Morgantown, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia University has won a grant to study how global mapping and precision farming can combine to protect water quality in the eastern panhandle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $181,000 for the work, which focuses on a region with porous limestone geology.
WVU extension agent Craig Yohn says karst limestone has sinkholes and fissures that can open at the surface, allowing nutrients and sediments to flow directly into groundwater.
His team will examine whether precision agriculture can improve financial and environmental results.
In precision farming, tractors fertilize land using maps create by a global positioning system.
Precision agriculture is used on large midwestern farms, but WVU will see if it works in smaller fields.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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