Integrated assessment of uses of woody draws in agricultural landscapes

Zeyuan Qiu, Tony Prato, Larry Godsey, Verel Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study assesses economic and environmental impacts of uses of woody draws, small natural drainage areas covered by trees and shrubs in agricultural landscapes. Three agricultural uses and four alternative uses are evaluated. A net present value approach is used to compare economic impacts of uses of draws and APEX is used to evaluate the interaction between a woody draw and the contributing upland area and simulate the environmental impacts of uses of draws in the field. The study shows that relative to agricultural uses, alternative uses of draws have significant environmental benefits in terms of reducing surface runoff and sediment and associated pollutants, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticides. Agricultural uses of draws are not always the most profitable option. Certain alternatives, such as curly willow and the mixed buffer, are highly profitable. Agricultural landscapes could be differentially managed to achieve both economic variability and environmental benefits. Government support is necessary to promote alternative uses of woody draws. The support can be in the form of CRP payments or market development of buffer products. Farmers and resource managers can use study results to manage woody draws and evaluate the merits of alternative policies for managing woody draws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1269
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • APEX modeling
  • Conservation buffers
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Land use planning
  • Nonpoint source pollution
  • Water quality
  • Woody draws


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