PRECISION PLACEMENT OF NUTRIENTS AND FERTILIZERS IN COMPLEX LANDSCAPES TO MINIMIZE TRANSFERS OF NUTRIENTS AND EMERGING CONTAMINANTS TO WATER
Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research
2012 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.
Research trials testing manure application technologies were established at sites in Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, Centre and Northumberland Counties. A new version of the USDA-ARS Subsurfer was tested, revealing the need for further modification to the auger deliver system to adequately handle the range of poultry manures found in Pennsylvania. Preliminary results from agronomic trials point to greater nitrogen conservation at several of the sites where the Subsurfer was employed, but the benefit did not extend across all sites. Weather conditions may have contributed to the variability in this outcome. Dr. Beegle presented preliminary findings from this research at a field day in Lancaster, the results of which were featured in Lancaster Farmer.