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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Use of Fgd Gypsum to Improve the Productivity and Stability of Highly Erodible Loess Soils

Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research

2009 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
We propose to evaluate fluidized gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum influence on surface soil properties that determine soil resistance to erosion losses. The research will help establish proper rates of FGD gypsum to reduce runoff and erosion losses, and improve soil productivity under different tillage systems. 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 credits.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The research will be conducted at The University of Tennessee, Research and Education Center, Milan, and in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, Knoxville. The effect of fluidized gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum on soil properties and cotton yields will be evaluated using both conventional and no-till management systems. FGD gypsum will be applied at rates of 0, 1, 2, 3, and 5 tons per acre to replicated conventional and no-till cotton plots. Cotton yields will be measured at the end of the growing season. Soil samples collected each year will be characterized: for total carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur; pH; extractable aluminum, potassium, and phosphorus; particle size distribution and water dispersible clay. The most appropriate FGD gypsum amendment rate, in terms of yield increases and reduced soil erodibility, will be selected from these data.

3.Progress Report

Experimental field plots were located, delineated, surveyed, and sampled at The University of Tennessee, Milan Experiment Station in preparation for the initial planting of no-till cotton. Progress was monitored in two face-to-face meetings conducted by ARS scientists with stakeholders and cooperators. This specific cooperative agreement is funded by Southern Company Services (project #6408-13660-006-14T) and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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