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Implementation of conservation tillage and cover crops in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 1985 to 2012

August 8, 2018

Conservation tillage practices and cover crops are used throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed to reduce soil loss and improve water quality. Implementation of these Best Management Practices (BMPs) were reported to the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) by each state in the watershed (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Virginia). Estimates of acres of implementation per CBP land river modeling segment for the years 1985 through 2014 were provided to the U.S. Geological Survey. These data were distributed to agricultural land use cells in the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) dataset and summed for National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) Plus version 1 catchments to provide estimates of implementation at spatial scales commonly used for modeling purposes for the years 1985, 1992, 2002, and 2012 for conservation tillage, as well as 2002 and 2012 for cover crops.

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