Matt Clements' Farm- Cherry Valley
The Cherry Valley Farms (in contrast)
L'Anguille River Watershed, Cross County
Row Crop Operations: Rice and Soybeans
Two farms were chosen at the Cherry Valley site offering evaluation of contrasting management practices on the same types of crops in similar environments. The Danny and Matt Clements farm (about 1,600 acres) east of the L'Anguille River and the Mike Wood farm (about 2,700 acres) located immediately across the river on the west side are both row crop operations. Both farms rotate rice and soybeans and are in the L'Anguille Watershed in Cross County. This area has recently been declared a Critical Groundwater Area by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.
The Clements' use conventional tillage and water management, whereas on the Woods farm, switchgrass buffers have been established between the river and fields via CRP planning. Because fields in the study region are not candidates for leveling due to cost and the risk of exposing underlying soil horizons detrimental to crop production, flood irrigation is still the preferred irrigation method for soybeans. The Clements site uses groundwater as an irrigation source, whereas the Wood farm uses a combination of water sources (relift from the L'Anguille and wells).
Discovery Farm research will include monitoring runoff, nutrients, and sediment from one field under traditional tillage management on the Clement farm and from two fields on the Wood farm, one of which uses traditional flood irrigation for both rice and soybean and drains through a switch-grass border. The other is managed using furrow irrigation during the soybean rotation. Runoff will eventually be captured by a new tailwater recovery system and reservoir on both farms.