Row Crop Operation: Cotton and Corn
The Stevens farm is a cotton and corn row crop operation of approximately 1500 acres and is located in the Bayou Macon Watershed. This watershed is situated in southeastern Arkansas and northeastern Louisiana. It was listed by the State of Arkansas as impaired for aquatic habitat due to elevated turbidity levels. This is attributed to increased sedimentation related to intensive row crop agriculture. This area is also designated as a Critical Groundwater Area due to declining groundwater levels.
Discovery Farm goals for the Stevens farm include evaluation of nutrient and sediment content in runoff as affected by conservation tillage practices. Additionally, runoff from Conservation Reserve Program land will be monitored with the intent of establishing a baseline water quality level for this region of Arkansas. In collaboration with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, aquatic stream habitat will also be monitored.
It is hoped successful implementation of conservation tillage practices will result in decreases in total runoff and lower sediment and nutrient loading in runoff water. An additional measure of success would be the adoption of conservation tillage by other farmers in the Bayou Macon Watershed.