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Missouri River Basin

Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Missouri River Basin


Missouri Report cover

On August 30, 2012, NRCS Chief Dave White announced the release of the CEAP-Cropland report on the effects of conservation practices on cropland in the Missouri River Basin. This report is the fifth in a series of regional reports that continues the tradition within USDA of assessing the status, condition, and trends of natural resources to determine how to improve conservation programs to best meet the Nation's needs. These reports use a sampling and modeling approach to quantify the environmental benefits that farmers and conservation programs are currently providing to society, and explore prospects for attaining additional benefits with further conservation treatment.

Computer modeling simulations indicate that conservation practice use in the Missouri River Basin during the period 2003 to 2006 reduced sediment, nutrient, and pesticide losses from farm fields. However, there remain significant opportunities for reducing nonpoint agricultural sources of pollution. The most pervasive conservation concern in the region is excessive wind erosion during dry periods, including windborne losses of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although only about 18 percent of the cultivated cropland in the region has high or moderate need for additional conservation practices, this high- and moderate-treatment-need cropland accounts for more than 15 million acres. Specific details on effects of practices are in the full report and the summary documents.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat

  • Full report (PDF; 7.1 MB). Detailed description of study methodology and findings. 227 pages. Comments on the report may be addressed to michele.laur@wdc.usda.gov. (updated June 4, 2013 with typographical corrections)

  • Summary of Findings (PDF; 1.1 MB). An 11-page overview of report methodology and findings.

  • A two-page summary (PDF; 0.2 MB) of study results.

Technical information on the methodology for CEAP Cropland studies in general, including the one on the Missouri River Basin, and documentation reports on the modeling methodology, models and databases are available as part of the Cropland National Assessment. Detailed information is also available on the CEAP Cropland Farmer Surveys conducted by NASS.

Information on other CEAP projects addressing watersheds, wetlands, wildlife, and grazing lands in the Missouri River Basin are also available.

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