Conesus Lake Watershed Project - SUNY Brockport, USDA

Best Management Practices



Agricultural operations in four experimental watersheds received best management practices designed to reduce the loss of nutrients and soil to Conesus Lake.






Agriculture is a major use of land in the Conesus Lake Watershed. Approximately 42 percent of the direct drainage in the watershed is in agricultural use. This makes farming important to the water quality of Conesus Lake. Local agricultural agencies, with participation of local farmers, founded the “Conesus Lake Watershed Group” (CLWG) to focus attention on watershed issues important to farmers. They coordinate and foster collaboration among academic researchers, governing bodies, and the agricultural community.

This project is a mechanism for the farming community to be proactive in watershed issues through education, implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and by its traditional stewardship of the land being farmed. The goal of the project is to demonstrate, through the experimental watershed approach, that implementation of BMPs in agriculturally dominated watersheds will preserve soil and reduce nutrient loss from sub-watersheds. A second goal is to evaluate the impact of implemented BMPs by measuring the impacts on the downstream lake community at the sub-watershed scale. The following is an overview of the Best Management Practices that we have implemented in the Conesus Lake watershed.

Nutrient Management Planning

In this project, 1800 acres have been impacted by this practice.

Erosion Control

Over 1800 acres have one or more of these practices in place or planned.

Water Management

These practices are installed or planned where needed on cooperating farms.

Feed Management

Rotational grazing was established on 50 acres of pasture. Forage is regularly tested and rations balanced on cooperating dairy farms.

Record Keeping

These BMPs are being used on the four farms in this project.



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