alistair

    Scientific studies reveal significant consequences of climate change for nature, from ecosystems to individual species. Such studies are important factors in policy decisions on forest conservation and management in Europe. However, while research has shown that climate change research start to impact on European conservation policies like Natura 2000, climate change information has yet to translate into management practices. This article contributes to the on-going debates about science-society relations and knowledge utilization by exploring and analysing the interface between scientific knowledge and forest management practice. We focus specifically on climate change debates in conservation policy and on how managers of forest areas in Europe perceive and use climate change ecology. Our findings show that forest managers do not necessarily deny the potential importance of climate change for their management practices, at least in the future, but have reservations about the current usefulness of available knowledge for their own areas and circumstances. This suggests that the science-management interface is not as politicized as current policy debates about climate change and that the use of climate change ecology is situated in practice. We conclude the article by discussing what forms of knowledge may enable responsible and future oriented management in practice focusing specifically on the role of reflexive experimentation and monitoring.

  12. Effectiveness of Conservation Measures in Reducing Runoff and Soil Loss Under Different Magnitude-Frequency Storms at Plot and Catchment Scales in the Semi-arid Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Zhu, T X

    2016-03-01

    In this study, multi-year stormflow data collected at both catchment and plot scales on an event basis were used to evaluate the efficiency of conservation. At the catchment scale, soil loss from YDG, an agricultural catchment with no conservation measures, was compared with that from CZG, an agricultural catchment with an implementation of a range of conservation measures. With an increase of storm recurrence intervals in the order of <1, 1-2, 2-5, 5-10, 10-20, and >20 years, the mean event sediment yield was 639, 1721, 5779, 15191, 19627, and 47924 t/km(2) in YDG, and was 244, 767, 3077, 4679, 8388, and 15868 t/km(2) in CZG, which represented a reduction effectiveness of 61.8, 55.4, 46.7, 69.2, 57.2, and 66.8 %, respectively. Storm events with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years contributed about two-thirds of the total runoff and sediment in both YDG and CZG catchments. At the plot scale, soil loss from one cultivated slopeland was compared with that from five conservation plots. The mean event soil loss was 1622 t/km(2) on the cultivated slopeland, in comparison to 27.7 t/km(2) on the woodland plot, 213 t/km(2) on the grassland plot, 467 t/km(2) on the alfalfa plot, 236 t/km(2) on the terraceland plot, and 642 t/km(2) on the earthbank plot. Soil loss per unit area from all the plots was significantly less than that from the catchments for storms of all categories of recurrence intervals.

  13. Effectiveness of Conservation Measures in Reducing Runoff and Soil Loss Under Different Magnitude-Frequency Storms at Plot and Catchment Scales in the Semi-arid Agricultural Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, T. X.

    2016-03-01

    In this study, multi-year stormflow data collected at both catchment and plot scales on an event basis were used to evaluate the efficiency of conservation. At the catchment scale, soil loss from YDG, an agricultural catchment with no conservation measures, was compared with that from CZG, an agricultural catchment with an implementation of a range of conservation measures. With an increase of storm recurrence intervals in the order of <1, 1-2, 2-5, 5-10, 10-20, and >20 years, the mean event sediment yield was 639, 1721, 5779, 15191, 19627, and 47924 t/km2 in YDG, and was 244, 767, 3077, 4679, 8388, and 15868 t/km2 in CZG, which represented a reduction effectiveness of 61.8, 55.4, 46.7, 69.2, 57.2, and 66.8 %, respectively. Storm events with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years contributed about two-thirds of the total runoff and sediment in both YDG and CZG catchments. At the plot scale, soil loss from one cultivated slopeland was compared with that from five conservation plots. The mean event soil loss was 1622 t/km2 on the cultivated slopeland, in comparison to 27.7 t/km2 on the woodland plot, 213 t/km2 on the grassland plot, 467 t/km2 on the alfalfa plot, 236 t/km2 on the terraceland plot, and 642 t/km2 on the earthbank plot. Soil loss per unit area from all the plots was significantly less than that from the catchments for storms of all categories of recurrence intervals.

  14. Conservation agriculture among small scale farmers in semi-arid region of Kenya does improve soil biological quality and soil organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waweru, Geofrey; Okoba, Barrack; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    The low food production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been attributed to declining soil quality. This is due to soil degradation and fertility depletion resulting from unsustainable conventional farming practices such as continuous tillage, crop residue burning and mono cropping. To overcome these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is actively promoted. However, little has been done in evaluating the effect of each of the three principles of CA namely: minimum soil disturbance, maximum surface cover and diversified/crop rotation on soil quality in SSA. A study was conducted for three years from 2012 to 2015 in Laikipia East sub county in Kenya to evaluate the effect of tillage, surface cover and intercropping on a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators, crop parameters and the field-water balance. This abstract reports on soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and soil organic carbon (SOC). The experimental set up was a split plot design with tillage as main treatment (conventional till (CT), no-till (NT) and no-till with herbicide (NTH)), and intercropping and surface cover as sub treatment (intercropping maize with: beans, MB; beans and leucaena, MBL; beans and maize residues at 1.5 Mg ha-1 MBMu, and dolichos, MD). NT had significantly higher SMBC by 66 and 31% compared with CT and NTH respectively. SOC was significantly higher in NTH than CT and NT by 15 and 4%, respectively. Intercropping and mulching had significant effect on SMBC and SOC. MBMu resulted in higher SMBC by 31, 38 and 43%, and SOC by 9, 20 and 22% as compared with MBL, MD and MB, respectively. SMBC and SOC were significantly affected by the interaction between tillage, intercropping and soil cover with NTMBMu and NTHMBMu having the highest SMBC and SOC, respectively. We conclude that indeed tillage, intercropping and mulching substantially affect SMBC and SOC. On the individual components of CA, tillage and surface cover had the highest effect on SMBC and

  15. Traditional agricultural practices enable sustainable remediation of highly polluted soils in Southern Spain for cultivation of food crops.

    PubMed

    Madejón, P; Barba-Brioso, C; Lepp, N W; Fernández-Caliani, J C

    2011-07-01

    This study relates elemental content of a range of edible crops grown in soils severely polluted by metals and metalloids as affected by traditional smallholder management practices. Five agricultural plots close to a sulfidic waste dump were monitored. Soil analysis demonstrated elevated concentrations of As, Cu, Pb and Zn that were greatly in excess of maximum statutory limits for agricultural soils in the studied region. The main vegetables (lettuce, chard, onion, potatoes) and lemon, together with their associated soils, were measured for elemental content. Extractable soil element concentrations were very low. There were differences in elemental accumulation between crops, but none exceeded statutory concentrations in edible parts. Soil-plant transfer factors were uniformly low for all elements and crops. It is concluded that traditional soil management practices (annual liming and application of animal manures) have created conditions for sustainable long-term safety use, with potential for multiple end-use, of these highly polluted soils.

  16. Effect of Agricultural Practices on Hydrology and Water Chemistry in a Small Irrigated Catchment, Yakima River Basin, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCarthy, Kathleen A.; Johnson, Henry M.

    2009-01-01

    The role of irrigation and artificial drainage in the hydrologic cycle and the transport of solutes in a small agricultural catchment in central Washington's Yakima Valley were explored using hydrologic, chemical, isotopic, age-dating, and mineralogical data from several environmental compartments, including stream water, ground water, overland flow, and streambed pore water. A conceptual understanding of catchment hydrology and solute transport was developed and an inverse end-member mixing analysis was used to further explore the effects of agriculture in this small catchment. The median concentrations of major solutes and nitrates were similar for the single field site and for the catchment outflow site, indicating that the net effects of transport processes for these constituents were similar at both scales. However, concentrations of nutrients were different at the two sites, suggesting that field-scale variations in agricultural practices as well as nearstream and instream biochemical processes are important components of agricultural chemical transformation and transport in this catchment. This work indicates that irrigation coupled with artificial drainage networks may exacerbate the ecological effects of agricultural runoff by increasing direct connectivity between fields and streams and minimizing potentially mitigating effects (denitrification and dilution, for example) of longer subsurface pathways.

  17. Genetic diversity and genetic structure of an endemic Mexican Dusky Rattlesnake (Crotalus triseriatus) in a highly modified agricultural landscape: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Sunny, Armando; Monroy-Vilchis, Octavio; Zarco-González, Martha M; Mendoza-Martínez, Germán David; Martínez-Gómez, Daniel

    2015-12-01

    It is necessary to determine genetic diversity of fragmented populations in highly modified landscapes to understand how populations respond to land-use change. This information will help guide future conservation and management strategies. We conducted a population genetic study on an endemic Mexican Dusky Rattlesnake (Crotalus triseriatus) in a highly modified landscape near the Toluca metropolitan area, in order to provide crucial information for the conservation of this species. There was medium levels of genetic diversity, with a few alleles and genotypes. We identified three genetically differentiated clusters, likely as a result of different habitat cover type. We also found evidence of an ancestral genetic bottleneck and medium values of effective population size. Inbreeding coefficients were low and there was a moderate gene flow. Our results can be used as a basis for future research and C. triseriatus conservation efforts, particularly considering that the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is heavily impacted by destructive land-use practices.

  18. Assessing the effects of USDA conservation programs on ecosystem services provided by wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in an effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation programs and practices on privately owned agricultural landscapes across the United States. CEAP’s approach includes application ...

  19. Environmental effects of agricultural conservation: A framework for research in two watersheds in Oklahoma's Upper Washita River Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in the Upper Washita River Basin represents mixed crop-livestock systems of the Southern Plains. Research was established in two sub-watersheds, the Little Washita River Experimental Watershed and the Fort Cobb Reservoir Experimental Watershed, to quantify interactive effects of variable...

  20. A global portal enabling worldwide access to information on conservation and use of biodiversity for food and agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genetic diversity of crop species is vital to ensuring more consistent, abundant and nutritious harvests, especially in developing countries. The agricultural community needs ready access to information that enables the most efficient and economical choice of appropriate diversity to address the...