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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Watershed Assessment Through Ecological Research/farmers Active in Research

Authors
item Franklin, Dorcas
item Cabrera, M - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Steiner, Jean
item Risse, L - FARMER
item Risse, L - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Hibbs, H - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Submitted to: Georgia Water Resources Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2003
Publication Date: May 1, 2003
Citation: Franklin, D.H., Cabrera, M.L., Steiner, J.L., Risse, L.A., Risse, L.M., Hibbs, H.E. 2003. Watershed assessment through ecological research/farmers active in research. Georgia Water Resources Conference.

Interpretive Summary: Producers in the Southern Piedmont graze and manage their lands in a variety of ways across watersheds and across individual farms. These land management practices may have an impact on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in stream flow under normal conditions (base flow) as well as under rainy conditions (storm flow). A group of producers, researchers and educators (WATER/FAIR) pulled together to assess stream nutrient concentrations relative to land management practices in two typical Southern Piedmont watersheds. The objective of this paper is to increase awareness of participatory monitoring and of the variability of stream nutrients (N & P) with location as well as with season and year. This paper looks at these variations at both the watershed and farm levels. Results showed that dissolved reactive P (DRP) concentrations were highly variable depending on the management system. Stream base flow nitrate concentrations were lower leaving farms than going into farms with hay and pasture land management systems more than 75 percent of the time and were 16 percent lower in 2000 than in 1999. These lower concentrations coming out of farms could suggest that these management systems are not losing nutrients to aquatic systems but rather utilizing them on the farm. This information should help state environmental agencies charged with the task of formulating viable stream nutrient criteria for each state.

Technical Abstract: Producers in the Southern Piedmont graze and manage their lands in a variety of ways across watersheds and across individual farms. These land management practices may have an impact on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in stream base flow and storm flow. A group of producers, researchers and educators (WATER/FAIR) pulled together to assess stream nutrient concentrations relative to land management practices in two typical Southern Piedmont watersheds. The objective of this paper is to increase awareness of participatory monitoring and of the spatial and temporal distribution of stream nutrients (N & P) at watershed and farm levels. Results showed that dissolved reactive P (DRP) concentrations were highly variable depending on the management system. Stream base flow nitrate concentrations were lower leaving farms than going into farms more than 75 percent of the time and were 16 percent lower in 2000 than in 1999. These lower concentrations coming out of farms could suggest that these management systems are not losing nutrients to aquatic systems but rather utilizing them on the farm.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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