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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION EFFECTS ASSESSMENT FOR THE ST. JOSEPH RIVER WATERSHED

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Do Plot Scale Studies Yield Useful Data When Assessing Field Scale Practices?

Authors
item Smith, Douglas
item Pappas, Elizabeth

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2009
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
Citation: Smith, D.R., Pappas, E.A. 2009. Do Plot Scale Studies Yield Useful Data When Assessing Field Scale Practices? [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting Abstracts, Footprints in the Landscape-Sustainability through Plant and Soil Sciences, November 1-5, 2009. Pittsburgh, PA. 2009 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Plot scale data has been used to develop models used to assess field and watershed scale nutrient losses. The objective of this study was to determine if phosphorus (P) loss results from plot scale rainfall simulation studies are “directionally correct” when compared to field scale P losses. Two fields (2.2 and 2.7 ha) have been monitored for edge of field nutrient and pesticide losses since 2004. Both fields had corn-soybean annual rotation with a long term history of no-till. In 2004, the 2.7 ha field was converted to rotational tillage, with tillage prior to corn. During the 2004 and 2006 growing seasons, plots were constructed in these fields, but just outside of the monitored area. The plots did have the same management as the monitored fields. Rainfall was simulated at 50 mm hr-1 for 50 min and 75 mm hr-1 for 15 min, and runoff samples were collected for analysis of soluble and total P (SP and TP). From the plot scale data, a 95% confidence interval was calculated for comparison of field scale P losses. In 2004, SP concentration data from plots were roughly 1 to 2 orders of magnitude greater in the no-till field than the rotational till field, which agreed with the field scale observations thus providing directionally correct data. This occurred for all comparisons, except those with overlap of confidence intervals, for which data from the fields were within 10% of each other. Based on these results, plot scale data at this site was directionally correct.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014