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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Monitoring Phosphorus Transport in a Ditch-Drained Farming System

Authors
item Kleinman, Peter
item Allen, Arthur - UMES
item Sharpley, Andrew
item Needelman, Brian - UNIV OF MARYLAND

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Kleinman, P.J., Allen, A.L., Sharpley, A.N., Needelman, B. 2006. Monitoring phosphorus transport in a ditch-drained farming system. Agronomy Abstracts. (CD)

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Widespread concern over eutrophication has focused attention on pathways of phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural lands. To-date, limited information exists on the role of drainage ditches in the export of P from manure-amended fields in coastal plain settings. Since 2001, we have monitored two ditches exiting the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's research farm, formerly a commercial poultry operation with a long history of litter application at high rates. Monitoring data indicate that ditches play a key role in agricultural P losses. In 2004, P losses exceeded 10 kg/ha. Storm flow accounted for 70-98% of annual P losses from the ditches, with large contributions of dissolved Ps (up to 55% of annual total P losses). Comparison of ditch monitoring data with runoff data from adjacent fields suggests that resuspention of ditch sediments is an important source of particulate P in storm flow. Results highlight the potential for improved management of ditches for water quality protection.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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