Some pollution enters streams from a single point, such as a pipe. Agricultural pollution, on the other hand, is generally nonpoint source pollution. That is, it comes from pesticide and fertilizer runoff from fields, animal waste from feed lots, siltation (mud) from plowing near streams, and stream bank erosion caused by cattle.
Many agricultural operations in the United States have addressed these problems and have identified farmers to be among the most cooperative landowners when it comes to the ethical treatment of Earth's resources. Because of the requirements of agriculture, farmers must keep in close touch with nature.
In the Wheeling Creek watershed,
agriculture is dominated by cattle and dairy operations. The high-level aerial photograph
of upper Wheeling Creek watershed shows distinct landforms, including forest (red), hay
fields (pink), and tilled lands (white), in addition to highways and lakes. What is the
most prominent land use in the upper Wheeling Creek watershed? Left: Aerial view of a dairy farm in the upper Wheeling Creek
watershed. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Ben Stout
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