23 years of water quality data from crop-livestock systems

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Long-term research is important to understand how land management impacts runoff and erosion, which pose serious threats to soil and water quality worldwide. To better understand these processes in agricultural landscapes of the southern Great Plains of the United States, eight 1.6 -ha watersheds were established and instrumented in 1976 at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno, Oklahoma.

Researchers recently summarized 23 years of data from the site in the Journal of Environmental Quality, showing the effects of native tallgrass prairie and crop-livestock systems on erosion and (nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended sediments).

The watersheds were equipped to measure precipitation and surface runoff quantity and quality. Initially, all watersheds were in native tallgrass prairie, but later four of the them were cropped into (two conventionally tilled, one no-till, and one no-till with a summer forage crop), while the other four watersheds remained in native tallgrass prairie.

The authors described available archived , including methods of collection and analyses. Such a long-term research database is essential for determining the impact of different agricultural management systems, understanding the processes related to hydrologic transport and water quality, and validation and development of models capable of defining hydrology responses and water quality.

More information: Amanda Nelson et al, Runoff water quantity and quality data from native tallgrass prairie and crop-livestock systems in oklahoma between 1977 and 1999, Journal of Environmental Quality (2020). DOI: 10.1002/jeq2.20075

Journal information: Journal of Environmental Quality

Citation: 23 years of water quality data from crop-livestock systems (2020, June 9) retrieved 22 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2020-06-years-quality-crop-livestock.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Long term ag change impacts stream water quality


Feedback to editors