The study of agricultural chemicals is one of five national priority topics being addressed by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in its second decade of studies, which began in 2001. Seven watersheds across the Nation were selected for the NAWQA agricultural-chemical topical study. The watersheds selected represent a range of agricultural settings - with varying crop types and agricultural practices related to tillage, irrigation, artificial drainage, and chemical use - as well as a range of landscapes with different geology, soils, topography, climate, and hydrology (Capel and others, 2004). Chemicals selected for study include nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and about 50 commonly used pesticides. This study design leads to an improved understanding of many factors that can affect the movement of water and chemicals in different agricultural settings. Information from these studies will help with decision making related to chemical use, conservation, and other farming practices that are used to reduce runoff of agricultural
chemicals and sediment from fields (Capel and others, 2004). This Fact Sheet highlights the results of the NAWQA agricultural chemical study in the Leary Weber Ditch Watershed in Hancock County, Indiana. This watershed was selected to represent a tile-drained, corn and soybean, humid area typical in the Midwest.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Water and Agricultural-Chemical Transport in a Midwestern, Tile-Drained Watershed: Implications for Conservation Practices