North-Central Section - 50th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 20-10
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


HURST, Heath and ISIORHO, Solomon A., Geosciences, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499,

Best Management Practices is a term that describes measures taken to control contaminants in a watershed when used in the context of soil and water conservation. Best Management Practices have come under fire by some, and yet are prized by others. This report investigates the effectiveness of four different Best Management Practices: no till farming, cover crop usage, controlled drainage systems, and the two-stage ditch. A small Adams County farm that utilizes these methods was chosen as the study site. Water and soil samples were collected from the farm, nearby neighbors that use conventional farming methods, and streams that run alongside both properties during the fall season. Comparisons of water quality parameters and soil hydraulic conductivity were made. Data from the soil test showed that soil using Best Management Practices can have greater hydraulic conductivity (K-value), with a K-value of 4.704 x 10-4 cm/sec compared to 1.734 x 10-4 cm/sec from the field using conventional farming practices. There appears to be no trend or correlation between the locations when the water chemistry (nitrates, nitrites and phosphates) data was examined. The variability of the water chemistry results suggests that more observation and testing needs to be done throughout the planting and growing seasons.