NOTE: These are "suggested" study materials. All students and teachers are urged to seek independent study material. It is also suggested that you start studying at the beginning of the school year.
2017 Current Issue
Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship
Over the past 25 years, the Maryland Farmer has played an important role in the efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Maryland has been a leader in the implementation of soil and water conservation best management practices to control sediment and improve water quality. The Current Environmental Issue, Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship, easily translates across all provinces and states.
NCF-Envirothon participants will learn about the Maryland's natural resources and engage in hands-on training and testing. Students will learn the basic concepts of how agricultural Best Management Practices and all natural resource areas are interrelated by closely interacting with natural resource professionals. By providing a lifelong learning experience for these students, they will learn the importance of maintaining a balance of the quality of life versus the quality of the environment as an agriculturist. As part of the overall NCF-Envirothon program, students will gain an understanding of the importance of promoting soil and water conservation stewardship.
Current Issue Learning Objectives
1. Soil and Water Conservation best management practices; their purpose and implementation.
2. How are soil and water conservation best management practices interrelatedto the management of wildlife, forestry and aquatic systems?
3. How do agriculturists maintain a balance between their quality of life versus the quality of the environment?
Upon completion of the training, the student will be able to:
1, Identify and recommend soil and water conservation best management practices in agriculture.
2. Describe the role of the federal government in conservation programs that benefit both agricultural producers and the environment.
3. Identify the concept of soil quality/health to provide the needed functions for the conservation planning process.
4. Identify various types of soil erosion and utilize different methods to estimate and predict soil erosion to assess land use impacts.
a. RUSLE equation
b. Aerial Photographs
c. Topographic Maps
d. Soil Maps
e. USDA Classification System
f. Soil Surveys
5. Explain why land-use planning is important to our ecosystems and to our economy to achieve sustainable agriculture.
The Farm Bill 2014 Programs- Fact sheet describing the conservation programs
RCPP Projects by State-Link to Maryland projects (pdf)
Farmers Guide to Conservation Stewardship Programs
Conservation Choices for Maryland Farmers http://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/counties/ConservationChoices_2012_FINAL%20(1).pdf
Guidelines for Soil Quality Assessment in Conservation Planning
USDA Guidelines for Soil Health Assessment
Soil Quality Indicator Facts Sheets
USDA official site for RUSLE
Understanding Erosion with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation
Soil Science Management 6th Edition, Edward J. Plaster (Contact: Delmar Cengage Learning)