2017 Larson Allmaras Lecture

April 21, 2017


The 15th William E. Larson and Raymond R. Allmaras Emerging Issues in Soil and Water Lecture

Sources of Sediments and Phosphorus to Lake Winnipeg: Matching Causes with Cures

Dr. David Lobb and Dr. Donald Flaten

Abstract: Excess loading of phosphorus is hurting the health of many water bodies in the Northern Great Plains, including Lake Winnipeg, the 10th largest lake in the world. A substantial portion of this loading comes from agricultural land in the lake's large watershed, which includes northwestern Minnesota. Most beneficial management practices (BMPs) for reducing phosphorus losses from agricultural land have been developed for areas where the majority of these losses are caused by soil erosion during rainfall events. However, these practices may not always be pertinent to the Northern Great Plains, where the landscapes are often flat, the climate is cold and dry, and runoff is dominated by snowmelt over frozen soil. Recent research in the Canadian Prairies confirms that erosion from agricultural fields is a small contributor to sediment loading in streams and also that vegetative residues are a large contributor to phosphorus loading. This research also shows that several erosion control BMPs are not effective for reducing P losses in this region and locally validated BMPs for water and nutrient management will be essential for reducing P loss from Prairie farmland to surface water bodies such as Lake Winnipeg.

  • Mr. Buesing's talk on the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Flood Risk Management Project starts at the 22 minute mark.
  • The keynote talk on Lake Winnipeg begins at the 39 minute mark. 
Event Speaker

Dr. David Lobb

Dr. David Lobb is a professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba, where his teaching and extension activities are in the areas of soil erosion, soil and water conservation and sustainable agriculture. David also holds the position of Senior Research Chair in Watershed Systems in which he focuses on the water quality problems in Lake Winnipeg and their solutions within its watershed. A major focus of David's research has been the causes and management of soil variability in agricultural landscapes. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his research in tillage translocation and tillage erosion and has received numerous awards, including membership in the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame, a fellowship in the Canadian Society of Soil Science, and several awards from the Soil Science Society of America and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Dr. Don Flaten

Dr. Don Flaten is a professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Manitoba. Don specializes in soil fertility, crop nutrition and nutrient management, with a focus on agricultural phosphorus management from agronomic and environmental points of view. Don's research interests include the effects of fertilizers and livestock manures on crop uptake, yield and quality, as well as the effects of these and other management practices on agricultural and environmental sustainability in farming systems. Don has received several awards for his efforts to improve soil and nutrient management practices in the Northern Great Plains region of Canada, including the Soil Science for Society Award from the Canadian Society of Soil Science and the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association Award of Merit.