In late 2020, the University of Vermont Extension began construction on Discovery Acres, a new on-farm research site located in the St. Albans Bay watershed. This is multi-year project funded by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. The goal is to establish farmer-led research and outreach programs in a critical source watershed and provide rigorous scientific data that is crucial to understanding the relationship between commercial agricultural production and water quality in Vermont.
Edge-of-field monitoring equipment is being used to study the movement of nutrients and quality of water leaving both tile-drained and undrained fields under best conservation practices. Soil health, crop performance, and cost of production will also be measured. An advisory committee composed of farmers and other industry stakeholders has been established to develop research priorities and design a treatment plan for the site. Baseline data will be collected throughout 2021, and treatment implementation will begin in 2022 and continue through at least 2023. Learn more at: https://www.uvm.edu/extension/nwcrops Pictured Discovery Acres sites constructed in Vermont.
Discovery Acres was inspired by the Discovery Farms model and we are looking forward to collaborating on future projects and comparing data.