Effects of field and edge-of-field conservation practices on runoff water quality in Mississippi Delta crops
Investigators: Martin Locke, Amanda Nelson
Funding Agency: USDA-ARS
Project SummaryIn 2003, a field study was established on the Delta Branch Experiment Station, Stoneville, MS to examine the effects of field and edge-of-field conservation practices on runoff water quantity and quality from cotton (2007 to 2011), corn (2012 to 2014), and soybeans (2015 to 2019). The experimental area (2.5 ha) was arranged in a randomized complete block design with three blocks. Combinations of within-field practices and edge-of-field BMPs within each block included: (1) reduced tillage (RT), no cover crop (NCC), with no edge-of-field BMP (NEBMP); (2) RT, NCC, with 1-m stiff grass barrier using switchgrass; (3) RT, NCC, with 12-m vegetative filter strips; (4) no-tillage (NT), NCC, NEBMP; (5) RT, rye cover crop, NEBMP; and (6) a conventional tillage, NCC, NEBMP. Each of the 18 experimental units is 150-m long by 8-m wide and equipped with automated surface runoff sampling equipment. Composite runoff samples were collected during runoff events to determine sediment and nutrient (N and P) losses. The objectives of this study were to 1. examine the effects of different tillage methods, cover crops, and different edge-of-field buffer strips on runoff water quantity and quality in cotton and corn and 2. to utilize the results in the hydrologic/water quality model AnnAGNPS.
- Cover Crops