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Runoff Water Quality under Conservation Management in Mississippi Corn Production
Proceedings of the 2020 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2020 Authors: Spencer D., Krutz J., Gholson D., Locke M., Henry B., Golden B.
Row-crop agriculture in the delta region of Mississippi is a major contributor to groundwater decline and surface waterbody impairment. Conservation management practices such as cover crops and no-tillage may improve irrigation efficiency and decrease contaminant runoff, thus promoting sustainable stewardship of both ground and surface water resources. The effects of cover crops and tillage system on runoff water quantity and quality under simulated rainfall and furrow irrigation were evaluated on a Commerce very fine sandy loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, nonacid, thermic Fluvaquentic Endoaquepts) at Stoneville, MS from 2017 to 2019. Under furrow irrigation, no-tillage decreased runoff volume and increased furrow advance time in one of three and two of three years, respectively. Other than crimson clover in one of three years, cover crops did not reduce runoff under furrow irrigation. No conservation practice decreased runoff under simulated rainfall. In 2017 and 2018, cover crops did not have an effect on water quality. No-tillage improved turbidity, but also increased certain nutrient concentrations and loads. Water quality results from 2019 will be presented as well.