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. Designing impact assessments for evaluating ecological effects of agricultural conservation practices on streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices are regularly implemented within agricultural watersheds throughout the United States without evaluating their ecological impacts. Scientific evaluations documenting how habitat and aquatic biota within streams respond to these practices are needed for evaluating the effects o...

  4. Influence of integrated watershed-scale agricultural conservation practices on lake water quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Watershed-scale management efforts to improve conservation of water resources in agricultural watersheds depend upon the effectiveness of integrated multiple agricultural best management practices at this scale. This requires large-scale, long-term (>10 y) studies measuring key water quality paramet...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on N loads in the Mississippi-atchafalaya river basin.

    PubMed

    Santhi, C; Arnold, J G; White, M; Di Luzio, M; Kannan, N; Norfleet, L; Atwood, J; Kellogg, R; Wang, X; Williams, J R; Gerik, T

    2014-11-01

    A modeling framework consisting of a farm-scale model, Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX); a watershed-scale model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT); and databases was used in the Conservation Effects Assessment Project to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices on cropland. APEX is used to simulate conservation practices on cultivated cropland and Conservation Reserve Program land to assess the edge-of-field water-quality benefits. Flow and pollutant loadings from APEX are input to SWAT. SWAT simulates the remaining noncultivated land and routes flow and loads generated from noncultivated land, point sources, and cropland to the basin outlet. SWAT is used for assessing the effects of practices on local and in-stream water-quality benefits. Each river basin is calibrated and validated for streamflow and loads at multiple gauging stations. The objectives of the current study are to estimate the effects of currently existing and additional conservation practices on total N (TN) loads in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) and draw insights on TN load reductions necessary for reducing the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The effects of conservation practice scenarios on local and in-stream (riverine) water quality are evaluated. Model results indicate that conservation practices currently on cropland have reduced the TN losses to local waters between 20 and 59% in the six river basins within MARB and the TN load discharged to the Gulf by 17%. Further water-quality improvement can be obtained in the MARB with additional conservation treatment. PMID:25602207

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  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. PMID:27471508

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Agricultural Conservation Practices and Wetland Ecosystem Services in a Wetland-Dominated Landscape: The Piedmont-Coastal Plain Region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the wetlands-rich eastern Coastal Plain and Piedmont region, diverse inland wetlands (riverine, depressional, wet flats) have been impacted by or converted to agriculture. Farm Bill conservation practices that restore or enhance wetlands can return their ecological functions and services to the a...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2016-07-01

    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. PMID:27243625

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:26579139

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:24337194

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26691919

  19. 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.

  20. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... practice implementation. (c) A participant will be eligible for payments for water conservation and... 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...

  1. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... practice implementation. (c) A participant will be eligible for payments for water conservation and... 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...

  2. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... practice implementation. (c) A participant will be eligible for payments for water conservation and... 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...

  3. 7 CFR 1466.10 - Conservation practices.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... practice implementation. (c) A participant will be eligible for payments for water conservation and... 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...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LOANS, PURCHASES, AND OTHER OPERATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM Contracts and Payments § 1466.10...

  7. 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. PMID:26641334

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  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, 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...

  12. 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...

  13. H.R. 2339: A Bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 1949 to permit producers to adopt integrated, site-specific farm management plans that provide for resource-conserving crop rotation, special conservation practices, rotational grazing, and biomass production operations and practices. Introduced in the House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, First session

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    This document contains H.R. 2339, A Bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 1949 to permit producers to adopt integrated, site-specific farm management plans that provide for resource-conserving crop rotation, special conservation practices, rotational grazing, and biomass production operations and practices. This Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives, 104th Congress, First Session, September 14, 1995.

  14. 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...

  15. 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 631.11 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION...

  16. 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 631.11 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION...

  17. 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 631.11 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION...

  18. 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 631.11 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LONG TERM CONTRACTING GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION...

  19. 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. PMID:17720669

  20. 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...

  1. Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source Model Application for Mississippi Delta Beasley Lake Watershed Conservation Practices Assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The principal focus of the USDA Conservation Effect Assessment Project (CEAP) Watershed Assessment Study effort is to provide an assessment of environmental benefits derived from implementing USDA conservation programs. When determining the priority for conservation measures within a watershed for ...

  2. Agricultural drainage practices in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, T. D.

    1986-02-01

    Agricultural drainage practices are reviewed under two main headings: arterial drainage of river catch-ments by developing main channels, and field drainage of smaller parcels of land using pipes and open trenches. The use of cost/benefit analysis on the arterial drainage program is considered and the inherent errors are discussed. Conservation of the environment is described as it applies to land-scaping, fisheries, and wildlife, and the drainage authorities are shown to have an enlightened attitude to proper preservation of the world around us.

  3. Sediment reduction due to conservation practices at the watershed scale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In large agricultural watersheds, upland conservation practices and channel stabilization may not result in immediately measurable sediment reduction at the watershed outlet. Measurable reduction in watershed sediment yield depends on placement, or targeting, of conservation practices and on the fr...

  4. Effects of Agricultural and Conservation Practices on Nutrients Losses from the St. Joseph River Watershed, Northeast Indiana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture has been identified as a primary contributor to nutrients that cause algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie. Since 2002, we have been monitoring water quality from agricultural drainage ditches in the St. Joseph River watershed to assess the impacts of agricultural and conserva...

  5. 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

  6. Agricultural intensification escalates future conservation costs.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    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

  7. 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)...

  8. 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...

  9. 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)...

  10. 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...

  11. 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)...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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)...

  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 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...

  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 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)...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Evaluating the Impact of Legacy P and Agricultural Conservation Practices on Nutrient Loads from the Maumee River Watershed.

    PubMed

    Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Kalcic, Margaret; Scavia, Donald

    2016-08-01

    The recent resurgence of hypoxia and harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, driven substantially by phosphorus loads from agriculture, have led the United States and Canada to begin developing plans to meet new phosphorus load targets. To provide insight into which agricultural management options could help reach these targets, we tested alternative agricultural-land-use and land-management scenarios on phosphorus loads to Lake Erie. These scenarios highlight certain constraints on phosphorus load reductions from changes in the Maumee River Watershed (MRW), which contributes roughly half of the phosphorus load to the lake's western basin. We evaluate the effects on phosphorus loads under nutrient management strategies, reduction of fertilizer applications, employing vegetative buffers, and implementing widespread cover crops and alternative cropping changes. Results indicate that even if fertilizer application ceased, it may take years to see desired decreases in phosphorus loads, especially if we experience greater spring precipitation or snowmelt. Scenarios also indicate that widespread conversions to perennial crops that may be used for biofuel production are capable of substantially reducing phosphorus loads. This work demonstrates that a combination of legacy phosphorus, land management, land use, and climate should all be considered when seeking phosphorus-loading solutions. PMID:27322563

  12. Modeling to Target Conservation Practices: A Case Study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Targeted placement of agricultural conservation practices within rural watersheds can significantly increase the cost-effectiveness of these nonpoint source pollution reduction measures. However, agricultural management decisions are made primarily at the farm-level, with confidentiality concerns an...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    ... Natural Resources Conservation Service Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service..., National Agricultural Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture,...

  15. Energy Conservation in Agriculture. Competency Based Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawrence, Layle D.

    This competency-based energy conservation in agriculture curriculum for grades 11 and 12 is organized into seven modules. Intended for use for individualized or group instruction, the lessons should fit into existing units in courses of study rather than be presented as a single comprehensive energy conservation unit. Each module is based on from…

  16. Herbicide and cover crop residue integration for amaranth control in conservation agriculture cotton and implications for resistance management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation agriculture practices are threatened by glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Integrated practices including PRE herbicides and high-residue conservation agriculture systems may decrease Amaranth emergence. Field experiments were conducted from autumn 2006 through cash crop harvest in...

  17. 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…

  18. Agricultural Water Conservation via Conservation Tillage and Thermal Infrared

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Georgia water conservation is an issue that involves all citizens. Within the agricultural row crop community, water is a very important part of producing a harvestable and profitable product. Although irrigation is used only as a supplement to natural rainfall, it can greatly affect crop yield...

  19. 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, ...

  20. 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

  1. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... be subject to, the regulations for ACP contracts and the ACP program that were contained in the 7 CFR... 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...

  2. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... be subject to, the regulations for ACP contracts and the ACP program that were contained in the 7 CFR... 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...

  3. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... be subject to, the regulations for ACP contracts and the ACP program that were contained in the 7 CFR... 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...

  4. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... be subject to, the regulations for ACP contracts and the ACP program that were contained in the 7 CFR... 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...

  5. 7 CFR 701.44 - Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) contracts.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... regulations for ACP contracts and the ACP program that were contained in the 7 CFR, parts 700 to 899, edition... 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. AGRICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICE EFFECTIVENESS DATABASE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Resource Purpose:The Agricultural Best Management Practice Effectiveness Database contains the results of research projects which have collected water quality data for the purpose of determining the effectiveness of agricultural management practices in reducing pollutants ...

  13. Effects of Conservation Practices on Aquatic Habitats and Fauna

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A major goal of both state and federal agricultural and environmental agencies is sustainable management of watersheds where agriculture is a dominant land use. These agencies encourage a watershed conservation approach which requires a suite of management practices that address natural resource con...

  14. Comparison of Measured to Predicted Estimations of Nonpoint Source Contaminants Using Conservation Practices in an Agriculturally-Dominated Watershed in Northeast Arkansas, USA.

    PubMed

    Frasher, Sarah K; Woodruff, Tracy M; Bouldin, Jennifer L

    2016-06-01

    In efforts to reduce nonpoint source runoff and improve water quality, Best Management Practices (BMPs) were implemented in the Outlet Larkin Creek Watershed. Farmers need to make scientifically informed decisions concerning BMPs addressing contaminants from agricultural fields. The BMP Tool was developed from previous studies to estimate BMP effectiveness at reducing nonpoint source contaminants. The purpose of this study was to compare the measured percent reduction of dissolved phosphorus (DP) and total suspended solids to the reported percent reductions from the BMP Tool for validation. Similarities were measured between the BMP Tool and the measured water quality parameters. Construction of a sedimentation pond resulted in 74 %-76 % reduction in DP as compared to 80 % as predicted with the BMP Tool. However, further research is needed to validate the tool for additional water quality parameters. The BMP Tool is recommended for future BMP implementation as a useful predictor for farmers. PMID:27194420

  15. AGRICULTURAL WATER CONSERVATION POLICY IN AN URBANIZING ENVIRONMENT: THE ARIZONA BMP PROGRAM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Arizona legislature authorized in 2002 an agricultural water conservation program based on best management practices. The program is voluntary and an alternative to one based on allotments that have been in operation since 1980. The program requires the farmers to adopt conservation practices f...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. A VSA-based strategy for placing conservation buffers in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Zeyuan

    2003-09-01

    Conservation buffers have the potential to reduce agricultural nonpoint source pollution and improve terrestrial wildlife habitat, landscape biodiversity, flood control, recreation, and aesthetics. Conservation buffers, streamside areas and riparian wetlands are being used or have been proposed to control agricultural nonpoint source pollution. This paper proposes an innovative strategy for placing conservation buffers based on the able source area (VSA) hydrology. VSAs are small, variable but predictable portion of a watershed that regularly contributes to runoff generation. The VSA-based strategy involves the following three steps: first, identifying VSAs in landscapes based on natural characteristics such as hydrology, land use/cover, topography and soils; second, targeting areas within VSAs for conservation buffers; third, refining the size and location of conservation buffers based on other factors such as weather, environmental objectives, available funding and other best management practices. Building conservation buffers in VSAs allows agricultural runoff to more uniformly enter buffers and stay there longer, which increases the buffer's capacity to remove sediments and nutrients. A field-scale example is presented to demonstrate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the within-VSA conservation buffer scenario relative to a typical edge-of-field buffer scenario. The results enhance the understanding of hydrological processes and interactions between agricultural lands and conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes, and provide practical guidance for land resource managers and conservationists who use conservation buffers to improve water quality and amenity values of agricultural landscape. PMID:14753616

  2. 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. PMID:25463565

  3. 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...

  4. Integrating herbicides in a high-residue cover crop conservation agriculture setting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation agriculture systems provide a means to ensure long-term agricultural productivity, protect environmental quality, and reduce inputs into farming systems. Weed control in these systems rely on multiple tactics to achieve effective weed management while limiting chemical inputs. Practic...

  5. Model development for evaluating USDA Conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For many years the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has administered conservation programs to protect million of acres of land from degradation and to enforce environmental quality. The impact, effectiveness, and efficiency of...

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. Calapooia watershed, Oregon: National Institute of Food and Agriculture - Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The overall goals of Assessing Trade-offs Between Crop Production and Ecological Services were to quantify linkages between conservation practices and biophysical responses including water quality and biological indicators, and to develop a model to assess tradeoffs between agricultural practices th...

  10. Assessment of the Iowa River's South Fork Watershed: Part 2. Conservation Practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Assessments of conservation practice effects on water quality in watersheds require the types and extent of practices implemented to be known. This paper assesses results from a conservation-practices inventory for the South Fork of the Iowa River (78,000 ha), conducted in 2005. Agricultural managem...

  11. 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...

  12. 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. PMID:25998969

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. SIMULATED HYDROLOGIC IMPACT OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT RESULTING FROM CONSERVATION PRACTICE IMPLEMENTATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation programs developed and implemented by the U.S. Department of Agricultural have the potential to lead to large changes in agricultural watersheds across the U.S. One common conservation practice across the Southeast is the planting of pine trees. Different evapotranspiration and infiltr...

  16. New Advances and Practices for Precision Conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the next four decades soil and water conservation scientists will encounter some of their greatest challenges to maintain sustainability of agricultural systems stressed by global warming and increasing population growth, with higher food and biofuels demands. It has been reported that intens...

  17. New Advances and Practices for Precision Conservation.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the next four decades soil and water conservation scientists will encounter some of their greatest challenges to maintain sustainability of agricultural systems stressed by global warming and increasing population growth, with higher food and biofuels demands. It has been reported that intens...

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25566324

  19. 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...

  20. Improving conservation tillage practices for pearl millet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation tillage practices should reduce pearl millet production costs by saving time, fuel, and fertilizer, but there is little information available concerning recommendations. In this paper we summarize recent research, developments, and experiences in developing no-till practices and identif...

  1. Implementation of grassland conservation practices in EQIP

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many conservation practices are implemented with financial and technical assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), administered by the USDA. The extent to which practices specific to grasslands and pasture-based production systems have been adopted is not clear. We used ...

  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. PMID:19224272

  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. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25461017

  6. Thermal Infrared Imagery for Better Water Conservation in Agricultural Fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water conservation is an issue that involves all citizens in Georgia. Within the agricultural row crop community, water is a very important part of producing a harvestable and profitable product. Although irrigation is used only as a supplement to natural rainfall, it can greatly affect crop yield...

  7. Assessment of range planting as a conservation practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    NRCS range-planting Conservation Practice standards are used to develop management recommendations for improving vegetation composition and productivity of grazed plant communities. Individual Conservation Practice recommendations are implemented within a Conservation-Management-System in areas whe...

  8. 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...

  9. 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. PMID:23326454

  10. Engaging Stakeholders To Define Feasible and Desirable Agricultural Conservation in Western Lake Erie Watersheds.

    PubMed

    Kalcic, Margaret McCahon; Kirchhoff, Christine; Bosch, Nathan; Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Murray, Michael; Griffith Gardner, Jacob; Scavia, Donald

    2016-08-01

    Widespread adoption of agricultural conservation measures in Lake Erie's Maumee River watershed may be required to reduce phosphorus loading that drives harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. We engaged agricultural and conservation stakeholders through a survey and workshops to determine which conservation practices to evaluate. We investigated feasible and desirable conservation practices using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool calibrated for streamflow, sediment, and nutrient loading near the Maumee River outlet. We found subsurface placement of phosphorus applications to be the individual practice most influential on March-July dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) loading from row croplands. Perennial cover crops and vegetated filter strips were most effective for reducing seasonal total phosphorus (TP) loading. We found that practices effective for reducing TP and DRP load were not always mutually beneficial, culminating in trade-offs among multiple Lake Erie phosphorus management goals. Adoption of practices at levels considered feasible to stakeholders led to nearly reaching TP targets for western Lake Erie on average years; however, adoption of practices at a rate that goes beyond what is currently considered feasible will likely be required to reach the DRP target. PMID:27336855

  11. Reply to discussion of, "Adapting Existing Models to Examine Effects of Agricultural Conservation Programs on Stream Habitat Quality"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Annual expenditures by the federal government in the US for agricultural conservation increased about 80% with passage of the 2002 Farm Bill. However, environmental benefits of these programs have not been quantified. A national project is underway to estimate the effect of conservation practices on...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. AN ARS DATA SYSTEM FOR ASSESSING CONSERVATION PRACTICES IN WATERSHED STUDIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To support ARS’s recently established Conservation Effects Assessment Project in assessing U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs and practices, a team located at several ARS locations is developing a web-based watershed data system named STEWARDS. The data system consists of four comp...

  5. 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...

  6. 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. PMID:24372589

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 7 CFR 1469.8 - Conservation practices and activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... General Provisions § 1469.8 Conservation practices and activities. (a) Conservation practice and activity selection. (1) The Chief will provide a list of structural and land management practices and activities... practices and activities and their associated rates, the Chief will consider: (i) The cost and...

  15. Carbon dynamics of contrasting agricultural practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghee, Claire; Hallett, Paul; Neilson, Roy; Robinson, David; Paterson, Eric

    2013-04-01

    Application of organic amendments can improve soil quality and provide crop nutrients. To optimise these agricultural benefits from organic applications, the capacity of microbe-driven nutrient and carbon cycling must be understood and exploited. Consideration is therefore required of the complex interactions between the rhizosphere, microbial biomass and organic amendment. We hypothesise that the labile C present in root exudates of plants increases the mineralisation of organic matter in soil, constituting a mechanism to promote nutrient acquisition. This mechanism is known as the 'priming effect', but is poorly understood in the context of agricultural carbon and nutrient management. Field data from the Centre of Sustainable Cropping (CSC) research platform (Dundee, Scotland, UK) are utilised to build an understanding of soil C and N fluxes between contrasting agricultural practices. The field site uses a split-plot design to compare (i) compost amended soils with reduced tillage and chemical inputs and (ii) conventionally managed soils, reflective of current UK commercial arable practice. Significant differences (p= <0.001) were identified between compost amended and conventionally managed soils at field-scale with respect to soil microbial biomass (SMB), total organic carbon (TOC) and mineral nitrogen. Investigation into the priming effect within compost amended soils was subsequently undertaken under laboratory conditions. Stable isotope analysis and measurements of soil biotic parameters were used to quantify priming resulting from Spring Barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Optic) cultivation for (i) unamended and (ii) municipal compost incorporated soils. Compost treatments comprised amendments of 25, 50 and 150 t/Ha and planted soils were compared with unplanted controls. Soil mesocosms were maintained under controlled environmental conditions within labelling chambers supplied continuously with 13C-depleted CO2. Throughout a 41-day incubation period, soil CO2

  16. SOCIOLOGICAL FACTORS IN THE ADOPTION OF AGRICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The primary goal of this research was to determine the relevant socioeconomic, demographic and agricultural factors that influence the adoption and maintenance of agricultural best management practices. A general theoretic model describing the adoption of technology was modified ...

  17. 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. ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:23551570

  20. 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...

  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. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Little River Watershed Conservation Practice Assessment with SWAT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated in 2003 to quantify the environmental impacts of USDA conservation practices at the watershed scale. One of the goals of the project is to assess the ability of physically based watershed scale models to simulate the effects of conserv...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessment of the landscape aspects of conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We review how landscape structure and processes have been considered in the design and assessment of conservation practices. We show how landscape concepts are essential to the success of rangeland conservation practices via theoretical considerations and empirical examples. The core concepts of sca...

  11. 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). ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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. PMID:24040269

  14. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    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.

  16. 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...

  17. An In-depth Examination of Farmers' Perceptions of Targeting Conservation Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalcic, Margaret; Prokopy, Linda; Frankenberger, Jane; Chaubey, Indrajeet

    2014-10-01

    Watershed managers have largely embraced targeting of agricultural conservation as a way to manage strategically non-point source pollution from agricultural lands. However, while targeting of particular watersheds is not uncommon, targeting farms and fields within a specific watershed has lagged. In this work, we employed a qualitative approach, using farmer interviews in west-central Indiana to better understand their views on targeting. Interviews focused on adoption of conservation practices on farmers' lands and identified their views on targeting, disproportionality, and monetary incentives. Results show consistent support for the targeting approach, despite dramatic differences in farmers' views of land stewardship, in their views about disproportionality of water quality impacts, and in their trust in conservation programming. While the theoretical concept of targeting was palatable to all participants, many raised concerns about its practical implementation, pointing to the need for flexibility when applying targeting solutions and revealing misgivings about the government agencies that perform targeting.

  18. TECHNICAL CONCEPTS RELATED TO CONSERVATION OF IRRIGATION AND RAIN WATER IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forty percent of freshwater withdrawals in the U.S. are for irrigated agriculture, which contributed 55$ billion to the economy in 2002. Increasing diversions of water for urban, environmental, and other uses will likely decrease water available to agriculture. Agricultural water conservation is tou...

  19. 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.

  20. Glyphosate Resistant Palmer Amaranth - A Threat To Conservation Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Glyphosate resistant Palmer amaranth is now present in 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 til...

  1. 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....

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:25331642

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. An Analysis of Agricultural Mechanics Safety Practices in Agricultural Science Laboratories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swan, Michael K.

    North Dakota secondary agricultural mechanics instructors were surveyed regarding instructional methods and materials, safety practices, and equipment used in the agricultural mechanics laboratory. Usable responses were received from 69 of 89 instructors via self-administered mailed questionnaires. Findings were consistent with results of similar…

  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. 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

  10. 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. PMID:27243222

  11. A Regional Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on In-stream Water Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, A. M.; Alexander, R. B.; Arnold, J.; Norfleet, L.; Robertson, D. M.; White, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), initiated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has the goal of quantifying the environmental benefits of agricultural conservation practices. As part of this effort, detailed farmer surveys were compiled to document the adoption of conservation practices. Survey data showed that up to 38 percent of cropland in the Upper Mississippi River basin is managed to reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide loads from agricultural activities. The broader effects of these practices on downstream water quality are challenging to quantify. The USDA-NRCS recently reported results of a study that combined farmer surveys with process-based models to deduce the effect of conservation practices on sediment and chemical loads in farm runoff and downstream waters. As a follow-up collaboration, USGS and USDA scientists conducted a semi-empirical assessment of the same suite of practices using the USGS SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) modeling framework. SPARROW is a hybrid statistical and mechanistic stream water quality model of annual conditions that has been used extensively in studies of nutrient sources and delivery. In this assessment, the USDA simulations of the effects of conservation practices on loads in farm runoff were used as an explanatory variable (i.e., change in farm loads per unit area) in a component of an existing a SPARROW model of the Upper Midwest. The model was then re-calibrated and tested to determine whether the USDA estimate of conservation adoption intensity explained a statistically significant proportion of the spatial variability in stream nutrient loads in the Upper Mississippi River basin. The results showed that the suite of conservation practices that NRCS has catalogued as complete nutrient and sediment management are a statistically significant feature in the Midwestern landscape associated with phosphorous runoff and delivery to downstream waters

  12. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25143040

  14. 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)

  15. EFFECTIVENESS OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION PRACTICES FOR POLLUTION CONTROL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The potential water quality effects and economic implications of soil and water conservation practices (SWCPs) are identified. Method for estimating the effects of SWCPs on pollutant losses from croplands are presented. Mathematical simulation and linear programming models were u...

  16. Assessment of range planting as a conservation practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Range Planting Conservation Practice Standards provide general and specific 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. Adoption of these standard...

  17. 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...

  18. Agricultural management options for climate variability and change: conservation tillage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Adapting to climate variability and change can be achieved through a broad range of management alternatives and technological advances. This publication is focused on the use of conservation tillage in crop production systems. The publication outlines ways that conservation tillage can reduce risk r...

  19. Glyphosate-resistant palmer amaranth: a threat to conservation agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation tillage reduces the physical movement of soil to the minimum required for crop establishment and production. Adoption of conservation tillage increased dramatically with the advent of transgenic, glyphosate-resistant crops that permitted in-season, over-the-top use of glyphosate, a broa...

  20. Evaluating agricultural best management practices in tile-drained subwatersheds of the Mackinaw River, Illinois.

    PubMed

    Lemke, A M; Kirkham, K G; Lindenbaum, T T; Herbert, M E; Tear, T H; Perry, W L; Herkert, J R

    2011-01-01

    Best management practices (BMPs) are widely promoted in agricultural watersheds as a means of improving water quality and ameliorating altered hydrology. We used a paired watershed approach to evaluate whether focused outreach could increase BMP implementation rates and whether BMPs could induce watershed-scale (4000 ha) changes in nutrients, suspended sediment concentrations, or hydrology in an agricultural watershed in central Illinois. Land use was >90% row crop agriculture with extensive subsurface tile drainage. Outreach successfully increased BMP implementation rates for grassed waterways, stream buffers, and strip-tillage within the treatment watershed, which are designed to reduce surface runoff and soil erosion. No significant changes in nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N), total phosphorus (TP), dissolved reactive phosphorus, total suspended sediment (TSS), or hydrology were observed after implementation of these BMPs over 7 yr of monitoring. Annual NO-N export (39-299 Mg) in the two watersheds was equally exported during baseflow and stormflow. Mean annual TP export was similar between the watersheds (3.8 Mg) and was greater for TSS in the treatment (1626 ± 497 Mg) than in the reference (940 ± 327 Mg) watershed. Export of TP and TSS was primarily due to stormflow (>85%). Results suggest that the BMPs established during this study were not adequate to override nutrient export from subsurface drainage tiles. Conservation planning in tile-drained agricultural watersheds will require a combination of surface-water BMPs and conservation practices that intercept and retain subsurface agricultural runoff. Our study emphasizes the need to measure conservation outcomes and not just implementation rates of conservation practices. PMID:21712591

  1. 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.

  2. Assessment of the Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture Practices: Implications for Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alonge, Adewale Johnson; Martin, Robert A.

    1995-01-01

    Surveyed farmers (115 of 150) were very positive about the profitability and compatibility of sustainable agriculture, although certain practices elicited negative reactions. They wanted research and development directed toward maximizing profitability and compatibility to facilitate their adoption of these practices. (SK)

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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. PMID:26241204

  6. Supervised Occupational Experience Record Book for Agricultural Resource Conservation, Environmental Management and Forestry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nickles, Tom

    The record book was designed to meet the occupational experience recordkeeping requirements of vocational agriculture students enrolled in forestry, environmental management, or agriculture resource conservation programs in Ohio. It provides guidelines and forms for recording on-the-job, in-the-school lab, and occupational experience project data.…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Nitrogen in agricultural systems: Implications for conservation policy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for providing food to feed a growing world population. However, the introduction of large amount of reactive nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. Careful manage...

  10. TURNING PRECISION AGRICULTURE INFORMATION INTO PRECISION CONSERVATION DECISIONS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For over a decade (1991-2003), precision agriculture methods were used to intensively monitor crop, soil, and water quality information on a typical claypan-soil field in Missouri. Many field properties were found to vary greatly within this somewhat flat, uniform-looking field, including grain yiel...

  11. 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…

  12. 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...

  13. Combining precision conservation technologies into a flexible framework to facilitate agricultural watershed planning

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is possible to map locations in watersheds where various conservation practices should most effectively improve water quality. But methods to precisely place different conservation practices have not been brought into a common framework for watershed planning. This paper proposes and demonstrates...

  14. 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.…

  15. 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…

  16. The Meaning of Practices: Farmers' Conceptions in Agricultural Development Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathieu, Anne

    2004-01-01

    Agricultural development programs often produce unexpected results. This can be attributed to the fact that the target-farmers already have their own knowledge and competencies which, in turn, determine their practices. In order to be adopted, an innovation has first to be discussed, and then appropriated by a local group of farmers in their…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. Biodiversity conservation and agricultural sustainability: towards a new paradigm of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes.

    PubMed

    Scherr, Sara J; McNeely, Jeffrey A

    2008-02-12

    The dominant late twentieth century model of land use segregated agricultural production from areas managed for biodiversity conservation. This module is no longer adequate in much of the world. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment confirmed that agriculture has dramatically increased its ecological footprint. Rural communities depend on key components of biodiversity and ecosystem services that are found in non-domestic habitats. Fortunately, agricultural landscapes can be designed and managed to host wild biodiversity of many types, with neutral or even positive effects on agricultural production and livelihoods. Innovative practitioners, scientists and indigenous land managers are adapting, designing and managing diverse types of 'ecoagriculture' landscapes to generate positive co-benefits for production, biodiversity and local people. We assess the potentials and limitations for successful conservation of biodiversity in productive agricultural landscapes, the feasibility of making such approaches financially viable, and the organizational, governance and policy frameworks needed to enable ecoagriculture planning and implementation at a globally significant scale. We conclude that effectively conserving wild biodiversity in agricultural landscapes will require increased research, policy coordination and strategic support to agricultural communities and conservationists. PMID:17652072

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. Whole-farm simulation to determine effective conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because management decisions are made at the farm level, effective conservation practices must be both efficient in controlling air- and water-borne farm emissions and feasible with regard to farm production and profit. The Integrated Farm Systems Model (IFSM) provides a process-based simulation of ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26514123

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Quantifying the impact of conservation practices at the Choptank watershed in Maryland using AnnAGNPS Model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study is being conducted at the Choptank watershed under the USDA-CEAP program with the objective of quantifying the environmental benefits of conservation practices such as cover crops using AnnAGNPS (Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source) model. Choptank is nearly 800 square miles watersh...

  10. 77 FR 74456 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-14

    ... Envelope Improvement (Code 672), Fence (Code 382), Lighting System Improvement (Code 670), Recreation Land... local wildlife. Lighting System Improvement (Code 670)--This is a new conservation practice standard for complete replacement or retrofitting of one or more components of an existing agricultural lighting...

  11. Agricultural practices influence flow regimes of headwater streams in western Iowa.

    PubMed

    Tomer, M D; Meek, D W; Kramer, L A

    2005-01-01

    Agricultural tillage influences runoff and infiltration, but consequent effects on watershed hydrology are poorly documented. This study evaluated 25 yr (1971-1995) hydrologic records from four first-order watersheds in Iowa's loess hills. Two watersheds were under conventional tillage and two were under conservation (ridge) tillage, one of which was terraced. All four watersheds grew corn (Zea mays L.) every year. Flow-frequency statistics and autoregressive modeling were used to determine how conservation treatments influenced stream hydrology. The autoregressive modeling characterized variations in discharge, baseflow, and runoff at multi-year, annual, and shorter time scales. The ridge-tilled watershed (nonterraced) had 47% less runoff and 36% more baseflow than the conventional watershed of similar landform and slope. Recovery of baseflow after drought was quicker in the conservation watersheds, as evidenced by 365-d moving average plots, and 67% greater baseflow during the driest 2 yr. The two conventional watersheds were similar, except the steeper watershed discharged more runoff and baseflow during short (<30 d), wet periods. Significant multi-year and annual cycles occurred in all variables. Under ridge-till, seasonal (annual-cycle) variations in baseflow had greater amplitude, showing the seasonality of subsurface contaminant movement could increase under conservation practices. However, deviations from the modeled cycles of baseflow were also more persistent under conservation practices, indicating baseflow was more stable. Indeed, flow-frequency curves showed wet-weather discharge decreased and dry-weather discharge increased under conservation practices. Although mean discharge increased in the conservation watersheds, variance and skewness of daily values were smaller. Ridge tillage with or without terraces increased stream discharge but reduced its variability. PMID:16091607

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kraft, Kraig H; de Jesús Luna-Ruíz, José; Gepts, Paul

    2010-12-01

    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

  14. Agricultural employers' hiring and safety practices for adolescent workers.

    PubMed

    Lee, B C; Westaby, J D; Chyou, P H; Purschwitz, M A

    2007-01-01

    The goal of the "Safety Training for Employers and Supervisors of Adolescent Farmworkers" initiative is to improve the occupational health and safety knowledge and practices of agricultural employers and supervisors responsible for employees, ages 14 to 17 years. Surveys were sent to members of the National Council of Agricultural Employers and the Washington Growers League to measure attitudes regarding adolescent employees, current hiring and training practices, and future intentions. More than half of the respondents hire adolescents. Two-thirds were male, nearly three-quarters of the respondents had college or post-graduate degrees, and more than half were 50 years or older. The majority of respondents had positive perceptions of adolescents in terms of dependability, helpfulness, and work ethic. Among those who currently hire young workers, the most common reasons were to provide a job for children of friends and family and because they can work part-time to fill a labor demand. Among those not hiring adolescents, the most common reason was concern about child labor regulations and associated tasks (e.g., paperwork, monitoring hours). Respondents use a variety of safety training resources, especially posters and safety meetings. For the future, they expect to need more handout materials and training videos. Study results provide insights into barriers to the employment of young workers and suggest methods by which agricultural safety specialists can best assist those employers and producers who are willing to hire adolescents into agricultural work settings. PMID:17370911

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:26237404

  20. 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...

  1. 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

    2013-02-01

    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. PMID:23272937

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    “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. PMID:23686581

  6. 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).

  7. 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. PMID:22937950

  8. 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. PMID:25182683

  9. 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)

  10. Validation of good agricultural practices (GAP) on Minnesota vegetable farms.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Karin E; Umber, Jamie; Hultberg, Annalisa; Tong, Cindy; Schermann, Michele; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco; Bender, Jeff B

    2015-02-01

    The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture jointly published the "Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables," which is used as a basis for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits. To understand barriers to incorporation of GAP by Minnesota vegetable farmers, a mail survey completed in 2008 was validated with visits to a subset of the farms. This was done to determine the extent to which actual practices matched perceived practices. Two hundred forty-six producers completed the mail survey, and 27 participated in the on-farm survey. Over 75% of the on-farm survey respondents produced vegetables on 10 acres or less and had 10 or fewer employees. Of 14 questions, excellent agreement between on-farm interviews and mail survey responses was observed on two questions, four questions had poor or slight agreement, and eight questions had no agreement. Ninety-two percent of respondents by mail said "they took measures to keep animals and pests out of packing and storage buildings." However, with the on-site visit only 45% met this requirement. Similarly, 81% of respondents by mail said "measures were taken to reduce the risk of wild and/or domestic animals entering into fruit and vegetable growing areas." With direct observation, 70% of farms actually had taken measures to keep animals out of the growing areas. Additional, on-farm assessments were done regarding employee hygiene, training, presence of animals, water sources, and composting practices. This validation study demonstrated the challenge of creating nonleading and concise questions that are not open to broad interpretation from the respondents. If mail surveys are used to assess GAP, they should include open-ended questions and ranking systems to better assess farm practices. To provide the most accurate survey data for educational purposes or GAP audits, on-farm visits are recommended. PMID:25564923

  11. 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

  12. Agricultural practices and irrigation water demand in Uttar Pradesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Keeffe, J.; Buytaert, W.; Brozovic, N.; Mijic, A.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in farming practices within Uttar Pradesh, particularly advances in irrigation technology, have led to a significant drop in water tables across the region. While the acquisition of monitoring data in India is a challenge, current water use practices point towards water overdraught. This is exacerbated by government and state policies and practices, including the subsidising of electricity, seeds and fertilizer, and an agreement to buy all crops grown, promoting the over use of water resources. Taking India's predicted population growth, increases in industrialisation and climate change into account, both farmland and the water resources it depends upon will be subject to increased pressures in the future. This research is centred around irrigation demands on water resources within Uttar Pradesh, and in particular, quantifying those demands both spatially and temporally. Two aspects of this will be presented; the quantification of irrigation water applied and the characterisation of the spatial heterogeneity of water use practices. Calculating the volumes of applied irrigation water in the absence of observed data presents a major challenge and is achieved here through the use of crop models. Regional crop yields provided by statistical yearbooks are replicated by the crop models AquaCrop and InfoCrop, and by doing so the amount of irrigation water needed to produce the published yields is quantified. In addition, proxy information, for example electrical consumption for agricultural use, is used to verify the likely volumes of water abstracted from tubewells. Statistical analyses of borehole distribution and the characterisation of the spatial heterogeneity of water use practices, particularly farmer decision making, collected during a field trip are also presented. The evolution of agricultural practices, technological advancement and water use for irrigation is reconstructed through the use of multiple regression and principle component analysis

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Fate and effects of clothianidin in fields using conservation practices.

    PubMed

    de Perre, Chloé; Murphy, Tracye M; Lydy, Michael J

    2015-02-01

    Despite the extensive use of the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin, and its known toxicity to beneficial insects such as pollinators, little attention has been given to its fate under agricultural field conditions. The present study investigated the fate and toxicity of clothianidin applied every other year as a corn seed-coating at 2 different rates, 0.25 mg/seed and 0.50 mg/seed, in an agricultural field undergoing a corn-soybean annual rotation, and conservation tillage. Concentrations were measured in soil, surface runoff, infiltration, and groundwater from 2011 to 2013. Clothianidin was detected at low concentrations in soil and water throughout the 2-yr corn and soybean rotation. Low and no-tillage had little or no effect on clothianidin concentrations. Laboratory toxicity bioassays were performed on nontarget species, including Daphnia magna, Hyalella azteca, Chironomus dilutus, Pimephales promelas and Eisenia fetida. Risk quotients were calculated from clothianidin concentrations measured in the field and compared with the laboratory toxicity bioassay results to assess the environmental risk of the insecticide. The risk quotient was found to be lower than the level of concern for C. dilutus, which was the most sensitive species tested; therefore, no short-term environmental risk was expected for the species investigated in the present study. PMID:25376402

  16. An examination of soil and water conservation practices in the paddy fields of Guilan province, Iran.

    PubMed

    Ashoori, Daryoush; Bagheri, Asghar; Allahyari, Mohammad S; Al-Rimawi, Ahmad S

    2016-06-01

    This study examined the use of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices among rice farmers in Iran. A random sample of 400 rice paddy farmers in the Foumanat plain of Guilan province, who use SWC measures, was drawn from a population of 52 thousand farmers. A two-part questionnaire was used to examine the level of utilization of SWC practices and to profile paddy farmers. Internal consistency was demonstrated with a coefficient alpha of 0.76, and the content and face validity of the instrument was confirmed by a panel of soil and water experts. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to analyze the data. Results of ANOVA indicated that the mean levels of SWC practices vary considerably at the 0.01 level of significance by groups of age, education, non-agricultural income, production costs, yield, cultivated paddies and distance from home to the farm or to the main road. Similarly, significant differences were observed by groups of family size, rice production, ownership of livestock and profits from rice production at 0.05 level. The levels of experience in agriculture and ownership of poultry were found to have no significant effects on SWC practices. PMID:27276379

  17. 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

    U.S. Geological Survey

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25794180

  2. Modeling the effects of conservation practices on stream health.

    PubMed

    Einheuser, Matthew D; Nejadhashemi, A Pouyan; Sowa, Scott P; Wang, Lizhu; Hamaamin, Yaseen A; Woznicki, Sean A

    2012-10-01

    Anthropogenic activities such as agricultural practices can have large effects on the ecological components and overall health of stream ecosystems. Therefore, having a better understanding of those effects and relationships allows for better design of mitigating strategies. The objectives of this study were to identify influential stream variables that correlate with macroinvertebrate indices using biophysical and statistical models. The models developed were later used to evaluate the impact of three agricultural management practices on stream integrity. Our study began with the development of a high-resolution watershed model for the Saginaw River watershed in Michigan for generating in-stream water quality and quantity data at stream reaches with biological sampling data. These in-stream data were then used to explain macroinvertebrate measures of stream health including family index of biological integrity (FamilyIBI), Hilsenhoff biotic index (HBI), and the number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera , and Trichoptera taxa (EPTtaxa). Two methods (stepwise linear regression and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference systems (ANFIS)) were evaluated for developing predictive models for macroinvertebrate measures. The ANFIS method performed the best on average and the final models displayed the highest R(2) and lowest mean squared error (MSE) for FamilyIBI (R(2)=0.50, MSE=29.80), HBI (R(2)=0.57, MSE=0.20), and EPTtaxa (R(2)=0.54, MSE=6.60). Results suggest that nutrient concentrations have the strongest influence on all three macroinvertebrate measures. Consistently, average annual organic nitrogen showed the most significant association with EPTtaxa and HBI. Meanwhile, the best model for FamilyIBI included average annual ammonium and average seasonal organic phosphorus. The ANFIS models were then used in conjunction with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool to forecast and assess the potential effects of different best management practices (no-till, residual management, and native

  3. 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.

  4. Agricultural Literacy: Clarifying a Vision for Practical Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, David; Agnew, David; Trexler, Cary

    2008-01-01

    "Agricultural literacy" is a working concept with considerable range in meaning and impact. An overview of agricultural literacy curricula shows complementary deductive and inductive approaches to the systematic incorporation of agricultural education in K-12 classrooms. Based on positions discussed at the 2005 Agricultural Literacy Special…

  5. 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

  6. Potential of the Conservation Reserve Program to control agricultural surface water pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lant, Christopher L.

    1991-07-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), initiated by the Conservation Title of the Food Security Act of 1985, is the primary federal program to control nonpointsource pollution in agricultural watersheds of the United States. However, the program is designed primarily to reduce soil erosion rather than to retire croplands in a manner optimal for controlling runoff of sediment and associated pollutants. This study estimates potential enrollment of streamside and floodplain croplands in this ten-year retirement program in order to gauge the potential of the CRP as a water-quality improvement policy. A contingent choice survey design was employed in Fayette County, Illinois, to demonstrate that there is substantial potential for retirement of streamside and floodplain croplands in the CRP. Enrollments in each program climb from less than 6% to over 83% of eligible croplands as the annual rental rate is increased from 20 to 200/acre. Potential retirement of streamside and floodplain croplands declines, however, if tree planting, drainage removal, or a 20-year contract are required. The potential of a CRP-based water-quality program to improve water quality and aquatic ecosystems in agricultural watersheds is thus substantial but constrained by the economic trade-offs that farmers make between crop production and conservation incentives in determining the use of their riparian lands.

  7. Cost-Effective Allocation of Agricultural Best Management Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arabi, M.; Govindaraju, R. S.; Engel, B. A.

    2007-12-01

    Implementation of conservation programs is perceived as being crucial for restoring and protecting waters and watersheds from nonpoint source pollution. Success of these programs depends to a great extent on planning tools that can assist the watershed management process. Herein, a novel optimization methodology is presented for deriving watershed-scale sediment and nutrient control plans that incorporate multiple, and often conflicting, objectives. The method combines the use of a watershed model (SWAT), representation of best management practices, an economic component, and a genetic algorithm-based spatial search procedure. For a small watershed in Indiana located in the Midwestern portion of the United States, selection and placement of best management practices by optimization was found to be nearly three times more cost-effective than targeting strategies for the same level of protection specified in terms of maximum monthly sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen loads. Conversely, for the same cost, the optimization plan reduced the maximum monthly loads by a factor of two when compared to the targeting plan. The optimization methodology developed in this paper can facilitate attaining water quality goals at significantly lower costs than commonly used cost-share and targeting strategies.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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. PMID:25602551

  11. Phosphorus losses from monitored fields with conservation practices in the Lake Erie Basin, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices are placed on farm fields in the USA through Farm Bill programs; however, there has been very little verification that these practices provide environmental benefits. This study was conducted to assess the impact of placing Farm Bill eligible conservation practices on soluble ...

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluating Conservation Practices and Land Use on Maryland's Eastern Shore

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As part of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), conservation program effects are being evaluated in the Choptank River "special emphasis" watershed on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Hand-drawn maps of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enrolled areas were obtained from farm planning office...

  16. ANNAGNPS APPLICATION FOR BEASLEY WATERSHED CONSERVATION PRACTICES ASSESSMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The principal focus of the USDA Conservation Effects Assessment Project-Watershed Assessment Study effort is to produce an assessment of environmental benefits derived from implementing USDA conservation programs. When determining the priority for conservation measures within a watershed for non-po...

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26400720

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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. ...

  4. Modeling conservation practices in APEX: From the field to the watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evaluation of USDA conservation programs is required as part of the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). The Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender (APEX) model was applied to the St. Joseph River Watershed, one of CEAP’s benchmark watersheds. Using a previously calibrated and val...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25538868

  10. Validation of Paired Watersheds for Assessing Conservation Practices in Upper Big Walnut Creek Watershed, Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices are effective measures to combat sediment, nutrient, and pesticide transport at the plot scale. The impacts of watershed scale adoption of conservation practices on sediment, nutrient, and pesticide losses and the impacts on adjacent stream biota are not well understood. A pai...

  11. 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...

  12. Assessing the benefits of grazing land conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Effect Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated in 2006 to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation on grazing lands. Strategy for the grazing land national assessment encompasses a 5 part process: National Assessment - Providing national s...

  13. Midwest Climate and Agriculture - Monitoring Tillage Practices with NASA Remote Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makar, N. I.; Archer, S.; Rooks, K.; Sparks, K.; Trigg, C.; Lourie, J.; Wilkins, K.

    2011-12-01

    Concerns about climate change have driven efforts to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural activity has drawn considerable attention because it accounts for nearly twelve percent of total anthropogenic emissions. Depending on the type of tillage method utilized, farm land can be either a source or a sink of carbon. Conventional tillage disturbs the soil and can release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Conservational tillage practices have been advocated for their ability to sequester carbon, reduce soil erosion, maintain soil moisture, and increase long-term productivity. If carbon credit trading systems are implemented, a cost-effective, efficient tillage monitoring system is needed to enforce offset standards. Remote sensing technology can expedite the process and has shown promising results in distinguishing crop residue from soil. Agricultural indices such as the CAI, SINDRI, and LCA illuminate the unique reflectance spectra of crop residue and are thus able to classify fields based on percent crop cover. The CAI requires hyperspectral data, as it relies on narrow bands within the shortwave infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although limited in availability, hyperspectral data has been shown to produce the most accurate results for detecting crop residue on the soil. A new approach to using the CAI was the focus of this study. Previously acquired field data was located in a region covered by a Hyperion swath and is thus the primary study area. In previous studies, ground-based data were needed for each satellite swath to correctly calibrate the linear relationship between the index values and the fraction of residue cover. We hypothesized that there should be a standard method which is able to convert index values into residue classifications without ground data analysis. To do this, end index values for a particular data set were assumed to be associated with end values of residue cover percentages. This method may prove

  14. Variability of Total Below Ground Carbon Allocation amongst Common Agricultural Land Management Practices: a Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wacha, K. M.; Papanicolaou, T.; Wilson, C. G.

    2010-12-01

    Field measurements and numerical models are currently being used to estimate quantities of Total Belowground Carbon Allocation (TBCA) for three representative land uses, viz. corn, soybeans, and prairie bromegrass for CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) of an agricultural Iowa sub-watershed, located within the Clear Creek Watershed (CCW). Since it is difficult to measure TBCA directly, a mass balance approach has been implemented to estimate TBCA as follows: TBCA = FS + FE+ Δ(CS + CR + CL) - FA , where the term Fs denotes soil respiration; FE is the carbon content of the eroded/deposited soil; ΔCS, ΔCR, ΔCL denote the changes in carbon content of the mineral soil, plant roots, and litter layer, respectively; and FA is the above ground litter fall of dead plant material to the soil. The terms are hypothesized to have a huge impact on TBCA within agricultural settings due to intensive tillage practices, water-driven soil erosion/deposition, and high usage of fertilizer. To test our hypothesis, field measurements are being performed at the plot scale, replicating common agricultural land management practices. Soil respiration (FS) is being measured with an EGM-4 CO2 Gas Analyzer and SRC-1 Soil Respiration Chamber (PP Systems), soil moisture and temperature are recorded in the top 20 cm for each respective soil respiration measurement, and litter fall rates (FA) are acquired by collecting the residue in a calibrated pan. The change in carbon content of the soil (ΔCS), roots (ΔCR) and litter layer (ΔCL) are being analyzed by collecting soil samples throughout the life cycle of the plant. To determine the term FE for the three representative land management practices, a funnel collection system located at the plot outlet was used for collecting the eroded material after natural rainfall events. Field measurements of TBCA at the plot scale via the mass balance approach are used to calibrate the numerical agronomic process model DAYCENT, which simulates the daily

  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. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:22687433

  2. Evaluating alternative agricultural management practices for a minor agricultural watershed using the ADAPT method

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, a spatial-process based water quality model was calibrated (2001-2002) for flow, sediment, nitrate and phosphorus losses from the High Island Creek, a 3856 ha agricultural watershed located in south-central Minnesota. The calibrated model was used to evaluate alternative tillage and ...

  3. 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

  4. Conservation practices and their potential to mitigate climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The resilience of agricultural systems to climate change is dependent on the ability of the soil to capture and supply water to the plant at critical times in order to overcome the potential negative impacts of rising temperature. Climate change will occur as not only changes in the mean values of t...

  5. Effects of Conservation Practices on Sediment and Chemical Runoff

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Row crop agriculture was introduced on a wide scale in the Southern United States (USA) as populations migrated westward during the 18th and 19th centuries. The trend was for areas predominantly covered by woodlands to be clear-cut, tilled, and cropped intensively, and then abandoned once native so...

  6. Effectiveness and Efficacy of Soil Conservation Practices in Potato Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato production systems in the Northeast U.S. are characterized by intensive tillage, minimal ground cover, low crop residue return, and steep slopes. Soil conservation can be especially challenging after potato harvest. We used rainfall simulators in the greenhouse and field to assess sediment ...

  7. Hearing and hearing conservation practices among Australia's professional orchestral musicians.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Orchestral musicians are an at-risk population for noise-induced hearing loss. Following strategic approaches to mitigate exposure, many must use earplugs to safeguard their hearing, although reported usage rates are poor. Australia has progressive hearing conservation programs within many of its orchestras, yet little is known of earplug usage rates, abilities with earplugs or self-perceived hearing loss in this population. To help direct and inform future approaches to hearing conservation in Australia's orchestras a questionnaire assessing hearing conservation behaviors and the prevalence of self-perceived hearing loss was distributed. A total of 580 musicians across eight professional orchestras were surveyed, with 367 completed surveys (63%) returned. Eighty percent of respondents reported a risk of hearing damage in the orchestra, 64% used earplugs of some type at least some of the time and 83% found this use difficult/impossible. Forty-three percent reported a hearing loss, including 54% in pit orchestras and 46% of those ≤50 years of age. Brass players were least likely to use earplugs, most likely to report usage difficulties and most likely of those ≤50 years of age to report a hearing loss. While earplug usage rates in Australia are encouraging and may be linked to hearing conservation measures in the orchestras, the widespread difficulty reported with the use of these earplugs, the prevalence of self-reported hearing loss and the continued vulnerability of those most at-risk indicate improvements in both earplug design and further education for musicians are required to progress hearing conservation options for this population. PMID:24953885

  8. Conservative Care of the Elderly CKD Patient: A Practical Guide.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, Divya; Holley, Jean L

    2016-01-01

    Palliative care is a branch of medicine dedicated to the relief of symptoms experienced during the course of illness. Renal palliative medicine or kidney supportive care is an evolving branch of nephrology, which incorporates the principles of palliative care into the care of CKD and ESRD (dialysis, transplant, and conservatively managed) patients. Conservative (non-dialytic) management is a legitimate option for frail, elderly CKD patients in whom dialysis may not lead to an improvement in quality or duration of life. Patients with advanced CKD have a high symptom burden that often worsens before death. Palliative or supportive care by visiting nurses, palliative care programs, or knowledgeable CKD programs should be routine for conservatively managed CKD patients. Decision-making about dialysis or conservative management requires patients and families be given information on prognosis, quality of life on dialysis, and options for supportive care. Advance care planning is the process by which these issues can be explored. In addition to advance care planning, because patients with ESRD have a high symptom burden, this needs to be addressed. Patients with ESRD have a high symptom burden, which needs to be addressed in any treatment plan. Common symptoms include pain, fatigue, insomnia, pruritus, anorexia, and nausea. Symptoms appear to increase as the patient nears death, and this must be anticipated. Recommendations for management are discussed in the article. Hospice care should be offered to all patients who are expected to die within the next 6 months, and supportive care should be provided to all CKD patients managed conservatively or with dialysis. PMID:26709063

  9. 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. PMID:10959107

  10. 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.

  11. MODELING THE IMPACT OF CONSERVATION TILLAGE PRACTICES ON PESTICIDE CONCENTRATIONS IN GROUND AND SURFACE WATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    To analyze the environmental fate and migration of pesticides applied to croplands as they are affected by conservation tillage practices, pesticide models for leaching, surface water and ground water were selected and an application method was developed. Fourteen different pesti...

  12. Conservation practice effectiveness in the irrigated Upper Snake/Rock Creek watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Upper Snake-Rock (USR) Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated in 2005 to determine the effectiveness of conservation practices in an irrigated watershed. Our objectives were to determine water and salt balances and water quality effects of using sprinkler rather than furrow...

  13. 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...

  14. 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…

  15. A Tale of Three Watersheds: Non-point Source Pollution and Conservation Practices Across Iowa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This research was conducted as part of a Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) - Watershed Assessment Study supported by USDA-CSREES. The objectives of the project are to evaluate the effects of watershed conservation practices on water quality, with a focus on understanding how the suite o...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Evaluation of Alternative Scenarios for Conservation Practice Application Within the Little River Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated in 2003 to quantify the environmental benefits of USDA conservation practices. Long-term hydrology and water quality data have been measured for more than 30 years within the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW), which is one of ARS ...

  19. 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

    ... to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. These standards include: Contour Farming (Code 330), Critical Area Planting (Code 342), Cross... and comment all proposed revisions to conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL...

  20. 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. PMID:22518928

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. LITTLE RIVER EXPERIMENTAL WATERSHED, TIFTON, GA, UNITED STATES: A HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHIC DATABASE OF CONSERVATION PRACTICE IMPLEMENTATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Little River Experimental Watershed is located in the headwaters of the Upper Suwannee River basin and 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). In su...

  4. 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

  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. 'Cabernet Sauvignon' grape anthocyanin increased by soil conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cover crops and no-till (mown) systems provide multiple benefits to vineyard soils such as improvements in soil organic matter and reductions in erosion and dust generation. Understanding the effects of such practices on grape attributes will contribute to the sustainability of the production system...

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26920532

  10. 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. PMID:24279431

  11. Impact of criticism of null-hypothesis significance testing on statistical reporting practices in conservation biology.

    PubMed

    Fidler, Fiona; Burgman, Mark A; Cumming, Geoff; Buttrose, Robert; Thomason, Neil

    2006-10-01

    Over the last decade, criticisms of null-hypothesis significance testing have grown dramatically, and several alternative practices, such as confidence intervals, information theoretic, and Bayesian methods, have been advocated. Have these calls for change had an impact on the statistical reporting practices in conservation biology? In 2000 and 2001, 92% of sampled articles in Conservation Biology and Biological Conservation reported results of null-hypothesis tests. In 2005 this figure dropped to 78%. There were corresponding increases in the use of confidence intervals, information theoretic, and Bayesian techniques. Of those articles reporting null-hypothesis testing--which still easily constitute the majority--very few report statistical power (8%) and many misinterpret statistical nonsignificance as evidence for no effect (63%). Overall, results of our survey show some improvements in statistical practice, but further efforts are clearly required to move the discipline toward improved practices. PMID:17002771

  12. [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. PMID:25876418

  13. 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

  14. Use of real-time and continuous water quality monitoring in Iowa streams to inform conservation strategy in an agricultural landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, C. S.; Kim, S. W.; Davis, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern U.S. are major contributors of nutrients to the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico. Many states within the Upper Mississippi River Basin, including Iowa, are developing nutrient reduction strategies to reduce non-point and point source loads of nitrogen and phosphorous in an effort to reverse degradation of streams and lakes. Quantifying nutrient loads in Iowa and assessing loads transported within Iowa rivers are important components of Iowa's strategy. Nutrient loads estimated with data collected using traditional methods of grab sampling are expensive and have met with limited usefulness to the agricultural community when assessing the effectiveness of implemented conservation practices. New sensor technology is allowing for real-time measurement of nutrient loads in many Iowa rivers. IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering has deployed 22 nitrate-nitrogen sensors in several Iowa rivers to provide accurate measure of nutrient loads. Combined with 17 sensors operated by the USGS, the sensor network captures nutrient transport and loading patterns in rivers across the state. A new Iowa Water Quality Information System (IWQIS) is being developed to display and share the continuous, real-time data. The data reported here will compare and contrast load calculations obtained using continuous monitors with those from a more traditional grab samples. We also will demonstrate how continuous nitrate monitoring informs watershed hydrology and the assessment of conservation practices designed to reduce nutrient loss from farmed fields. Finally, we will establish that the costs of real time continuous monitoring are modest when compared to grab sampling strategies and the costs of implementing conservation on productive lands in the Western Corn Belt of Iowa.

  15. 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

  16. Margins in breast conserving surgery: A practice-changing process.

    PubMed

    Rubio, I T; Ahmed, M; Kovacs, T; Marco, V

    2016-05-01

    Margins in breast conserving surgery (BCS) have been a long standing subject debate. This largely arises from the absence of a consensus on what constitutes an adequate margin width, resulting in re-excision rates of 25-40% for close or positive margins and its consequent impact upon cosmesis, economic costs, patient dissatisfaction and lack of bearing on survival. Accepting that the increased risk of local recurrences (LR) has its influence on survival, the decrease in LR in BCS in the last decade have been motivated by better surgical techniques for assessing negative margins, use of targeted therapies and in general with the multimodal treatment in the management of breast cancer patients. Since the publication of the consensus guidelines on margins there has evolved a trend of changing attitudes towards re-excision. Surgeons are considering margins in the context of all factors including not only patient and tumor characteristics but also the regional and systemic treatment the patient is receiving. PMID:26880017

  17. Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture within the United States is varied and produces a large value ($200 billion in 2002) of production across a wide range of plant and animal production systems. Because of this diversity, changes in climate will likely impact agriculture throughout the United States. Climate affects crop, ...

  18. Pesticide regulations for agriculture: Chemically flawed regulatory practice.

    PubMed

    Gamble, Donald S; Bruccoleri, Aldo G

    2016-08-01

    Two categories of pesticide soil models now exist. Government regulatory agencies use pesticide fate and transport hydrology models, including versions of PRZM.gw. They have good descriptions of pesticide transport by water flow. Their descriptions of chemical mechanisms are unrealistic, having been postulated using the universally accepted but incorrect pesticide soil science. The objective of this work is to report experimental tests of a pesticide soil model in use by regulatory agencies and to suggest possible improvements. Tests with experimentally based data explain why PRZM.gw predictions can be wrong by orders of magnitude. Predictive spreadsheet models are the other category. They are experimentally based, with chemical stoichiometry applied to integral kinetic rate laws for sorption, desorption, intra-particle diffusion, and chemical reactions. They do not account for pesticide transport through soils. Each category of models therefore lacks what the other could provide. They need to be either harmonized or replaced. Some preliminary tests indicate that an experimental mismatch between the categories of models will have to be resolved. Reports of pesticides in the environment and the medical problems that overlap geographically indicate that government regulatory practice needs to account for chemical kinetics and mechanisms. Questions about possible cause and effect links could then be investigated. PMID:27166991

  19. Research and implementation of good agricultural practice for traditional Chinese medicinal materials in Jilin Province, China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Changtian; Yan, Zhengfei; Zhang, Lianxue; Li, Yu

    2014-01-01

    Jilin Province is one of the principal production bases of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China with its typical preponderance in TCM resources, research and development power, and industrialization capacity. The province has 2,790 species of TCM materials in total. Over 20% of the TCM materials in common use are from Jilin Province. The province has established 36 good agricultural practice bases for 22 typical TCMs. The overall situation, in terms of collection, processing, and preparation, and the implementation of good agricultural practice of TCM materials in Jilin Province are summarized. PMID:25379000

  20. 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…

  1. Quantifying the Impact of Agricultural Land Management Practices on Soil Carbon Dynamics at Different Temporal and Spatial Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C. G.; Papanicolaou, T.; Wacha, K.

    2012-12-01

    Vast amounts of rich, organic topsoil are lost from agricultural landscapes each year through the combination of both tillage- and rainfall-induced erosion. The implications of these losses lead to soil and water quality degradation, as well as decreased biomass production and grain yields within a watershed. Further, the effects of land management practices on soil carbon can be felt at a much larger scale in terms of the global carbon cycle, where the interactions of carbon between the atmosphere, vegetation, and soil are highly dynamic. During tillage- and rainfall-induced erosion, organic material encapsulated within soil aggregates are dislodged and redistributed along the hillslope. Additionally, this redistribution increases decomposition rates and the release of carbon dioxide fluxes to the atmosphere by changing soil texture, bulk density, and water holding capacities, which are key parameters that affect microbial activity. In this ongoing study, the combination of extensive field data, geo-spatial tools, and a coupled erosion (Water Erosion Prediction Project) - biogeochemical (CENTURY) model were used to assess the soil carbon sequestration potential for representative crop rotations in a highly productive agricultural watershed, at various spatial and temporal scales. Total Belowground Carbon Allocation was selected as a metric to assess carbon sequestration because it implements a mass balance approach of the various carbon fluxes stemming from soil detachment (erosion/deposition), heterotrophic respiration from microbial decomposition, and plant production. The results from this study show that the use of conservation practices can sequester 35 g C/m2 within the soils of the studied watershed over a 2-year crop rotation. Extrapolating to the watershed scale shows that the system is a net sink of carbon. Providing accurate assessment of the carbon fluxes associated with agricultural land management practices can provide much insight to global climate

  2. 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. PMID

  3. 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. PMID:25065287

  4. 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 ...

  5. CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE: ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF REDUCED TILLAGE AND SOIL CARBON MANAGEMENT IN WATER LIMITED AREAS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural carbon (C) sequestration may be one of the most cost effective ways to slow processes of global warming and enhance plant available water. Numerous environmental benefits and enhanced water use efficiency result from agricultural activities that sequester soil C and contribute to crop p...

  6. Building Better Rural Places: Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Conservation and Community Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berton, Valerie; Butler, Jennifer

    This guide is written for those seeking help from federal programs to foster innovative enterprises in agriculture and forestry in the United States. The guide describes program resources in value-added and diversified agriculture and forestry, sustainable land management, and community development. Programs are included based upon whether they…

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental effects of agricultural conservation within the Fort Cobb, OK, Reservoir watershed.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to the 2002 Farm Bill, the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated to assess and quantify the effects and benefits of USDA conservation programs. The Fort Cobb Reservoir watershed was selected for inclusion in the national CEAP Watershed Assessment Study because of h...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Comparison of soil bacterial communities under diverse agricultural land management and crop production practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The composition and structure of bacterial communities was 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 profile...

  14. 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...

  15. Discriminating the effects of agricultural land management practices on soil fungal communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The structure of fungal communities was examined in soil subjected to five years of different agricultural land management and tomato production practices. Length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) of fungal rDNA internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS-1) regions was used to create genomic...

  16. Low-grade weirs: The next step for an agricultural best management practice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Best management practices (BMPs) generally refer to measures that provide some level of environmental protection for downstream aquatic systems. In agricultural watersheds, BMPs aim to improve the water quality of runoff from the landscape by controlling or trapping pollutants that can potentially ...

  17. PRACTICAL SENSITIVITY AND UNCERTAINTY ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES APPLIED TO AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS MODELS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present a practical evaluation framework for analysis of two complex, process-based agricultural system models, WEPP and RZWQM. The evaluation framework combines sensitivity analysis and the uncertainty analysis techniques of first order error analysis (FOA) and Monte Carlo simulation with Latin ...

  18. Animating Community Supported Agriculture in North East England: Striving for a "Caring Practice"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charles, Liz

    2011-01-01

    This paper draws on a case study of a new Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme in the north of England to draw attention to some of the ethical issues encountered when using a participatory action research approach to animating CSA. Both CSA and participatory action research have been associated with the concept of "caring practice" and an…

  19. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. Ecologically asynchronous agricultural practice erodes sustainability of the Loess Plateau of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tianming; Wu, Jianguo; Kou, Xiaojun; Oliver, Chadwick; Mou, Pu; Ge, Jianping

    2010-06-01

    Sustainability of agricultural landscapes depends largely on land-use practices. As one of the most productive and widespread agricultural soils, loess is often deep and easily eroded, posing grand challenges for environmental sustainability around the world. One prime example is the Loess Plateau of China, which has been cultivated for more than 7500 years. Based on long-term data sets, this study demonstrates that the dominant agricultural practice, winter wheat cropping, continues to be the primary driver for the massive soil erosion and landscape modifications on the Loess Plateau. This traditional farming system is asynchronous with the dynamic rhythm between natural vegetation and climate in the region. In particular, the long summer fallow period for winter wheat fields is concurrent with the heavy-rainstorm season, which greatly accelerates soil erosion. Our finding indicates that common land-use practices that have lasted for thousands of years in China are not environmentally sustainable. Agriculture in this region has relied primarily on the continuous "mining" of the soil for the past several thousand years but does not have a one-thousand-year future because of myriad environmental and socioeconomic factors associated with soil erosion. To contain soil erosion and promote sustainability on the Loess Plateau, therefore, a change in the agricultural regime is needed to make sure that current and future agricultural practices follow the vegetation-climate rhythm. In addition, to achieve environmental, economic, and social sustainability in this region, multifunctional land-use planning is required to increase landscape diversity and functions (e.g., proper arrangement of crop fields, orchards, and protected areas). PMID:20597295

  1. 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,…

  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. Comparison of Conservation Management Practices for Cotton Production in a Field with Varying Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Field studies were conducted at Stoneville, MS to investigate the effects of reducing inputs with conservation management practices in cotton production in a typical Mississippi Delta field with highly variable soils. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of varying soils on cot...

  4. Impact of Conservation Production Practices on Soil Moisture Availability in Alluvial Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation production practices have been shown to improve soil quality, and may increase crop yield and quality. Reductions in tillage and incorporation of cover crops have the potential to improve soil nutrients and water availability, reducing the need for supplemental irrigation. Traditional h...

  5. Adaptive management and the USDA-NRCS Nutrient Management (590) conservation practice standard

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of the USDA-NRCS Nutrient Management (590) conservation practice standard is to budget and supply nutrients for plant production, to properly utilize organic amendments as plant nutrient sources, to minimize pollution from application of nutrients, and to maintain or improve the conditio...

  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. Integrating soil conservation practices and glyphosate-resistant crops: impacts on soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    From an environmental perspective, conservation management (CM) practices such as reduced tillage help improve soil conditions. Literature concerning effects of CM on the environment is building, and many of those studies include glyphosate resistant crops (GRC) or glyphosate as a management compon...

  8. Evaluation and Targeting of Soil and Water Conservation Practices in the Goodwater Creek Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of our research was to identify how conservation practices, their biophysical settings, and the socio/economic constraints interact to affect water quality in the Goodwater Creek Experimental Watershed. Analysis of fifteen years of flow and water quality data showed that soil and water...

  9. Effectiveness of conservation practices within watersheds: Case study in tile-drained systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effectiveness of conservation practices are governed in part by the spatial and temporal patterns of water flow as runoff and subsurface (tile) drainage. The variability in patterns of nitrate loss were examined using data from different sized catchments with four CEAP watersheds located in cent...

  10. 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...

  11. Influence of conservation management practices on indicators of soil quality in a claypan agroecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation management practices including vegetative filter strips (VFS) and no-till cultivation have the potential to enhance soil carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services in agroecosystems. A modified two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) with subsamples was used to compare SOC and TN...

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. Influence of herbaceous riparian buffers on physical habitat, water chemistry, and stream communities within channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbaceous riparian buffers are a widely used agricultural conservation practice in the United States for reducing nutrient, pesticide, and sediment loadings in agricultural streams. The ecological impacts of herbaceous riparian buffers on the channelized agricultural headwater streams that are comm...

  15. Documenting the Effects of Conservation Practices and Programs on Wetland Ecosystem Services in the Mid-Atlantic Region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wetlands can play key roles in agricultural landscapes because of the important ecosystem services they provide. Some wetland functions help to ameliorate the potentially deleterious effects of agriculture on the environment and natural resources, but agricultural practices can also lead to wetland...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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 our findings…

  20. Soil organic carbon sequestration with conservation agricultural systems in the southeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The southeastern USA has approximately 111 million acres (45 Mha) in agricultural production. This extensive land resource has the potential to sequester soil organic C (SOC), especially following historical conversion of land, first from native forest to intensively cultivated cropland and more re...

  1. Introduction to special section – Supporting ecosystem services with conservation agricultural approaches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystem services are the properties and processes of the natural world that contribute to the well-being of plants, animals, and humans in a holistic and global context. For too long, members of the agricultural community have been solely focused on the provision of food, feed, and fiber. Of cou...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Soil and Water Conservation Challenges for Agriculture in the Inland Pacific Northwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil and water conservation has been a major concern in the Inland Pacific Northwest since the onset of farming 125 years ago. Some of the highest historic water erosion rates in the USA have occurred on steep slopes in the Palouse region where soil loss averaged 45 Mg ha-1 yr-1 and could reach 450...

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 76 FR 52635 - Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-23

    ...Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. These standards include: Dam or Pond Removal (Code 403), Dry Hydrant (Code 432), Feed Management (Code 592), Fishpond Management (Code 399), Land Clearing (Code 460), Livestock Pipeline (Code 516), Pond Sealing or Lining, Flexible......

  12. Not All Antibiotic Use Practices in Food-Animal Agriculture Afford the Same Risk.

    PubMed

    Subbiah, Murugan; Mitchell, Shannon M; Call, Douglas R

    2016-03-01

    The World Health Organization has identified quinolones, third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, and macrolides as the most important antibiotics in human medicine. In the context of agricultural use of antibiotics, the principle zoonotic agents of concern are , spp., , and spp. Antibiotic exposure provides a selective advantage to resistant strains of these bacteria relative to their susceptible conspecifics. This is a dose-dependent process, and consequently antibiotic use practices that involve higher doses will exert greater and longer-lasting selective pressure in favor of resistant bacterial populations and will therefore increase the probability of transmission to people and other animals. Oral administration has a greater impact on enteric flora with the exception of fluoroquinolone treatments, which appear to affect the enteric flora equally if administered orally or parenterally. The use of quinolones in agriculture deserves heightened scrutiny because of the ease with which these broad-spectrum antibiotics favor spontaneously resistant bacteria in exposed populations. When present at sufficient concentrations, excreted antibiotics have the potential to selectively favor resistant bacteria in the environment and increase the probability of transmission to people and animals. The bioavailability of antibiotics varies greatly: some antibiotics remain active in soils (florfenicol, β-lactams), whereas others may be rapidly sorbed and thus not bioavailable (tetracycline, macrolides, quinolones). When considering the risks of different antibiotic use practices in agriculture, it would be prudent to focus attention on practices that involve high doses, oral delivery, and residues of antibiotics that remain active in soils. PMID:27065409

  13. 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.

  14. Resource use among rural agricultural households near protected areas in Vietnam: the social costs of conservation and implications for enforcement.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19924473

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:16512212

  1. 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. PMID:20549445

  2. Effects of controlled agricultural practices on water quality in the Minnesota sand-plain aquifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, H.W., Jr.; Stoner, J.D.

    1989-01-01

    Recent studies of Minnesota's sand plains indicate that ground-water chemistry is related to agricultural practices. Surficial sand-plain aquifers cover 8,000,000 acres of Minnesota and are a major source of water for domestic use, irrigation, and some municipal systems. The sand-plain aquifers consist of sand and gravel deposits that are from 20 to greater than 100 feet thick and are covered by a thin sandy loam that generally is less than 2 feet thick. Sand-plain aquifers are recharged by the downward percolation of precipitation through the soil root zone and the unsaturated zone in the sand to the water table. The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation and forms the top of the sand-plain aquifer. Sand-plain aquifers are susceptible to contamination by agricultural chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides), if downward-percolating recharge water contains these chemicals. The concentrations of nitrate, pesticides, and some other chemical constituents fluctuate seasonally and differ with depth below the water table (Anderson, 1989). Despite the availability of water-quality data for about 260 wells that were collected during previous studies in three U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project areas in Minnesota, it is not known how concentrations of agricultural chemicals in ground water relate to the rate and timing of fertilizer and pesticide application or to the tillage practices used. Field-scale research is needed to determine the effects of different farming practices on the concentrations of nitrate, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals in ground water in the unsaturated and saturated zones.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:19580031

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Optimization of integrated water quality management for agricultural efficiency and environmental conservation.

    PubMed

    Fleifle, Amr; Saavedra, Oliver; Yoshimura, Chihiro; Elzeir, Mohamed; Tawfik, Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    The scarcity of water resources in Egypt has necessitated the use of various types of lower quality water. Agricultural drainage water is considered a strategic reserve for meeting increasing freshwater demands. In this study, a novel model series was applied to a drainage basin in the Nile Delta to optimize integrated water quality management for agriculture and the aquatic environment. The proposed model series includes a waste load allocation model, an export coefficient model, a stream water quality model, and a genetic algorithm. This model series offers an optimized solution for determining the required removal levels of total suspended solids (TSS), the chemical oxygen demand (COD) at point and non-point pollution sources, and the source flows that require treatment to meet a given water quality target. The model series was applied during the summer and winter to the El-Qalaa basin in the western delta of the Nile River. Increased pollutant removal and treated fractions at point and non-point sources reduced violations of the TSS standards from 732.6 to 238.9 mg/L in summer and from 543.1 to 380.9 mg/L in winter. Likewise, violations of the COD standards decreased from 112.4 mg/L to 0 (no violations) in summer and from 91.7 mg/L to no violations in winter. Thus, this model is recommended as a decision support tool for determining a desirable waste load allocation solution from a trade-off curve considering costs and the degree of compliance with water quality standards. PMID:24671393

  9. Monitoring and APEX modeling of no-till and reduced-till in tile drained agricultural landscapes for water quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evaluation of agricultural practices through monitoring and modeling is necessary for the development of more effective conservation programs and policies. No-till and reduced-till are both agricultural conservation practices widely promoted for their proven ability to conserve water and reduce ...

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions with agricultural land management changes: What practices hold the best potential?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eagle, A. J.; Olander, L.; Rice, C. W.; Haugen-Kozyra, K.; Henry, L. R.; Baker, J. S.; Jackson, R. B.

    2010-12-01

    Agricultural land management practices within the United States have significant potential to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHGs) in voluntary market or regulatory contexts - by sequestering soil carbon or reducing N2O or CH4 emissions. Before these practices can be utilized in active protocols or within a regulatory or farm bill framework, we need confidence in our ability to determine their impact on GHG emissions. We develop a side-by-side comparison of mitigation potential and implementation readiness for agricultural GHG mitigation practices, with an extensive literature review. We also consider scientific certainty, environmental and social co-effects, economic factors, regional specificity, and possible implementation barriers. Biophysical GHG mitigation potential from agricultural land management activities could reach more than 500 Mt CO2e/yr in the U.S. (7.1% of annual emissions). Up to 75% of the total potential comes from soil C sequestration. Economic potential is lower, given necessary resources to incentivize on-farm adaptations, but lower cost activities such as no-till, fertilizer N management, and cover crops show promise for near-term implementation in certain regions. Scientific uncertainty or the need for more research limit no-till and rice water management in some areas; and technical or other barriers need to be addressed before biochar, advanced crop breeding, and agroforestry can be widely embraced for GHG mitigation. Significant gaps in the current research and knowledge base exist with respect to interactions between tillage and N2O emissions, and with fertilizer application timing impacts on N2O emissions.

  13. 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.

  14. Conservation genomics of natural and managed populations: building a conceptual and practical framework.

    PubMed

    Benestan, Laura Marilyn; Ferchaud, Anne-Laure; Hohenlohe, Paul A; Garner, Brittany A; Naylor, Gavin J P; Baums, Iliana Brigitta; Schwartz, Michael K; Kelley, Joanna L; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-07-01

    The boom of massive parallel sequencing (MPS) technology and its applications in conservation of natural and managed populations brings new opportunities and challenges to meet the scientific questions that can be addressed. Genomic conservation offers a wide range of approaches and analytical techniques, with their respective strengths and weaknesses that rely on several implicit assumptions. However, finding the most suitable approaches and analysis regarding our scientific question are often difficult and time-consuming. To address this gap, a recent workshop entitled 'ConGen 2015' was held at Montana University in order to bring together the knowledge accumulated in this field and to provide training in conceptual and practical aspects of data analysis applied to the field of conservation and evolutionary genomics. Here, we summarize the expertise yield by each instructor that has led us to consider the importance of keeping in mind the scientific question from sampling to management practices along with the selection of appropriate genomics tools and bioinformatics challenges. PMID:27086132

  15. Towards Conservation of Omani Local Chicken: Phenotypic Characteristics, Management Practices and Performance Traits

    PubMed Central

    Al-Qamashoui, B.; Mahgoub, O.; Kadim, I.; Schlecht, E.

    2014-01-01

    Characterizing local chicken types and their mostly rural production systems is prerequisite for designing and implementing development and conservation programs. This study evaluated the management practices of small-scale chicken keepers and the phenotypic and production traits of their chickens in Oman, where conservation programs for local livestock breeds have currently started. Free-range scavenging was the dominant production system, and logistic regression analysis showed that socio-economic factors such as training in poultry keeping, household income, income from farming and gender of chicken owners influenced feeding, housing, and health care practices (p<0.05). A large variation in plumage and shank colors, comb types and other phenotypic traits within and between Omani chicken populations were observed. Male and female body weight differed (p<0.05), being 1.3±0.65 kg and 1.1±0.86 kg respectively. Flock size averaged 22±7.7 birds per household with 4.8 hens per cock. Clutch size was 12.3±2.85 and annual production 64.5±2.85 eggs per hen. Egg hatchability averaged 88±6.0% and annual chicken mortality across all age and sex categories was 16±1.4%. The strong involvement of women in chicken keeping makes them key stakeholders in future development and conservation programs, but the latter should be preceded by a comprehensive study of the genetic diversity of the Omani chicken populations. PMID:25050013

  16. 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

  17. A comparison of land-sharing and land-sparing strategies for plant richness conservation in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Egan, J Franklin; Mortensen, David A

    2012-03-01

    Strategies for conserving plant diversity in agroecosystems generally focus on either expanding land area in non-crop habitat or enhancing diversity within crop fields through changes in within-field management practices. In this study, we compare effects on landscape-scale species richness from such land-sharing or land-sparing strategies. We collected data in arable field, grassland, pasture, and forest habitat types (1.6 ha sampled per habitat type) across a 100-km2 region of farmland in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA. We fitted species-area relationships (SARs) for each habitat type and then combined extrapolations from the curves with estimates of community overlap to estimate richness in a 314.5-ha landscape. We then modified these baseline estimates by adjusting parameters in the SAR models to compare potential effects of land-sharing and land-sparing conservation practices on landscape richness. We found that species richness of the habitat types showed a strong inverse relationship to the relative land area of each type in the region, with 89 species in arable fields (66.5% of total land area), 153 in pastures (6.7%), 196 in forests (5.2%), and 213 in grasslands (2.9%). Relative to the baseline scenario, major changes in the richness of arable fields produced gains in landscape-scale richness comparable to a conversion of 3.1% of arable field area into grassland habitat. Sensitivity analysis of our model indicated that relative gains from land sparing would be greatest in landscapes with a low amount of non-crop habitat in the baseline scenario, but that in more complex landscapes land sharing would provide greater gains. These results indicate that the majority of plant species in agroecosystems are found in small fragments of non-crop habitat and suggest that, especially in landscapes with little non-crop habitat, richness can be more readily conserved through land-sparing approaches. PMID:22611847

  18. Water quality trends and changing agricultural practices in a midwest U.S. watershed, 1994-2006.

    PubMed

    Renwick, William H; Vanni, Michael J; Zhang, Qianyi; Patton, Jon

    2008-01-01

    Sediment and nutrient concentrations in surface water in agricultural regions are strongly influenced by agricultural activities. In the Corn Belt, recent changes in farm management practices are likely to affect water quality, yet there are few data on these linkages at the landscape scale. We report on trends in concentrations of N as ammonium (NH(4)) and nitrate (NO(3)), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and suspended sediment (SS) in three Corn Belt streams with drainage areas of 12 to 129 km(2) for 1994 through 2006. During this period, there has been an increase in conservation tillage, a decline in fertilizer use, and consolidation of animal feeding operations in our study watersheds and throughout the Corn Belt. We use an autoregressive moving average model to include the effects of discharge and season on concentrations, LOWESS plots, and analyses of changes in the relation between discharge and concentration. We found significant declines in mean monthly concentrations of NH(4) at all three streams over the 13-yr period, declines in SRP and SS in two of the three streams, and a decline in NO(3) in one stream. When trend coefficients are converted to percent per year and weighted by drainage, area changes in concentration are -8.5% for NH(4), -5.9% for SRP, -6.8% for SS, and -0.8% for NO(3). Trends in total N and P are strongly tied to trends in NO(3), SRP, and SS and indicate that total P is declining, whereas total N is not. PMID:18689748

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Testing soil and water conservation methods in 16 countries; do best practices exist?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jetten, V.; Shrestha, D. P.

    2012-04-01

    In order to find suitable conservation measures to protect the land from further deterioration leading to desertification, sustainable land management technologies were applied in 16 locations in countries having land degradation problems such as erosion (by wind and water), salinization, vegetation degradation and wild fire. The technologies were selected in consultation with all the stakeholders involved which included farmers, land users, local administrators and scientists. The selected technologies varied from vegetative (planting trees) through agronomic (crop rotation, contour ploughing, minimum tillage) to mechanical (terracing, fencing, prescribed burning) measures. They were applied in the 16 hotspot locations in semi-arid and arid regions to test their suitability for conservation purposes. Improvement on soil conditions was monitored during 2-3 years and the effectiveness of the applied technologies were evaluated. Although data from monitoring is available for only 2-3 years the results show improvements of soil conditions and indicate that good land management practices can help in minimizing land degradation. The results also show that the so called "the best practices" which could be applied everywhere with big success do not exist. Each region is characterized by having its own bio-physical and socio-economic factors which determine whether certain land management practices can be applied successfully which is also socially acceptable in the area.

  3. [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

  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. 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...

  6. Manure and inorganic fertilizer management practices for reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions in conservation tillage systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation tillage and use of poultry litter (PL) as a fertilizer are widely being recommended for soil conservation, C sequestration, and environmentally sustainable animal waste disposal methods in the southeastern U.S. There is a need to develop and evaluate fertilizer management practices for...

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:24682661

  9. 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. PMID:26073110

  10. Effects of agricultural conservation practices on the hydrology of Corey Creek basin, Pennsylvania, 1954-60

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Benjamin L.

    1966-01-01

    Analyses of data collected from two small basins in northern Pennsylvania during the period May 1954 to September 1960 indicated that changes in land use and land treatment have affected suspended- sediment discharge from the basins. Extensive land use and land-treatment changes have taken place in the 12.2-square-mile Corey Creek study basin, whereas such changes in the 10.2-square-mile Elk Run basin, which is adjacent to the northeast, have been relatively slight. Elk Run basin, which is topographically and hydrologically similar to Corey Creek basin, was used as an external control for the Corey Creek basin study. Multiple-regression analysis showed that of all the variables, runoff correlated most highly with the sediment yield of each basin. Surveys at selected cross-sections of the two streams indicated that most channel changes were in the banks rather than in the bed. At points where the stream channel slope was greater than 70 feet per mile, the average annual change in cross-sectional area at the measured ranges was less than +--2.5 square feet. Filling of the stream channel occurred where the slope was 70 feet per mile or less, and such filling was greater in Corey Creek than in Elk Run. Trend analyses of data from both basins indicated no persistent changers in quantity of runoff, precipitation, or runoff intensity (peakedness), although similar analyses indicated significant changes in the rate of suspended-sediment discharge from both basins. During the period September 1957 to September 1960, sediment discharge from Corey Creek basin decreased by 11 percent relative to the sediment discharge from Elk Run. All, or most, of this decrease was the result of a decrease in sediment discharge during the May to October growing seasons. No significant trends were detected in data collected d-ring the November to April dormant season. A factor, termed the relative erosion potential, was formulated for evaluating the effects of changes in the hydrologic cover conditions. This factor was adjusted for- the effects of diversion terrace construction in the Corey Creek basin. A rank correlation test of the adjusted relative erosion potential versus the growing season Corey Creek-Elk Run suspended-sediment discharge ratio resulted in a correlation coefficient, r=0.71, significant at the 3 percent level. The least-squares regression equation derived from the .same data. was Y=0.276 X - 6.89. where Y was the Corey Creek-Elk Run sediment-discharge ratio and X was the adjusted relative erosion potential. The correlation coefficient was 0.65. significant at the 12 percent level. Standard error of estimate was 0.44. or about ?20 percent of the observed variation in the sediment-discharge ratio.

  11. Impact of agricultural practices and river catchment characteristics on river and bathing water quality.

    PubMed

    Aitken, M N

    2003-01-01

    The objective was to investigate the potential risk of faecal indicator organism (FIO) bacteriological contamination of river catchments and coastal bathing waters from farm management practices and to develop practices to reduce the risk. A risk assessment on 117 farms was carried out in two river catchments in south-west Scotland. Manure storage facilities, farming practices, field conditions and catchment characteristics were assessed. River samples at 33 locations were regularly taken and analysed for FIOs. Available manure storage capacity and farm management practices are inadequate on a high proportion of farms and FIO contamination of watercourses was likely the result of effluent transported into watercourses due to non-collection or poor containment. In addition, surface run-off or leaching following land application of manure or intensive stocking in adverse conditions was a high risk on up to 50% of farms. The concentrations of FIOs in the streams of two sub-catchments with high livestock intensity was 4 to 8 times higher compared to the two sub-catchments which had a low livestock intensity. The majority of potential risks of agricultural pollution to watercourses may be eliminated through improved manure and dirty water management, forward planning of manure spreading activities and improved operational procedures. PMID:15137173

  12. 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...

  13. Research on and Development of Teaching by Instructors in the Dutch Training Centres for Practical Agricultural Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beijaard, D.

    Eleven training centers for practical agricultural education in the Netherlands provide practical courses for all levels of students or trainees. A sample of 29 experienced instructors was selected at random from the centers to participate in the research project designed to identify the didactical qualities of the instructors and to develop an…

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. 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. PMID:25566831

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of Vitis vinifera L. cultivated under distinct agricultural practices in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Vega-Avila, A D; Gumiere, T; Andrade, P A M; Lima-Perim, J E; Durrer, A; Baigori, M; Vazquez, F; Andreote, F D

    2015-02-01

    Plants interact with a myriad of microbial cells in the rhizosphere, an environment that is considered to be important for plant development. However, the differential structuring of rhizosphere microbial communities due to plant cultivation under differential agricultural practices remains to be described for most plant species. Here we describe the rhizosphere microbiome of grapevine cultivated under conventional and organic practices, using a combination of cultivation-independent approaches. The quantification of bacterial 16S rRNA and nifH genes, by quantitative PCR (qPCR), revealed similar amounts of these genes in the rhizosphere in both vineyards. PCR-DGGE was used to detect differences in the structure of bacterial communities, including both the complete whole communities and specific fractions, such as Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and those harboring the nitrogen-fixing related gene nifH. When analyzed by a multivariate approach (redundancy analysis), the shifts observed in the bacterial communities were poorly explained by variations in the physical and chemical characteristics of the rhizosphere. These approaches were complemented by high-throughput sequencing (67,830 sequences) based on the V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene, identifying the major bacterial groups present in the rhizosphere of grapevines: Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteriodetes, Acidobacteria, Cloroflexi, Verrucomicrobia and Planctomycetes, which occur in distinct proportions in the rhizosphere from each vineyard. The differences might be related to the selection of plant metabolism upon distinct reservoirs of microbial cells found in each vineyard. The results fill a gap in the knowledge of the rhizosphere of grapevines and also show distinctions in these bacterial communities due to agricultural practices. PMID:25527391

  20. Comparative study of model prediction of diffuse nutrient losses in response to changes in agricultural practices.

    PubMed

    Vagstad, N; French, H K; Andersen, H E; Behrendt, H; Grizzetti, B; Groenendijk, P; Lo Porto, A; Reisser, H; Siderius, C; Stromquist, J; Hejzlar, J; Deelstra, J

    2009-03-01

    This article presents a comparative study of modelled changes in nutrient losses from two European catchments caused by modifications in agricultural practices. The purpose was not to compare the actual models used, but rather to assess the uncertainties a manager may be faced with after receiving decision support from consultants using different models. Seven modelling teams were given the same data about two catchments and their management characteristics and were asked to model the same changes in management practices using the model of their own choice. This can potentially cause accumulated 'errors' due to differences in the modelling teams' interpretation of relevant processes and definitions of boundary conditions (inputs). The study was carried out within the framework of the EUROHARP project, which aimed at harmonising procedures for quantifying diffuse losses of nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture. Models are important for assessing river basin management plans (RBMPs) as required e.g. under the EC Water Framework Directive and Action Plans under the EC Nitrates Directive. This article illustrates some challenges with respect to interpreting such modelling results. The selected management scenarios include changes in fertiliser application levels, changes in livestock numbers and changes in land-use and crop rotation systems. Seven models were applied for the same scenarios in the Enza catchment in Italy and the Zelivka catchment in the Czech Republic. All models had been calibrated and validated with respect to historical data of climatic conditions, water quality and discharge measurements. The modelling results reveal a variation in predicted effects of the management scenarios, causing different conclusions with respect to choice of best management practice for reducing nutrient losses. The study demonstrates that it is important that care is taken by modellers and involved decision makers throughout the entire modelling process, both with regard

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. The Effects of Three Conservation Practices on N Loss to Subsurface Drainage as Simulated by RZWQM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, R. W.; Ma, L.; Jaynes, D. B.

    2011-12-01

    Because agricultural systems with subsurface drainage are so complex, computer simulation modeling is one method to understand and predict the interactive effects of different conditions (weather, management, soils) on crop production and nitrate transport. The Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) was used to simulate the effects of three very promising practices to reduce N loss in subsurface drainage: winter cover crops, late spring soil N testing for N application rates (LSNT), and controlled drainage. Results suggest the model accurately simulated these practices compared to conventional practices. For example, observed and simulated nitrate reductions in central Iowa were: 59% and 49% (winter cover crop), 22% and 32% (controlled drainage) and, statistically significant in a paired watershed setting according to autoregressive techniques (LSNT). Using the tested model to investigate these practices under long-term weather and management conditions under subsurface drainage revealed that: the effect of winter cover crops on nitrate loss remained relatively constant under a wide range of N application rates; controlled drainage can reduce nitrate loss about 50% across the Midwest U.S. corn belt in locations where it is feasible to implement; and that the annual LSNT-based N rate differences are mainly due to variation in early-season precipitation and temperature.

  5. 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. PMID:26196068

  6. 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

    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.

  7. 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. PMID:25851195

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:19210275

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Evalution of Long-Term Impacts of Conservation Practice Within the Little River Watershed Using the SWAT Model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The SWAT model was used to simulate the long-term impacts of conservation practices implemented within the South Georgia Little River Watershed on streamflow hydrology and water quality. Typical practices which have been implemented within the watershed include nutrient management, residue manageme...

  13. 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...

  14. 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. PMID:23302087

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Watershed Conservation Management Planning Using AGNPS

    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...

  18. Modelling the impacts of agricultural management practices on river water quality in Eastern England.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Sam D; He, Yi; Hiscock, Kevin M

    2016-09-15

    Agricultural diffuse water pollution remains a notable global pressure on water quality, posing risks to aquatic ecosystems, human health and water resources and as a result legislation has been introduced in many parts of the world to protect water bodies. Due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness, water quality models have been increasingly applied to catchments as Decision Support Tools (DSTs) to identify mitigation options that can be introduced to reduce agricultural diffuse water pollution and improve water quality. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to the River Wensum catchment in eastern England with the aim of quantifying the long-term impacts of potential changes to agricultural management practices on river water quality. Calibration and validation were successfully performed at a daily time-step against observations of discharge, nitrate and total phosphorus obtained from high-frequency water quality monitoring within the Blackwater sub-catchment, covering an area of 19.6 km(2). A variety of mitigation options were identified and modelled, both singly and in combination, and their long-term effects on nitrate and total phosphorus losses were quantified together with the 95% uncertainty range of model predictions. Results showed that introducing a red clover cover crop to the crop rotation scheme applied within the catchment reduced nitrate losses by 19.6%. Buffer strips of 2 m and 6 m width represented the most effective options to reduce total phosphorus losses, achieving reductions of 12.2% and 16.9%, respectively. This is one of the first studies to quantify the impacts of agricultural mitigation options on long-term water quality for nitrate and total phosphorus at a daily resolution, in addition to providing an estimate of the uncertainties of those impacts. The results highlighted the need to consider multiple pollutants, the degree of uncertainty associated with model predictions and the risk of

  19. 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

  20. 7 CFR 12.23 - Conservation plans and conservation systems.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Conservation plans and conservation systems. 12.23 Section 12.23 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture HIGHLY ERODIBLE LAND AND WETLAND CONSERVATION Highly Erodible Land Conservation § 12.23 Conservation plans and conservation systems. (a) Use of field office technical guide. A...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:25894293

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. The impact of stormwater treatment areas and agricultural best management practices on water quality in the Everglades Protection Area.

    PubMed

    Entry, James A; Gottlieb, Andrew

    2014-02-01

    Half of the original Everglades system has been lost to drainage and development. What remains is included within the boundaries of the Everglades Protection Area (EPA), comprised of three Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) and Everglades National Park (Park). Inflows to the EPA contain elevated nutrient concentrations. Best management practices (BMPs) were implemented and six large wetlands called stormwater treatment areas (STAs) were constructed to improve water quality. We analyzed water quality in the WCAs and Park and performed an economic analysis of the STAs to remove nutrients from EPA inflows. In general, nutrient concentrations in all WCAs were higher during the pre-STA period than after the STAs became operational. In WCA2 and the Park, total phosphorus (TP) trends showed more negative slopes prior, as compared to after, the STAs became operational. These results suggest that BMPs lead to large initial decreases in nutrient export resulting in improved downstream water quality. A preliminary economic analysis shows that operation and management of the STAs are complicated and cost intensive. Comparing the cost of phosphorus (P) removal from water entering the EPA using BMPs and STAs may not currently be viable. BMPs prevent P from being applied to, or leaving from agricultural fields while STAs remove P from stormwater. We expect nutrient concentrations in water flowing into and out of the STAs to decline as both BMPs and STAs become more effective. We suggest an economic analysis of BMPs, STAs, and other potential approaches to determine the most cost-effective methods to reduce nutrient concentrations and related stressors affecting the Everglades. PMID:24081816

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Human Constraints to Sustainable Agriculture in the Arid Regions of South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duvel, G. H.; Botha, A. J.

    1999-01-01

    Interviews with 79 South African farmers in arid regions showed that their conservation practices were influenced by such human factors as needs, perceptions, and knowledge. Direct influence on adoption behaviors was recommended to encourage sustainable agriculture practices. (SK)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Agricultural land use and best management practices to control nonpoint water pollution.

    PubMed

    Ripa, Maria Nicoletta; Leone, Antonio; Garnier, Monica; Lo Porto, Antonio

    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

  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, R.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. 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

    Lomba, Angela; Alves, Paulo; Jongman, Rob H G; McCracken, David I

    2015-03-01

    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

  16. 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…

  17. Designing experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of precision agricultural practices on research fields. Part 1. Concepts for formulation.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this paper is to present a unique formulation methodology for designing experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of a precision agricultural practice on a research farm field. We demonstrate an efficient method of combining the georeferenced treatment structure and the georeferenc...

  18. 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. PMID:19965338

  19. 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

  20. 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.