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Software tools to find spots on water quality devices work in the northeast

Grass-covered waterways, as shown, are one of the water protection devices recommended by the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework, a geospatial software tool used to find the exact location of such conservation structures. It is one. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University say it was developed and widely used in the Midwest to reduce nutrient contamination and deposition, and can also be used in the northeast. Credit: USDA NRCS

Researchers at Penn State University have put together a widely used computer software package in the eastern United States for the strategic placement of riverbank buffer zones and other structures aimed at protecting the water quality of agricultural land in the Midwest. It reports that it can be used effectively.


The Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) applies high-resolution soil maps and topographical data and is currently available in many parts of the United States. Maintenance A device that offers the greatest benefit in the agricultural basin. The geospatial tool was developed in Iowa and is also used in Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

However, most water protection devices can be used in the Chesapeake Bay drainage canals and other northeastern basins, according to Jonathan Duncan, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of hydrology in the Faculty of Agriculture. He called this framework “precision conservation” and suggested that its application to the eastern United States basins represents both conservation planning opportunities and challenges.

“We have found that the best management methods do not always work in the Chesapeake Bay basin, partly because they are in the wrong place. Landscape“This ACPF tool can help address this issue and identify potential locations for putting the right practices in the right places to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay,” Duncan said. Stated.

Software tools to find spots on water quality devices work in the northeast

The figures in this study are traditional expert-based assessments (left) and the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) on the practices of field crops in small water and sediment management basins and grass-covered watersheds. The basin planning map from the evaluation is compared. A basin within the Susquehanna River basin.Credits: Pennsylvania State University

However, he emphasized that the Pennsylvania landscape needs to be adjusted to suit different ways from the Midwest.

The Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework is used as a tool for agricultural basin management by identifying site-specific opportunities for implementing conservation practices across small watersheds. This approach offers a menu of conservation options such as shore buffer zones, grass canals, filter strips, wetlands, and farm reservoirs.

This framework is used in combination with local knowledge of water and soil resources, landscape characteristics and producers’ conservation preferences to better understand the options available for developing watershed conservation plans. , Duncan pointed out. The ACPF concept focuses on soil conservation as the basis for agricultural watershed management.

To determine if ACPF works in the northeast, researchers analyzed the application of tools in eight watersheds in the eastern United States, from Vermont to North Carolina. They evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of ACPF and analyzed the opportunities and threats posed by adopting tools in the east.

Software tools to find spots on water quality devices work in the northeast

Researcher Zack Respes is investigating waterfronts and streams in central Pennsylvania. Credits: Jonathan Duncan / Penn State

According to the survey results announced today (September 14th) Agriculture and environment letterResearchers have reported that ACPF has many potential locations available in the east, but its applicability is not universal. They warned that it is necessary to understand the limitations to avoid the possibility of improper application and to ensure proper adaptation.

Some of the potential restrictions on the successful application of ACPF outside of the original situation are that some of its conservation practices are impractical in the eastern agricultural environment. For example, researchers pointed out that the size of the eastern fields is so small that basins and nutrient-removing wetlands that control water and sediments are too obstructive to recommend.

“We see the future of ACPF in the northeast, especially in the Chesapeake Bay basin,” said Duncan. “But the adoption and usefulness of the tool requires dialogue with community-savvy scientists and conservation planners to avoid misuse. Candid communication with stakeholders and local partners is a tool. Helps to set realistic expectations about. “

The ACPF Framework provides a way to help identify locations where specific landscape attributes are suitable for implementing specific conservation practices and prioritize those locations according to their susceptibility to spills and erosion. Duncan explained that it was included. He added that most of the agricultural pollution problems in the northeast come from a small part of the landscape.

“If ACPF can identify the best place to put maintenance structures, it’s better than we’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s not like pixie dust. You can’t sprinkle the best management techniques across the landscape to make it work magically. We know we need to put it in the right place, but at the same time. I don’t know everywhere. At all Basin— That’s why this tool is so useful. ”


The new planning toolset provides farmers with more options for improving water quality


Quote: The software tool for finding spots for water quality devices was obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-software-tool-water-quality-devices- on September 14, 2021 in the northeastern part (2021). Works on September 14, 2014 northeast.html

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Software tools to find spots on water quality devices work in the northeast

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