USDA has released a report focused on: Assessment of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Chesapeake Bay Region. According to the report effective use of conservation practices and systems by farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are reducing sediment and nutrient losses from cultivated cropland. The report quantifies these environmental gains and identifies opportunities for further progress.
One the key findings in the report shows that conservation practices have reduced edge-of-field losses of sediment by 55%, nitrogen in surface runoff by 42%, nitrogen in subsurface flow by 31% and phosphorus by 40%. Dave White, Chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, says this study confirms that farmers are reducing sediment and nutrient losses from their fields and will help improve conservation practices in the Chesapeake Bay area.
Gene Schmidt, President of the National Association of Conservation Districts, says They're proud of the Bay area's 127 conservation districts that are working at the local level to help deliver critical assistance to the region's producers. Schmidt points out that USDA's report shows major reductions in Bay-area loadings, and clearly indicates that locally-led, voluntary efforts are making a significant impact in the region.