McNay Research and Demonstration Farm

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The amounts of sediment and phosphorus (P) in water runoff from agricultural lands are of concern because of the potential for siltation and eutrophication of surface waters. There is limited information about the total sediment and P loads in runoff from pastureland in the Midwest. Because vegetation limits soil disruption caused by the impact of raindrops and forage roots hold soil particles, pastures grazed using suitable management practices should maintain water infiltration and minimize sediment and P losses in water runoff. Once sediment and P have been dislodged from the landscape, vegetative buffers can be an effective tool for reducing the amounts that arrive in surface waters. The objectives of this experiment were to quantify the amounts of sediment and P in the runoff from pasturelands managed by different systems and to evaluate the effectiveness of vegetative buffers at controlling sediment and phosphorus loss in runoff from the different forage management systems.

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Iowa State University



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