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South Atlantic Gulf Basin

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

South Atlantic Gulf Report cover

On July 1, 2014, NRCS released the CEAP-Cropland report on the effects of conservation practices on cropland in the South Atlantic Gulf Basin.

This report one 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 although farmers' use of conservation practices in the South Atlantic 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, significant conservation treatment is still needed to reduce nonpoint agricultural sources of pollution. The most critical conservation concern in the region is the need for complete and consistent use of nutrient management—appropriate rate, form, timing, and method of application of nitrogen and phosphorus. Comprehensive conservation planning and implementation that includes combinations of erosion-control and nutrient management practices are essential.

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 South Atlantic Gulf Basin, and documentation reports on the modeling methodology, models and databases, is available.

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