Studying the Spatial Distribution of Agricultural Best Management Practices through Geospatial Technology and Social Practice

Authors: Brinda Athreya*,
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Lake Erie, Algae bloom, farmer survey, mixed methods
Session Type: Lightning Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 4:30 PM / 6:10 PM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Agricultural runoff from farm fields is considered the largest non-point source pollution to Lake Erie and other nearby water bodies. Conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) reduce pollution to water and soil. This study focused on the agricultural conservation Best Management Practices (BMPs) of Monroe County, MI. BMPs of cover crops, buffer strips and tillage practice were mapped using remotely sensed imagery. A stack of all the layers provided an understanding of the geospatial distribution of fields and practices. A survey was conducted face-to-face to gain insight into possible influential social attributes like age group, education level, renters or owners and opinions and technical attributes such as agricultural practices, land acreage, crop type. Results from this research showed that land owners and absentee landlords have the most significant influence on the decisions by farmers. This study recommends developing regulations to focus on land owners of Michigan to aim for a stringent action towards applying BMPs.

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