The Indian Creek Watershed Project is an innovative approach to voluntary adoption of on-farm conservation systems. Chad Watts, executive director with the Conservation Technology Information Center; Sarah Church, Ph.D., postdoctoral research associate at Purdue University; and Ursula Mahl, senior research technician with the University of Notre Dame, provided an overview of the project, what made the project a success and water-quality results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Success takes teamwork
    • Identify a passionate, committed local champion
    • Capitalize on partnerships
    • Engage agricultural retailers
    • Establish common goals and a community approach
    • Ensure sufficient funding for outreach and cost-sharing
    • Network with community members
  • Education and outreach
    • On-farm demonstrations
    • 4R Nutrient Stewardship
  • Successful results
    • BMP area increased from less than 10% of the watershed area to more than 50% between 2010 and 2015
    • Water-quality monitoring showed the majority of annual nitrate loss occurs during elevated flow, with 30 – 60% during a large storm
    • Looking at storms in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to determine fluctuations in nitrate export, the research team found that for similar storms, nitrogen export decreased over time
      • This suggests that adoption of BMPs, especially those that decrease runoff, does decrease nitrogen export

1 CEU in Nutrient Management is available for this webinar. Visit the Certified Crop Adviser website to self-report your credit after viewing the webinar recording.

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