Water quality benefits of perennial filter strips in row-cropped watersheds

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2011-12-01
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Helmers, Matthew
Zhou, Xiaobo
Asbjornsen, Heidi
Kolka, Randy
Tomer, Mark
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Proceedings of the Integrated Crop Management Conference
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management Conference is Iowa's premier crop production education event. No other program in Iowa brings together the diverse range of topics, slate of expert presenters and results of the latest University research.

The ICM Conference offers workshops focusing on the latest in crop production technology. Experts from Iowa and surrounding states will provide research updates and results in soil fertility, soil and water management, crop production and pest management.

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Abstract

Nonpoint source pollution is an increasingly serious problem in agricultural landscapes, especially as growing populations intensify pressures on a fixed land area for food and energy, and climate change threatens production stability. Vegetative filter strips (VFS) have been demonstrated as a practical strategy in reducing soil loss and nutrient transport from agricultural land. While restoration of native grassland on agricultural landscapes would improve environment quality, however, this practice is not feasible across large regions where local communities depend on agriculture. One alternative strategy for erosion control and water quality improvement is the incorporation of relatively small amounts of vegetative filter strips in strategic locations within agricultural landscapes.

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