Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drainage ditches can help clean up field runoff

Date:
January 4, 2013
Source:
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Summary:
Vegetated drainage ditches can help capture pesticide and nutrient loads in field runoff, scientists report. These ditches -- as common in the country as the fields they drain -- give farmers a low-cost alternative for managing agricultural pollutants and protecting natural resources.

Vegetated drainage ditches can help capture pesticide and nutrient loads in field runoff, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists report. These ditches -- as common in the country as the fields they drain -- give farmers a low-cost alternative for managing agricultural pollutants and protecting natural resources.

Related Articles


Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ecologist Matt Moore at the agency's National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Miss., and his colleagues conducted the research. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Until recently, the primary function of many edge-of-field ditches was to provide a passage for channeling excess water from crop fields. Many farmers controlled ditch vegetation with trimming or dredging to eliminate plant barriers that could impede the flow of runoff.

But in one of Moore's first studies, he evaluated the transport and capture of the herbicide atrazine and the insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin for 28 days in a 160-foot section of a vegetated agricultural drainage ditch in Mississippi. One hour after he started a simulated runoff event, 61 percent of the atrazine and 87 percent of the lambda-cyhalothrin had transferred from the water to the ditch vegetation. At the end of the ditch, runoff pesticide concentrations had decreased to levels that were generally non-toxic to downstream aquatic fauna.

Moore also conducted work in California and determined that vegetated drainage ditches helped mitigate pesticide runoff from tomato and alfalfa fields. As a result, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state office in California included vegetated agricultural drainage in their Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This meant farmers who installed the ditches could be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the cost. Moore's research also contributed to the decision by NRCS managers in Mississippi to include vegetated agricultural drainage ditches in the state's EQIP.

The research was published in Ecological Engineering, Environmental Pollution, Journal of Environmental Quality, and elsewhere.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. The original article was written by Ann Perry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Krφger, Matthew T. Moore. Phosphorus dynamics within agricultural drainage ditches in the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Ecological Engineering, 2011; 37 (11): 1905 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2011.06.042

Cite This Page:

United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. "Drainage ditches can help clean up field runoff." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104143613.htm>.
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. (2013, January 4). Drainage ditches can help clean up field runoff. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104143613.htm
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. "Drainage ditches can help clean up field runoff." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130104143613.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) — The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) — Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins