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Watershed Scale Project in Oostanaula Creek

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Watershed Scale Project in Oostanaula Creek

  1. 1. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Watershed Scale Project in Oostanaula Creek F. R. Walker, C. D. Clark, M. Essington, S. Hawkins, D.M. Lambert, A. Layton, J. Schwartz and L-B Reynolds
  2. 2. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Oostanaula Watershed • Urbanizing agricultural watershed (44,864 acres) • Ridge and Valley of East TN • Pasture grazing systems • Impaired for pathogens, nutrients, siltation, loss of habitat • Non-point source; sediment & P TMDLs • USDA funding 2009 to present • TN Dept. of Ag. 319 funding
  3. 3. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Research Objectives • Objective A. Develop a watershed-scale sediment budget that identifies dominant sources of fine sediment to Oostanaula • Objective B. Conduct an economic cost- benefit analysis of sediment source- dependent BMPs specific to the Oostanaula Creek watershed • Objective C. Assess the behavior response of farmer’s willingness to implement sediment BMPs
  4. 4. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Outreach and Education Objectives • Objectives D & E. Conduct comprehensive watershed-wide education program to inform farmers, youth and adult residents and demonstrate that BMPs can simultaneously improve water quality and increase agricultural productivity
  5. 5. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Objective A. Develop a watershed- scale sediment budget • Characterized microbial communities from eroding soil and suspended sediment • Bacterial communities can serve as an eroding material source tracker – Discriminate between suspended sediment sources and in-stream suspended sediment • Identified dominant phyla
  6. 6. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  7. 7. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Phyla Shared by Different Soil / Sediment Sources
  8. 8. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Microbial Diversity Indices
  9. 9. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  10. 10. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Objective A. Sediment elemental fingerprinting • Si, Co, P, Mn, Ba, Cu and Zn were the optimum combination of elements • Clustered sediment from different categories – Upland erosion – Stream bank •Sediment sources (from pasture, cattle path, forest etc.) could not be differentiated by their measured geochemical properties
  11. 11. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Similar Geology Across Watershed!
  12. 12. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Objective A. Understanding stream bank erosion processes • Stream bank erosion processes and channel degradation in the southern Appalachian region • How do vegetation and bedrock influence bank stability? • Estimating sediment yields – SWAT analysis if land-use changed • Estimating sediment yields from cattle paths
  13. 13. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Cattle Paths • Higher runoff volumes and sediment loads, per storm event from cattle paths • Control sites were 0.01 and 0.75 kg per storm • Cattle paths: 5.67, 14.59, and 20.00 kg per storm
  14. 14. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Objectives B & C. Economics analysis of BMPs and adoption • How likely will producers adopt rotational grazing? • Integrated into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrologic model • Estimated that the maximum upland sediment loss reduction with rotational grazing was 1,450 tons/year at a cost of $170/ton across the Watershed.
  15. 15. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Objective C. Farmer’s willingness to implement BMPs Two surveys (2009 and 2014) •Mail survey (437 responses or 30%; 143 beef operations; 13,963 acres) •Adoption 4 different BMPs; stream crossings, rotational grazing, pasture improvement, and cattle water tanks
  16. 16. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Willingness to Adopt BMPs • Stream crossings, least preferred; maintenance after high flow events • Younger, more educated producers with higher income levels willing to adopt BMPs • Beef cattle owners willing to improve pasture productivity – Win-Win BMP strategy for beef cattle owners wishing to enhance animal productivity and improve water quality??
  17. 17. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture BMP adoption patterns Practice Adopters (% of total cattle operations) Total Units of practice adopted across 5 watersheds Stream crossing 23 (16%) 1,302 ft2 Rotational grazing 62 (42%) 3,456 ac Pasture improvement 100 (68%) 4,694 ac Waterer 61 (41%) 171 troughs
  18. 18. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Participation and incentives
  19. 19. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Objectives D & E. Conduct watershed education program • Several 100 acres of pastures were renovated • Several miles of cattle exclusion fencing, heavy use cattle lanes, and cattle waterers were installed during this project • Significant reaches of Oostanaula creek were “de-posted” (a prelude to de-listing from 303 d list) in mid-2015
  20. 20. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  21. 21. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  22. 22. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

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