On August 27, 2013, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) report detailing the effects of environmental practices on cropland in the lower Mississippi River Basin. The report, compiled by USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), asserts that recent conservation efforts have led to a significant reduction in the amount of sediment and nutrient runoff throughout the Mississippi River watershed.
Employing scientific modeling techniques, CEAP’s lower Mississippi River Basin report assessed the effects of conservation efforts in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The report determined that while there had been a noteworthy decline in the amount of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous being lost from cropland throughout the region, further efforts are still needed to control surface water runoff and manage nutrient application.
To view the lower Mississippi River Basin CEAP report, as well as previous river basin cropland modeling study reports, please see NRCS’s CEAP Website.
Written by M. Sean High – Research Fellow
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law
August 28, 2013