The overall goals of the Oregon National Institute of Food and Agriculture–Conservation Effects Assessment Project (NIFA–CEAP), Assessing Trade-offs Between Crop Production and Ecological Services, were to quantify linkages between conservation practices and biophysical responses, including water quality and biological indicators, and to develop a model to assess tradeoffs between agricultural practices that maximize economic benefits and conservation actions that sustain or improve ecosystem services.

These goals were addressed through a set of specific research objectives that in aggregate served to examine whether the extent and distribution of tillage practices and riparian and in-channel vegetation were associated with an optimum balance of economic value and ecological services at the watershed scale. Specific objectives included the following:

1. Describe the extent, timing, and placement of conservation practices in the study watershed
2. Assess the effects of those conservation practices, their locations, and their interactions on water quality and quantity
3. Evaluate the effects of conservation practices on key biological indicators that respond to cumulative alterations in land cover and the resulting water quality and quantity
4. Develop an objective-optimization model based on the information derived from addressing the first three objectives to assist farmers, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff, and local conservation districts in identifying cost-effective conservation practice strategies
5. Disseminate the findings of this research to specific target audiences through outreach activities and extension products

Authors: 
Hoag, D.LK. et al.
Short Description: 
The overall goals of this study were to quantify linkages between conservation practices and biophysical responses, including water quality and biological indicators, and to develop a model to assess tradeoffs between agricultural practices that maximize
Product Number: 
ORESU-BR-12-002
Entry Date: 
Monday, May 12, 2014
Length: 
15 pp.
Size and Format: 
8 1/2 x 11, online
Miscellaneous: 
Reprinted from: "How to Build Better Agricultural Conservation Programs to Protect Water Quality: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Conservation Effects Assessment Project Experience," Edited by Deanna L. Osmond, Donald W. Meals, Dana LK. Ho
Year of Publication: 
2012
How to Order: 

Download the book chapter from the Soil and Water Conservation Society.