CategoryEnvironment - Water Use/Conservation
Date Full Report Received06/30/2003
Date Abstract Report Received06/30/2003
InvestigationInstitution: ARS, MWA, National Soil Tilth Laboratory, USDA
Primary Investigator: Mark Tomer
Funded ByNational Pork Board
This project has supported research in the South Fork of the Iowa River watershed, where swine and other livestock are being produced, and water resource concerns have been raised. These activities are aimed to document the hydrology and water quality in the watershed, and evaluate effects of conservation practices and manure management. Key results from the work include: 1. Collaborative research was initiated at a long-term manure management experimental site to help us understand long-term effects of manure on soil properties. Several soil properties that vary with landscape position may be influenced by manure application. This multi-year research, when completed, may identify the types of soil that benefit most from manure application. 2. In-stream monitors showed that temperature and dissolved oxygen conditions in Tipton Creek posed no threat to fish during 2002. 3. During 2002, there were differences in water quality between sub-basins that could be attributed to differences in amounts and timing of runoff events, rather than land use. Smaller nutrient concentrations may occur from areas with greater stream discharge, effectively due to dilution, or from drier areas producing little stream discharge, where biological processes can remove nutrients from the slow-moving stream water. 4. Mapping of permanent vegetation in the watershed has been completed, to help us understand the distribution of conservation plantings in the watershed and their potential effect on water quality. 5. A possible new constructed wetland research site was identified. Watershed-scale research on water quality and agricultural management requires a range of approaches and activities. A diversity of information is needed to analyze a watershed, identify actual problems and their relationship with terrain, soils, hydrology, climate, and management, and then develop practical recommendations for improvement. The goals of this wide-ranging research are long term, and therefore the different avenues of research must be pursued concurrently to provide results within a practical time frame. Pork producers are making a tangible contribution towards improved understanding of the interactions between agricultural management and water quality through support of this project.