The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2003 as a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices on agricultural lands. As part of this initiative, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducted interviews with farmers during the period 2003-2006, to obtain a baseline assessment of the extent of conservation practices in use on croplands. These data were used by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to model the impact of these practices on soil and water resources. Now, members of the agricultural community and others have identified the need for updated information, including changes in the types and number of conservation practices employed. A pilot study focusing on the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been proposed for 2011. This paper describes the survey design of the pilot project, highlights of findings from previous years, and proposed uses of survey results.
Keywords: Watershed; Chesapeake Bay; Soil and water conservation; Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP)
Biography: Christina Messer is the Chief of the Census Planning Branch for the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. Her responsibilities include the planning and administration of the census of agriculture, census follow-on surveys, and other surveys related to water. Her career has spanned over 20 years and includes work in Headquarters and various regional offices. Ms. Messer also enjoys working with statisticians in other countries through the agency's International Program Office to share best practices and lessons learned.