2009 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
We propose to evaluate FGD gypsum influences on soil properties that determine soil erodibility. The research will help establish proper rates of FGD gypsum to reduce runoff and erosion losses, and improve soil productivity. We will also provide documentation of water quality improvement associated with FGD gypsum needed to help qualify practices for use as a BMP and water quality improvement credits.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Two studies will be conducted at the Northeast Mississippi Experiment Station at Verona. In one study, we will evaluate the effects of FGD gypsum on an existing set of no-till cotton plots. The FGD gypsum application rates of 0, 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 tons/acre will be applied on a replicated plot experiment. The other study will evaluate the effects of tillage-gypsum interactions on soybean yields. The three tillage treatments are no-till, fall chisel-harrow, and conventional. Plot sizes, gypsum application rates, and replications are identical to those for no-till cotton. Crop yields will be measured by the experiment station personnel responsible for all agronomic practices. Following harvest each growing season, soil cores will be collected to a depth of 36 inches from each plot and characterized for water dispersible clay as a measure of erodibility, particle size distribution, organic carbon content, pH, exchangeable A1, exchangeable bases, total calcium, sulfur, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Under this agreement, funds are provided to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) by the cooperator to fund research on the use of byproduct gypsum as a soil amendment to reduce runoff and soil erosion. Project monitoring included two meetings among ARS scientists, power company personnel, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency representatives to discuss progress to date. Funds from this trust were used to support specific cooperative agreements with the University of Tennessee (project #6408-13660-006-17S) and the Northeast Mississippi Experiment Station (project #6408-13660-006-15S).