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Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) Measuring the Environmental Benefits of Conservation Managing the Agricultural Landscape for Environmental Quality

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Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). Measuring the Environmental Benefits of Conservation Managing the Agricultural Landscape for Environmental Quality. Why CEAP?. OMB requests for outcome-based reporting - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Conservation Effects Assessment Project(CEAP)Measuring the Environmental Benefits of ConservationManaging the Agricultural Landscape for Environmental Quality

The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was first conceived by NRCS in 2002, in large part in response to a general call for better accountability of how society would benefit from the 2002 Farm Bills substantial increase in conservation program funding. CEAP funding began in FY2003 and has continued through FY2007almost 5 years.

The original purpose of CEAP was to assess the effects of conservation practices and report conservation benefits To Congress and the Public. The initial focus was on how conservation practices on cropland affected water quality and soil quality. The results of the project were expected to contribute to future conservation program planning and implementation.

(click) Over the past four years, CEAP has evolved into a multi-agency effort consisting of both research and assessment directed at providing the science base for how to best use conservation practices in managing agricultural landscapes for environmental quality. --major interagency partnersARS, CSREES, NASS, FSA.others include USGS, EPA, FWS, ERS, recently NOAA and NASA.

Handout Mausbach-Diedrick paperWhy CEAP?

OMB requests for outcome-based reporting

2002 Farm Bill significantly increased conservation funding call from both inside and outside government for better accountability

Assessment is needed to guide development and implementation of future conservation programs

OMB was the initial impetus in implementing CEAP for our Agency. PART scores were not good.we needed to do better. The increased funding in the conservation title of the 2002 Farm Bill also put pressure on our agency to report back to Congress and the Public what the benefits of the programs were. What was society getting from this large expenditure of public funds?As time has gone on, however, the third reason listed here became the driving forceassessment was critically needed to better understand how to effectively and efficiently implement conservation programs to protect environmental quality. Overview of CEAPWatershed case studies (43)

National AssessmentCroplandWildlifeWetlandsGrazing LandThere are several facets to the project, but two basic partsWatershed and Special Studies, and the National Assessment.

National assessment efforts are underway for cropland, grazing lands, wetlands, and wildlife.

I will briefly provide an overview of these efforts, and focus most of my talk on the cropland national assessment, which I know the most about.

Handout fact sheetCEAP HighlightsBlue Ribbon Panel reviewNational Agricultural Library bibliographiesCropland (set of 5)WetlandsGrazing LandsWildlifeLiterature Syntheses on Practice EffectsWhat is Known and Not KnownInternational Workshop on Managing Agricultural Landscapes For Environmental QualityStrengthening the Science Base (Oct 2006)

Blue Ribbon Panel reviewNational Agricultural Library bibliographiesCropland (set of 5)WetlandsGrazing LandsWildlifeLiterature Syntheses on Practice EffectsInternational Workshop on Managing Agricultural Landscapes For Environmental QualityStrengthening the Science Base

Cropland National Assessment-- GoalsEstimate the benefits of conservation practices currently present on the landscape

Estimate the need for conservation practices and the benefits that could be realized under full treatment

Simulate alternative options for implementing conservation programs on cropland

There are 3 specific goals of the cropland national assessment.

Estimate the benefits of conservation practices currently present on the landscape

Based on those estimates, we will estimate the need for conservation practices and the benefits that could be realized under full treatment

And finally, we will use the data and models to simulate alternative options for implementing future conservation programs on cropland with the intent to shed some light on what we need to do tomorrow.

We customized our models and databases to specifically achieve these objectives.

Schematic for Construction of the National AssessmentFarm survey data at NRI-CEAP sample pointsField-level modeling APEXWatershed modeling SWAT Onsite (field-level) Effects Off-Site Water Quality EffectsFor cropland, we took a sampling and modeling approach. There are 4 basic steps:Define a sample so as to be statistically representative of cultivated cropland acressoils, climates, and terrain characteristics such as slope and slope length. The set of samples will be representative at the national and large regional levels, such as major river basins.Conduct a farmer survey to obtain information on farming activities and conservation practices at these sample sites.Use a field-scale physical process model to estimate water, sediment, and pesticide losses from farm fields.Integrate these field-scale model results with a national water quality model to estimate in-stream loads and concentrations for large river basins.This process represents what is sometimes called microsimulation modeling. This kind of modeling approach REQUIRES a statistical sample. The physical process model serves as the response function, estimated at the micro-level with site-specific information. Each model run is unique because of the site-specific nature of the input data.

The CEAP sample was selected as a subset of the National Resources Inventorythe NRI. The NRI is a set of about 800,000 sample points from across the country that is used to make assessments about resource condition and trends at the national and regional scale. The NRI database extends back to 1982. It includes about 300,000 cropland sample points.NRI-CEAP Sample

The CEAP sample represents all 310 million acres of cultivated cropland in the US. Farmer survey data were collected over 4 years2003 through 2006and will be pooled for the final sample set.

In 2003 and 2004, about 12,000 completed and useable surveys were obtained. The 2005 and 2006 survey data have been completed and are currently being processed. The full CEAP sample will consist of about 20,000 sample points. At present, we have model runs for only about half of the sample points.

This slide shows the distribution of NRI CEAP sample points that we presently have model results for. As you can see, the sample reflects the distribution of cultivated cropland in the US.

Primary Sample Unit (PSU)PointsStatistical DesignThe statistical design is a critical part of the national assessment. The NRI provides an area sample frame that allows characterizations to be made that represent what is found on the landscape.

This illustration shows how the CEAP sample points were selected. Within each PSU, the NRI has three sample points chosen at random. For the CEAP sample, one cultivated cropland point per PSU was selected from the most recently inventoried NRI sample points. Activities for Construction of the CEAP Current Condition.

Collect:1. Farm survey (NASS)2. NRI point attribute data 3. Field office records: NRCS/FSA4. Historical weather data

Field-level modeling (APEX)CEAP Current Condition, onsite estimatesSelect subset of NRI sample points 20,000 cropland10,000 CRPSetup data for site specific simulationsRefine APEX modelSoil DataNASISNRI-CEAP Cropland SurveyThe survey obtains for each sample point:Three years of crop and cropping practice informationCrops grown, seeding rates, etc.Nutrient applications, including manurePesticide applications and pest management practicesField operations, including tillageIrrigation practicesConservation practices Conservation Program participationIn partnership with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), we conducted a farmer survey to obtain site-specific information on farming activities at CEAP sample points, including pesticide applications.Three consecutive years of crop and cropping practice informationCrops grown, seeding rates, etc.Nutrient applications, including manurePesticide applications and pest management practices, including what pesticides where used, rates of application, timing of application, and application method.All field operations, including tillageIrrigation practices

NASS Farmer Survey44 pages Covers all aspects of crop production for 3 years.TillageFertilizers and manuresPesticidesIrrigationConservationNASS Fertilizer

Daily weather47-year simulation using actual weather for 1960-2006.HydrologyErosionNutrient cyclingCarbon cyclingPesticide fateSoil characteristics (temperature, bulk density, etc.)Crop growthTillage and management operationsField-to-field routing used to simulate field borders, buffer stripsAPEX ModelPhysical Process Model (2)The model is run over a 42-year projection using actual weather from 1960-2001. It includes the usual array of modeling components, shown here.HydrologyErosionNutrient cyclingPesticide fateSoil characteristics (temperature, bulk density, etc.)Crop growthTillage and management operationsField-to-field routingFor analysis, we select the last 24-years of the time-series. An important aspect of the project is model testing and validation. Model output will be compared to measured values at various research sites throughout the country to determine how to properly parameterize the model. Results will also be used to report on how well the model estimates sediment loss, nutrient loss, and pesticide loss in various parts of the country.Root Zone Shallow (unconfined) AquiferVadose (unsaturated) ZoneConfining LayerPrecipitationInfiltration/plant uptakeSurface RunoffLateral FlowReturn FlowPercolation to shallow aquiferHydrologic BalanceEvaporation and TranspirationDeep percolationModeling StrategyEstimate a CEAP Baseline using farmer survey information at NRI sample points

Construct an alternative scenario assuming no practices Difference between these two scenarios represents the benefits of the accumulation of conservation practices currently in place.

The Modeling strategy is to firstEstimate a CEAP Baseline that represents the farmer survey informationthat is, the current conservation condition. And then construct an alternative scenario assuming no practices. The difference between these two scenarios at each sample point represents the benefits of conservation practices.

When aggregated over the sample points we obtain an estimate of the benefits for the accumulation of conservation practices currently in place on the landscape.

To date, we have incorporated only tillage and structural practices into the No-Practices Scenario. The effects of pest management practices, nutrient management practices, cover crops, and other annual practices will be included in future assessments.

To simulate no practices for sample points where some type of conservation tillage is used, model simulations were conducted as if continuous conventional tillage had been used. Similarly, for sample points with structural practices, the No-Practices scenario was simulated as if the practices were not present by adjusting the model parameters used to simulate those practices. All other aspects of the input data and the model parameters are held constant in the two sets of model runs.Microsimulation ModelingThus, the resulting simulation model Captures the diversity of land use, soils, climate, and topography as represented by the NRI, and diversity of human behavior as represented in the NRI-CEAP survey.

Estimates the loss of materials at the field scale where the process model performs the best, using site-specific information.

Provides a statistical basis for aggregating results to the national and regional levels. Thus, the resulting simulation model is designed toCapture the diversity of land use, soils, climate, and topography as represented by the NRI, and diversity of human behavior as represented in the NRI-CEAP survey.

Estimate the loss of materials at the field scale where the process model performs the best, using site-specific information on farming activities.

Provide a statistical basis for aggregating results to the national and regional levels. Soil Type and Management InteractionsSoil Leaching PotentialManagement LevelSoil Leaching averageLowModerateModerately HighHighLow 33288821Moderate5831101030Moderately High6536121132High10942171447Management average6734111133

Non-Cultivated LandsChannel/Flood PlainProcessesPoint SourcesAPEX CultivatedFields

SWAT : Off-Site EffectsThe last step in the modeling process is to determine the instream water quality effects of conservation practices.The national water quality modelcalled HUMUS/SWAT was developed by ARS, TAES, and NRCS.

HUMUS simulates the hydrology and the sediment, nutrient, and pesticide loadings for each of the 8-digit watersheds in the country. (There are about 2,000 8-digit watersheds in the 48 states.) It accounts for point sources as well as sources from non-cultivated agricultural land and non-ag land.

For cultivated cropland acres in these watersheds, we will use the APEX results to estimate sediment, nutreint, and pesticide loss from farm fields for each of the two scenarios.

We will soon have preliminary information on off-site effects for three major river basinsthe Ohio, the Upper Mississippi, and the Missouri.

EROSIONWaterUSLEUSLE modificationsMUSLE Onstad-FosterRUSLERUSLE 2WindManhattan, KS with Bagnolds energy equation

NUTRIENTSNitrogenSurface runoffsoluble and adsorbed Subsurface flowlateral and verticalMineralizationImmobilizationDenitrificationVolatilizationNitrificationCrop uptake

22PhosphorusSurface runoffsoluble and adsorbedLeachingMineralizationImmobilizationAdsorption-desorptionCrop uptake

NUTRIENTSPESTICIDE FATEGLEAMSSurface runoffsoluble and adsorbed

Leaching

Degradationfrom foliage and soil

Washoff from plantsrainfall or irrigationManagement capabilitiesIrrigationDrainageFurrow dikingBuffer stripsTerracingWaterwaysFertilizationManure managementLagoonsAPEXReservoirsCrop rotation and selectionPesticide applicationGrazingTillage

ROUTING COMPONENTWaterOverland flowChannelFloodplainSub-surface

SedimentModified Bagnolds stream powerDeposition degradationOverland flowChannelFloodplain

ROUTING COMPONENT Nutrients and pesticides

Soluble materials considered conservativeAdsorbed materials sediment transported Enrichment ratio concept

SUBAREA FILEManagementDaily weatherSoilChannel parametersDepthWidthLengthSlopeReservoir parametersSpillway elevationRunoff volumeRelease rateSurface area

INPUT DATAData Files Residing with ModelWeatherTillageFertilizerSoil

PesticideManagementCrop Growth Parameters

RECENT APEX APPLICATIONS

CEAP Conservation Effects Assessment ProjectNational assessment of the effects of conservation practices on cultivated cropland across the U.S.

Distribution of APEX testing sites across the U.S. that were used in the CEAP sensitivity analysis