Agricultural Conservation Practice Implementation in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Data Series 1102
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
By: , and 

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Abstract

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides cost-share funding and technical assistance to support the implementation of agricultural conservation practices on farms throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Conservation implementation has been substantial in the time period for which digital records are available (from 2007 through 2017). Farmer participation in USDA conservation programs is voluntary and the implementation data are privacy protected. In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and USDA formed a cooperative partnership to analyze the effects of agricultural conservation on sediment, nutrient, and pesticide transport to the Chesapeake Bay. The USDA provides conservation implementation records for Chesapeake Bay farms to the USGS, with strict limitations on the use of the data to maintain confidentiality of site-specific farm data. The USGS aggregates the data to maintain farmer privacy, and subsequently provides the aggregated datasets to the public to inform conservation decision making processes. As part of that process, the USGS collaborates with the USDA to increase the understanding and quality of the USDA datasets and informs the interpretation of data records by Chesapeake Bay Program partners. The USGS obtains USDA conservation datasets in October of each year, performs data handling and quality checks as described in this document, and delivers aggregated summaries to the six Chesapeake Bay state jurisdictions for use in reporting conservation implementation to the Chesapeake Bay Partnership’s Annual Progress Review, which occurs in December of each year. The privacy protected, site-specific datasets are also used by USGS scientists to understand the effects of agricultural conservation on sediment, nutrient, and pesticide transport to the Chesapeake Bay at the small watershed scale. This publication describes the methods used to aggregate the datasets herein made available to the public at county and eight-digit hydrologic unit code watershed scales, reporting annual implementation from 2007 through 2017. It also documents the effect of geographic aggregation scale on the reportability of records and provides details regarding appropriate use and interpretation of the data records.

Suggested Citation

Hively, W.D., Devereux, O.H., and Keisman, J.L.D., 2018, Agricultural conservation practice implementation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture: U.S. Geological Data Series 1102, 46 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1102.

ISSN: 2327-638X (online)

ISSN: 2327-0271 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Purpose and Scope
  • Methods—Processing of USDA Conservation Practice Datasets
  • Results—The Aggregated Datasets
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • Data Availability
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1A. Conservation cooperator memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, signed in 2015
  • Appendix 1B. Conservation cooperator acknowledgement of requirements between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, signed in 2015
  • Appendix 1C. Conservation cooperator memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Farm Service Agency, signed in 2015
  • Appendix 1D. U.S. Geological Survey approved protocol for data handling and aggregation to protect farmer privacy
  • Appendix 2. Effect of Aggregation Scale
  • Appendix 3A. Aggregated Dataset for Public Release
  • Appendix 3B. Aggregated Dataset for Public Release
  • Appendix 3C. Aggregated Dataset for Public Release
  • Appendix 3D. Aggregated Dataset for Public Release
  • Appendix 3E. Aggregated Dataset for Public Release

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Agricultural conservation practice implementation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Series title Data Series
Series number 1102
DOI 10.3133/ds1102
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center
Description Report: vii, 46 p.; Data release
Country United States
Other Geospatial Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N