BOSSIER CITY, La. – Water quality issues in agriculture will be highlighted during the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station Field Day this coming Friday.

"Water quality is an important topic, and we decided to emphasize water quality issues in agriculture during our field day this year," said Jere McBride, LSU AgCenter Northwest Region director.

The field day’s activities begin at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the research station, which is located near Bossier City. Those will be followed by a tour of the station’s constructed wetland site at 10:30 a.m.

The constructed wetland consists of two ponds – a shallow pond of 3 acres that ranges up to about 18 inches deep and a deeper pond that is about 6 feet deep and 3 ½ acres.

"The shallow pond contains wetland vegetation to facilitate sediment and nutrient reduction," said Jim Rabb, a researcher at the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station. "The deeper pond is sometimes called the ‘polishing pond.’ It will provide additional nutrient reduction as well as facilitate pesticide degradation."

The specific goal of this project is to show how using natural resources, such as a wetland, can improve the water coming off agricultural land.

Nonpoint-source pollutants – or water pollution that comes from undetermined sources – have been cited as a major cause of impairment of waterways in the Red River Basin, which runs from northwest Louisiana through the central portion of the state.

Other topics that will be discussed during the field day include the design process of a constructed wetland, how plants in a wetland work and water quality in constructed wetlands.

A model of the Sparta Aquifer, as well as a model of a wetland, also will be available for viewing during the field day.

Lunch will be served at noon, and advance registration is requested, so plans can be made. To register, call (318) 741-7430, Ext. 1108.

The LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station is located at 262 Research Station Drive off U.S. Highway 71 south of Bossier City.

For more information, contact Dr. McBride at (318) 741-7430 ext. 1108 or jmcbride@agcenter.lsu.edu or Dr. Rabb at (318) 741-7430 ext. 1104 or jrabb@agcenter.lsu.edu.

e-mail: dcoolman@agcenter.lsu.edu