Conservation work throughout the Mississippi River Basin is paying off. Recent efforts involving erosion control and nutrient management reduced edge of field losses of sediment by 35 percent, nitrogen by 21 percent and phosphorus a remarkable 52 percent, reported USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The latest work was conducted in the lower Mississippi River region and included cropland in Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The findings also found that cover crops and improved fertilizer application - rates, form, timing and method - could further reduce nutrient losses.
This isn't the first report that has documented how farmers improved water quality and reduced nutrient flows on the expansive Mississippi River basin that includes portions of 32 states and two Canadian provinces.
Previous work in the upper Mississippi River region found that conservation efforts reduced sediment losses by 55 percent, nitrogen by 34 percent and phosphorus by 46 percent compared to what would have been lost if no conservation practices were in place. Down river and within the Gulf of Mexico, that reduced nitrogen flows by 17 percent and phosphorus by 22 percent.
To read more about the latest USDA study, visit this website.
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2013
September 9, 2013