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Field to stream to gulf: How far and fast do soil and nutrients move?

field stream gulf soil nutrients water

In this special episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, Extension Educator Greg Klinger continues a discussion about the Root River Field to Stream Partnership in southeast Minnesota. He's joined by Kevin Kuehner from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as they work to understand how much of the soil and nutrients that leave farm fields in the region actually end up in streams, rivers, and beyond.

Part One examines a fundamental question: what happens when soil and nutrients leave a field? Greg and Kevin explore how dissolved nutrients and soil-attached nutrients move at different speeds through watersheds, road ditches as sediment control structures, the value of digging holes in the Driftless Area, and how we often underestimate the value of existing conservation practices.

Part Two shifts the focus to the larger Root River watershed, examining how a buildup of older sediment sources can muddy the waters, both literally and figuratively, for water quality. Greg and Kevin discuss the unexpected benefits of nuclear testing, regions trapped in their own history, when to focus on practices versus results, and making water walk instead of run.

Listen to Part Two of the podcast

View the podcast transcripts:

Additional resources:

Be sure to listen to Greg and Kevin's episode from July on the Root River Field to Stream Partnership: Is your farm ready for the next big rain? Soil and nutrient loss in southeast Minnesota

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Support for the Nutrient Management Podcast was provided in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

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