farming & water quality research

As agricultural subsurface tile drainage  has become increasingly used in Vermont as a way to help farmers drain wet fields, there has been growing need to understand the ways that the approach impacts water quality.  To help fill in that knowledge gap, a project team with staff and faculty from UVM Extension and Plant & Soil Science have begun research on an Addison County farm that is using the practice.

Our project objectives are to:

1. Implement surface water runoff monitoring stations in tandem with existing subsurface tile drainage monitoring stations on paired micro-watersheds in an agricultural field in Addison County, Vermont.

2. Monitor surface and subsurface flow rates and volumes and P (phosphorus) loss from the paired watersheds to compare (control vs. treatment) the effect of the implementation of a suite of selected soil health best management practices (specifically no-till and drilled cover crop) during corn silage production. 

3. Disseminate results of surface and subsurface flow monitoring to Lake Champlain Basin stakeholders, including farmers, policy-makers, researchers, and agricultural service providers. 

4. Establish infrastructure for long-term surface and subsurface water quality monitoring and BMP evaluation on an agricultural field in the Lake Champlain Basin for future research, demonstration, and education efforts.


Interested in knowing more about the Center's work or seeking additional information?  Contact Extension via the short form on this page and one of our colleagues will help get you the resources you need.

Woodcut of a farm with people gathering produce and cows grazing


Co-Principal Investigator Joshua Faulkner, Farming & Climate Change Coordinator, 802-656-3495 or

Co-Principal Investigator Don Ross, Research Professor, 802-656-0138 or

Investigator Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional, (802) 388-4969 ext. 347 or

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