PRECISION PLACEMENT OF NUTRIENTS AND FERTILIZERS IN COMPLEX LANDSCAPES TO MINIMIZE TRANSFERS OF NUTRIENTS AND EMERGING CONTAMINANTS TO WATER
Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research
2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop and test new manure and fertilizer application technologies that enable better control and placement of manure and fertilizer for water and air quality protection.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The Parties will modify existing crop sensing, precision application, and delivery technologies to improve the delivery of fertilizer and manure nutrients to crops while minimizing off site transfers of nutrients and other contaminants. Technologies will be tested via field trials at sites in Pennsylvania and Maryland that are representative of broad physiographic conditions. Technologies include crop sensor, variable rate fertilizer, and manure applicators and precision placement implements. A combination of on-station and on-farm research will be used to assess environmental and agronomic variables under a variety of cropping systems. Where possible, results will be extrapolated to broader scales by modeling.
The research contributes to sub-objective 1.1, “Quantify management effects on nitrogen and phosphorus loss.” Shallow disk injection and aeration infiltration units were tested on different Pennsylvania soil and management conditions than had been previously evaluated. Due to the site-specific performance of manure application equipment and associated crop response, these trials are being repeated at locations across the region. Crop response trials were conducted and remain underway. In addition, research from the Mahantango Watershed was used to evaluate factors in the Pennsylvania Phosphorus Index. In July, Penn State and ARS hosted two major manure management events, the 2010 Manure Expo and the Chesapeake Manure Summit, in which collaborative research conducted under this agreement was highlighted. Progress for this project was monitored by regular meetings, contact via a Penn State graduate student housed in the PSWMRU offices, and near-daily phone calls and e-mail.