Know Your USDA Watersheds between tracts of furrow-diked cotton and pathogens had initially been labeled as
Information collected over the past 40 traditionally tilled cotton. Results indicat- B. avium.
years from large watersheds across the ed that in 1 of 3 years, cotton yield and net The scientists then tested the bacterium’s
country is available online for the first return were higher with furrow diking over pathogenicity by trying to infect turkeys
time on a Web-based system called STEW- four irrigation regimes, including dryland. with six genetically distinct strains of B.
ARDS (Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds, Russell C. Nuti, National Peanut Research hinzii. Four of the strains were able to
Agricultural Research Data System). The Laboratory, Dawson, GA 39842; (229) grow and persist in the trachea and cause
site (http://188.8.131.52/stewards.1) 995-7449, firstname.lastname@example.org. clinical disease, though none demonstrated
allows users to download watershed data, Clinton C. Truman, Southeast Watershed 100 percent morbidity, and the severity of
view watershed topography, and see where Research Unit, Tifton, GA 31793; (229) clinical signs of disease varied.
monitoring instruments are located. 386-7174, email@example.com. This is the first study to show that some
Users can also obtain information on strains of B. hinzii can cause disease in
pesticides, nitrogen, phosphorus, and Avian Bacterium More Dangerous turkeys. Karen B. Register and Robert A.
other pollutants in streams, rivers, lakes, Than Believed Kunkle, National Animal Disease Center,
and drinking-water reservoirs. Data on Bordetella avium is a pathogenic Ames, IA 50010; (515) 337-7700 [Reg-
daily stream discharge levels, air and soil bacterium that causes upper respiratory ister], (515) 337-7190 [Kunkle], karen.
temperature, and weather measurements disease in poultry and wild birds. Until firstname.lastname@example.org, robert.kunkle@
is also posted. recently, B. hinzii, which is very similar to ars.usda.gov.
STEWARDS was developed because B. avium, was believed to be nonpathogenic
Conservation Effects Assessment Project in poultry. Scientists used highly specific, Conservation Tillage and Cotton:
researchers, who study how private DNA-based tests to examine several The Bottom Line
landowners benefit the environment when Bordetella isolates, including some that From 2000 to 2004, scientists examined
they participate in USDA conservation had caused 100 percent morbidity in the economic returns for five different cot-
programs, wanted to make the watershed turkey poults. They found that the isolates ton tillage practices in the Mississippi Del-
data available for nationwide analyses. were actually B. hinzii, even though the ta, including conventional tillage, no-till,
STEWARDS data can be valuable for low-till sub-soiling, no-till with a winter
other hydrological analyses and to SCOTT BAUE