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for Agricultural drainage, Aspects of--North Carolina Eastern
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Over the last 200 years agricultural drainage in the eastern section of the state transformed extensive wetlands into productive cropland. At the start of the 20th century about half a million drained agricultural acres were available for farming. The 1909 Act allowed more extensive drainage projects. O'Driscoll \"documents the history and extent of agricultural drainage in Eastern North Carolina, the effects of agricultural drainage on hydrology in the region and highlights some of the current and potential strategies to address the environmental impact of agricultural drainage on streams.\"
Edgecombe County farmer Bellmont Murphrey is a pioneer in a new agricultural practice of controlled drainage with sub-irrigation. Murphrey built a control device on his main ditch that would permit the release of water during periods of high rainfall and the conservation of water at other times. His water management system has helped him to produce high corn yields, and interest in the new practice is spreading among other farmers.
Researchers at North Carolina State University recommend that agricultural producers in coastal North Carolina continue to use wetlands to filter sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from water drained from agricultural fields despite evidence that artificial flooding will change the nature of wetland forests. Their recent studies suggest some guidelines for more effectively using wetland buffers to remove pollutants from agricultural drainage.