PRECISION PLACEMENT OF NUTRIENTS AND FERTILIZERS IN COMPLEX LANDSCAPES TO MINIMIZE TRANSFERS OF NUTRIENTS AND EMERGING CONTAMINANTS TO WATER
Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research
2009 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 this year focused on expanded testing of one of the numerous manure application technologies that we now possess. Specifically, we tested various configurations of an aeration unit with low solids swine slurry. Previously, we had evaluated only one of four methods of applying liquid manure with the aerator, finding that it worked well from the stand point of phosphorus conservation but was only moderately successful in conserving nitrogen. Field trials were conducted at the Penn State Larson Agronomy Farm in Rock Springs, PA. Preliminary results suggest that for certain configurations nitrogen conservation with the aerator can be substantial when compared with conventional methods of application.
Progress for this project was monitored by bi-weekly meetings, contact via a Penn State graduate student housed in the PSWMRU offices, and regular phone calls and e-mail.