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Texas Gulf Basin

Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Texas Gulf Basin

Texas Gulf Report cover

On July 13, 2015, NRCS released the CEAP-Cropland report on the effects of conservation practices on cropland in the Texas Gulf Basin.

This report is the last 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 farmers' use of conservation practices in the Texas Gulf Basin has made good progress toward reducing sediment, nutrient, and pesticide losses from farm fields and subsequent loadings in rivers and streams in the region. Farmers' use of conservation practices in this region has resulted in significant reductions in waterborne sediment and nutrient loss. Wind erosion, however, and the associated loss of sediment and nutrients remains a major concern.

Comprehensive conservation planning and implementation that includes combinations of erosion-control and nutrient management practices are essential for controlling wind erosion. Targeting the cropland that is most vulnerable to sediment or nutrient loss or that has the least conservation treatment in place will provide the greatest return on the conservation investment. More specific details on effects of practices are discussed in the full report and in the summary documents.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat

Technical information on the methodology for CEAP Cropland studies in general, including the one on the Texas Gulf Basin, and documentation reports on the modeling methodology, models and databases, is available.

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