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sustainability, Big Sioux aquifer, nitrates, water quality


The overall goal of the SARE/Water Quality project was to determine whether economic incentives offered by recent environmental provisions of the Federal farm program are sufficient to induce Western Corn Belt/Northern Great Plains farmers in environmentally sensitive areas to adopt sustainable farming practices and systems. To attain this goal, four case farms were chosen to be involved in this study based on their size, soil types, cropping systems, topography, and management in the Big Sioux Aquifer study area. Case Farm No. 4 is located in Brookings County and followed a continuous corn rotation prior to enrollment in the Water Quality Incentive Program (WQIP). It is an irrigated operation that uses a center-pivot system. Conventional tillage practices are used. The total operation consists of 838 acres, with 213 acres enrolled in the WQIP program. One hundred and fifty of those acres received irrigation management assistance. In one 73-acre field irrigated by a center-pivot system, 66 acres were assumed to be under the center-pivot system and the other 7 acres were assumed to be in the corners of the field where the center-pivot system could not reach. These 7 acres were designated as the set-aside acres for the baseline "before" scenario. This 73-acre field was focused on in our analyses. The majority of the soils in this field are a combination of coarse-textured (Fordville), and fine-textured (Marysland) soils. Both of these soils overlay a shallow drinking water aquifer


Economics Pamphlet 95-4