Presentations and/or displays to audiences and conferences and meeting around the state concerning the activities and resources that the University of Minnesota has concerning environmental stewardship with respect to agricultural drainage and fertility management pertaining to water quality.
Research Category: Water Quality
The aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of how agriculture fits within the regional water cycle in the Upper Midwest. This project will use a combination of measurements made at field and regional scales, and mesoscale meteorology-land surface modeling to determine agriculture’s contribution to regional evapotranspiraton (ET), and how changing management to increase water storage coupled with supplemental irrigation can enhance productivity and affect regional hydrology.
River banks are the primary source of sediment to sediment-impaired waterways in the Greater Blue Earth River Basin (GBERB). Yet, little is known about the mechanisms driving the failure of these banks. This research will attempt to identify the degree to which shallow groundwater impacts the stability of river banks along waterways in the GBERB.
Corn producers in Minnesota and agricultural producers in general are facing two pressures which are on a collision course with each other: the pressure to increase crop yields to meet growing demand, and the pressure to lessen the environmental footprint of production. This project aims to address this issue by simultaneously measuring the effects of nitrogen management on yields, potential soil nitrate leaching, and nitrous oxide emissions.
There is a pervasive belief that drainage of agricultural lands has drastically increased flows in the river of the Minnesota River Basin, which in turn has increased river bank sloughing and thus higher sediment loads. However, research has yet to establish if this is true and what volume of water the landscape can hold if it were not drained.
Using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) elevation data, this research will quantify the potential volume of water that landscape depressions in Blue Earth County could hold provided there was no drainage and the excess water that may reach rivers at several precipitation probabilities.
The overall goal of the proposed project is to improve profitability and environmental impact on drained agricultural lands through conservation drainage approaches and different application rates and sources of fertilizer. Building on an existing Minnesota Corn Growers project, this project will involve the creation of drainage design tables for southern Minnesota (for seven benchmark soils and three locations) based on the principle of maximizing net return on investment and conserving water and nutrients in the field,
This project supports an area of emphasis within the University of Minnesota Extension for an Extension Educator (Soil-Water and Nutrient Management emphasis). This position’s main objective is to focus on issues pertaining to water quality/nutrient management. Sub-objectives relate to: 1) drainage planning and design for water management; 2) incorporating information relating drainage management to soil nutrient management; and 3) incorporating relevant issues in tillage and manure management to provide additional value and information to corn growers.