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Old 02-07-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Drainage Ditches Can Help Clean Up Field Runoff

Drainage Ditches Can Help Clean Up Field Runoff
USDA EOrganic
USDA Agricultural Research Service - Fri, 01/04/2013 - 06:24

USDA | eOrganic
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Vegetated drainage ditches can help capture pesticide and nutrient loads in field runoff, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists report. These ditches—as common in the country as the fields they drain—give farmers a low-cost alternative for managing agricultural pollutants and protecting natural resources.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ecologist Matt Moore at the agency's National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Miss., and his colleagues conducted the research. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Until recently, the primary function of many edge-of-field ditches was to provide a passage for channeling excess water from crop fields. Many farmers controlled ditch vegetation with trimming or dredging to eliminate plant barriers that could impede the flow of runoff.

But in one of Moore's first studies...
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:32 PM   #2
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Hmmmm…. this... was posted at the USDA's eOrganic site>>>? Straaaaaaaange. Wouldn't ya think with a name like eOrganic that this extension of the USDA would actually be addressing the challenges facing the organic community with any $$$ they’ve got? Here…. check this out, eOrganic, “eOrganic is the organic agriculture community of practice with eXtension. Our mission is to foster a research and outreach community, engage farmers and ag professionals through trainings and publications, and support research and outreach projects.” Well…. I guess they are fostering a research and outreach community…. only their research and outreach is benefitting BigAG. Looks to me as if the USDA found another creative way to get their hands on even more tax payer $$$ they can funnel to “goodies” that perpetuate the continued use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.... I mean.... this is like a runoff shell game... divert BigAg’s chemicals into drainage ditches where they'll be out of sight and out of mind so they can go on their merry way polluting. AM I missing something here….. exactly how does research like this benefit the organic agricultural community>>>? I woulda thought that any research $$$ eOrganic had woulda been better spent on actual research and programming that would benefit organic farmers. I don’t know about anyone else but…. looks to me like we just got fleeced…. again…. by the USDA that’s found yet another way to surreptitiously fund even more research that does zip nadda nothing getting us OFF the pesticide and synthetic fertilizer treadmill but…whatdoIknow.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:56 AM   #3
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USDA | eOrganic
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But in one of Moore's first studies, he evaluated the transport and capture of the herbicide atrazine and the insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin for 28 days in a 160-foot section of a vegetated agricultural drainage ditch in Mississippi. One hour after he started a simulated runoff event, 61 percent of the atrazine and 87 percent of the lambda-cyhalothrin had transferred from the water to the ditch vegetation. At the end of the ditch, runoff pesticide concentrations had decreased to levels that were generally non-toxic to downstream aquatic fauna.
Now the chemical runoff is only toxic to anything that eats the ditch vegetation ... .
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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pawprint where do you throw your used filters?

Eats,,, Or smokes that vegetation... I remember long time ago cannabis sativa grew wild in the ditches. So why buy paraquat laced Mexican reefer, when we can grow your own specially lambda-whatever. Sad to say but there is a plant that some people eat out of the ditches called 'cress', or water cress.

I heard of an recent corn field drainage experiment, Nebraska or Iowa, of which the college student was out to prove 'wood chips in a ditch' as a filter media for crop land run-off. It was very exciting innovation, a lengthy ditch dozed out deep, and back filled with wood chip, occasional vents/standpipes and covered with a grassy layer. Intended to last 20 years, and to catch fertilizer residue & other stuff. I am skeptical of the filter media chosen because of the slow water flow rate, albeit wood chip is cheap, and is naturally attractive to absorb nitrogen, but if the idea is to 'clean the water', I would prefer wood charcoal or a mixture of raw wood chip & gravel & charcoal for a multitude of reasons, like permanence, reusable as a soil additive (replete with stored poisons, for those that just gotta poison their soil with something) and perhaps retention of good mineral or salt.

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Old 02-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
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Cannabis sativa is not native to the US. However, marijuana growers tend to "borrow" growing space, so that it has been readily naturalized where ever the plant is grown --- everywhere.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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ohhhhhhhh NOT native, I did not know that, tyty!... for sure I will eradicate any of that weed, if I ever see it. I've never seen it anywhere in the wild, in AR.

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Old 02-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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I have run across marijuana growing in national forests, in soybean fields (letting the farmer cultivate the crop along with his soybeans), along isolated fencerows etc. etc.
Any place they will be protected until mature, when the grower and sneak onto the property and harvest the plants. That way he is not legally responsible, because he is growing on someone else's land.

(Check your back 40!) I even found mj growing on the along the back fence line of a historic property I was managing.

Some growers also "borrow" isolated spots on Federal or private property to grow Hemp.

(http://www.kew.org/plant-cultures/plants/hemp_drug.html)
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