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Wild Rice Sulfate Study: Summary and next steps [Minnesota Pollution Control Agency]
Wild Rice Sulfate Study: Summary and next steps [Minnesota Pollution Control Agency]
In 2010, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) initiated a multi-year effort to clarify implementation of the state's wild rice sulfate standard. Based on a review of available information, the MPCA determined that additional studies were needed to evaluate the effects of sulfate on wild rice production. In 2011 the Minnesota Legislature provided direction, and funding from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, to gather this additional information.
William Street Pond Iron-Enhanced Sand Filter Performance Report
William Street Pond Iron-Enhanced Sand Filter Performance Report
Yes, Summary, William Street Pond is a stormwater detention and sedimentation basin located in Roseville, MN. Originally converted from a wetland in 1990, the pond receives stormwater from the surrounding urbanized residential neighborhood and discharges directly to Lake McCarrons, a 75-acre deep lake that supports a variety of recreational opportunities. Several projects have been implemented over the last 15 years in Lake McCarrons and its watershed to reduce the phosphorus load to the lake. In 2011, significant improvements were made at William Street Pond to improve the quality of the water being discharged to Lake McCarrons. These improvements included: 1. The installation of a SAFL Baffle at the pond inlet to dissipate the flow energy of the water entering the pond, remove suspended solids, and trap large debris. 2. The dredging of sediment from the pond to restore its original storage capacity and improve the pond’s ability to settle suspended solids. 3. An outlet retrofit to include two iron-enhanced sand filters (IESF) that drain into an outlet structure with a weir overflow, which then flows to Lake McCarrons. The goal of the IESF project at William Street Pond (WSP) is to prevent the excessive growth of algae and macrophytes in Lake McCarrons by binding phosphorus from the pond that would otherwise be discharged to the lake. Within the Lake McCarrons subwatershed, WSP accounts for the second highest phosphorus input, after the Villa Park Wetland system., Full text
Willingness to pay for green space preservation: A comparison of soil and water conservation district clientele and the general public using the contingent valuation method
Willingness to pay for green space preservation: A comparison of soil and water conservation district clientele and the general public using the contingent valuation method
This paper reports results from a contingent valuation study of conservation easements in Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio. The survey sample consists of registered voters and Soil and Water District (SWCD) clientele. Results show that strong majorities of both groups support the establishment of a conservation easement program to protect soil and water resources in the community (79 percent and 82 percent respectively). Willingness to pay for the program is highly sensitive to the fee levied, household income, and perceived importance of natural resource conservation. Mean household willingness to pay was estimated at $36.48 per year for SWCD clientele and $32.28 for the voting public. Local conservation districts may find this kind of information useful in strategic planning, program planning and resource allocation. Contingent valuation is a viable tool in assessing public opinion on preservation issues in the face of continuing development pressure combined with fewer state and federal dollars allocated to preserve soil and water resources.
Winter Rye Best Management Practices to Reduce Loads of Sediment and Nutrients to Minnesota Surface Waters
Winter Rye Best Management Practices to Reduce Loads of Sediment and Nutrients to Minnesota Surface Waters
Yes, Summary, Surface runoff from agricultural fields is potentially harmful to our environment because of excessive loads of sediment and nutrients. Industrialized agriculture has provided food for the world, but has also created unintended water quality problems. Excessive nutrient contamination in the Gulf of Mexico has created a zone of hypoxia where dissolved oxygen levels are too low to support aquatic life. The Upper Midwest agriculture is mostly comprised of corn and soybeans and a large amount of the nitrogen (52%) reaching the Gulf of Mexico is a result of this cropping rotation (Alexander, 2008). In addition, up to 50% of applied synthetic fertilizer on Midwestern soils is lost every year due to rainfall and surface runoff (Tonitto, 2006). However, adding cover crops to an agricultural rotation provides soil cover and retention of nutrients. Various studies have shown that a winter rye cover crop can reduce nitrate leaching by 70% (Tonitto, 2006; Ball Coelho, 2005; Staver and Brinsfield, 1998). However, the use of cover crops in the United States Corn Belt is not widely accepted nor implemented. A survey where 3,500 farmers were asked to provide information on cover crop use showed that only 11% of farmers in the Upper Midwest have used cover crops in the last five years (Singer, 2007). This study will develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) for beef and dairy producers that will make cover crops economically viable. Winter rye offers great potential for environmental benefits on land where corn silage or stover is removed to feed livestock. If the winter rye is established early enough, it can be grazed or harvested as forage in the spring before a cash crop is planted. Two locations in southern Minnesota have been selected for monitoring surface runoff and developing viable cover cropping BMPs. Each location consists of a paired watershed design where one watershed is the control (conventional practice) and the other is the treatment (winter rye following corn harvest). The first location will have winter rye aerially seeded into standing corn grain with spring grazing of the winter rye. The second location will have drilling of winter rye following corn silage harvest with winter rye harvested as forage in the spring prior to soybean planting. This study will encompass two full growing seasons from 2009 to 2011. Additional small plot experiments with the use of a rainfall simulator to evaluate surface runoff differences between conventional practices and cover crop BMPs., Full text
Winter rye cover cropping to improve water quality in corn-based cropping systems
Winter rye cover cropping to improve water quality in corn-based cropping systems
Yes, Abstract, Winter rye (Secale cereale L.) cover cropping as a best management practice aimed at improving surface water quality by providing more ground cover, retaining nutrients, and preventing movement of surface water that carries nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment to rivers, lakes, and streams. These four studies evaluated winter rye effects on surface water quality using different seeding methods in a variety of cropping systems. The first study (chapter 1) evaluated surface water quality under a one hour simulated rainfall event using different seeding methods of establishing winter rye following soybean (Glycine max L.) in fall and spring. Aerial, airflow, and broadcast seeding methods provided optimal winter rye ground cover to reduce surface runoff, NO3-N, NH4-N, phosphorus, and sediment compared to fallow. The second study (chapter 2) evaluated surface water quality under a one hour simulated rainfall event using different management practices of winter rye following corn (Zea mays L.) stover removal for silage in spring of 2010 and 2011. Standing and harvested rye treatments reduced surface runoff, NO3-N, NH4-N, phosphorus, and sediment compared to fallow, with standing rye being superior to harvested rye. Harvesting the rye for forage or bedding still provided exceptional environmental benefits for improving water quality compared to fallow. The last two studies (chapters 3 and 4) monitored and evaluated surface runoff in a paired watershed design. The longitudinal limitations of these studies provided insufficient results to conclude if winter rye was effective at reducing surface runoff and improving water quality at the field edge. Overall, simulated rainfall studies showed that winter rye was effective at reducing surface runoff and improving water quality, but the results of field scale studies were less clear., Full text

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