Help protect Hinkson Creek

Reducing air and water pollution due to reactive nitrogen and other nutrients will require voluntary adoption of new practices and technologies. A variety of best management practices (BMPs) already exist for both agricultural producers and homeowners. These include soil testing, using appropriate fertilizer types and rates, timing nitrogen applications to plant nutrient requirements, and taking account of nutrients from previous crops as well as manure or compost applications. However, adoption of the nutrient management strategies and innovations suggested by scientists has been disappointing.

A research project called "Factors Affecting Adoption of Nutrient Management Practices by Farmers and Homeowners" was funded in the fall of 2013 through the USDA-NIFA National Integrated Water Quality Program. The research project addresses these issues by conducting research on adoption of nitrogen BMPs and manure transfers using an existing USDA dataset, developing a homeowner survey in the Hinkson Creek watershed in Columbia, Mo., and using survey results to examine adoption of nutrient management practices on lawns as well as stormwater runoff reduction practices. Education and extension components will build on the research components as well as existing watershed activities. In addition, a new course enabling Science and Agricultural Journalism students to design extension efforts, including media campaigns, is an innovation combining extension and education components. An app to help homeowners choose appropriate types and quantities of fertilizers for their lawns will also be developed. This project builds on the strengths of the previous data in adoption research related to nutrient management, the existing hydrological research in Hinkson Creek watershed and the top-ranked University of Missouri School of Journalism.

The following links provide local resources for helping protect Hinkson Creek: