Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Baker, Beth

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Committee Member

Ramirez-Avila, John J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife, Fisheries, & Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


This study investigates the impact on water quality of combined agricultural best management practices cover crop and minimum tillage, alongside an examination of techniques used to collect those samples. Edge-of-field (EOF) water quality samples were collected from 11 working farms during a two-year paired field experiment. Results showed significant reductions in nutrient concentrations, increased discharge, and mixed findings regarding nutrient mass transport post-treatment. A suite of EOF collection techniques were compared using in-situ automated water sampling systems sampling the same runoff events. Sampling protocols influenced nutrient concentrations in composite samples, but unexpected variance in velocity sensors affected measured discharge, making it challenging to confidently attribute differences in nutrient loading estimates to sampling protocol. The findings provide regionally specific evidence for mitigating on-farm nutrient enrichment in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and enhancing monitoring techniques.