water quality Tag

Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder are studying the environmental fate of sulfur that is applied as a fungicide by California winegrowers. Research published in Environmental Research Letters tracked the unique fingerprint of the agricultural sulfur as runoff through downstream waterways. Sulfur is the top pesticide used in California agriculture, mostly in vineyards. "This work could help inform the development of technologies that help farmers to choose when and how much they apply, rather than just applying the same amount preventatively all the time," explained the study's senior author Eve-Lyn Hinckley. "My objective as a scientist is to always...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released four drinking water health advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and is inviting states and territories to apply for $1 billion to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water, specifically in small or disadvantaged communities. The funding can be used to reduce PFAS in drinking water in communities facing disproportionate impacts. Meanwhile, the agency's new health advisories provide technical information that federal, state, and local agencies can use to inform actions to address PFAS in drinking water, including water quality monitoring, optimization of existing technologies that reduce PFAS, and strategies...

Related ATTRA publication: Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms Farmers enrolled in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) have higher profits than non-certified farms, according to a recent study by the Minnesota State Agricultural Centers of Excellence. This marks the third year of data highlighting improved financial outcomes. The three years of data serve as an early indicator of a positive return on investment for whole-farm conservation management farmers implement to become certified. "We see that farms in the Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program have major benefits on the environment, and now we see with three years of data...

Related ATTRA publication: Dairy Production on Pasture: An Introduction to Grass-Based and Seasonal Dairying Pasa Sustainable Agriculture is beginning a Dairy Grazing Project to help dairy farmers improve, expand, or begin grazing, with the goal of improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The project is engaging a team of farmers, service providers, and food businesses in transitioning 10,000 southeastern Pennsylvania acres on 54 dairy farms to a grazing model, with financial support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The project focuses on lowering purchased inputs, increasing soil health through diversity and managed grazing, and linking farms with premium dairy...

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced the award of a total of $1 million in Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants to 36 farmer groups. The grants range from $3,250 to $40,000 for conservation practice incentives, education and outreach, on-farm demonstrations, and water quality testing and monitoring efforts. Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants give financial support to farmers willing to lead conservation efforts in their own watersheds. The emphasis is on innovation and practices not already covered by other state and federal programs, and the intent is that participating farmers will help other farmers adopt conservation practices by offering incentives...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be holding two virtual public meetings on the recently released proposed rule "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Relating to Agricultural Water." The purpose of the public meetings is to discuss the proposed rule, which was issued under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. These public meetings are intended to facilitate and support the public's evaluation and commenting process on the proposed rule. The meetings are set for February 14, 2022, 11:45 am - 7:45 pm EST and for February 25, 2022, 8:45 am -...

Related ATTRA publication: Saline and Sodic Soils: Identification, Mitigation, and Management Considerations USDA Agriculture Research Service studies show that when salty groundwater is used to irrigate almond orchards, production can be significantly reduced and the damage to trees can last for years. Declining groundwater levels in California have led some producers to irrigate with lower-quality, saltier water. This can lead to production losses of 30%. Becoming more efficient with irrigation saves water, but can have the effect of concentrating salts at the base of trees, where they can cause surprisingly lasting damage....

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed agricultural water rule as part of the agency's implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). It proposes to replace some of the existing requirements for agricultural water in the Produce Safety Rule (PSR). For example, it would require farms to conduct comprehensive assessments that would help them identify and mitigate hazards in water used to grow produce. Key provisions in the proposed rule include a requirement for farms to manage their agricultural water quality based on the results of a comprehensive systems assessment, an annual assessment by farms of...

California carrot growers were lacking information on irrigation and nitrogen application for carrots that was specific to the local climate conditions. Researchers with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources conducted experimental trials and gathered data from commercial fields to develop key recommendations of when—and at what rate—to irrigate and apply fertilizers in the low desert environment. The best management practices can help growers improve efficiency and reduce nutrient leaching, helping promote water quality....

In this episode, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Colin Mitchell is joined by Brian Brandt, the Agriculture Conservation Innovations Director at the American Farmland Trust. Colin and Brian discuss ecosystem service markets with a focus on water quality trading, a type of ecosystem service market that pays farmers for the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices that improve water quality through the reduction of runoff from manure, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers, and sedimentation from soil erosion. Brian goes into extensive detail discussing a multistate water quality trading pilot project focused on the Ohio River Basin watershed and a new pilot on the...