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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR REDUCTION OF HEALTH-RELATED MICROORGANISMS AND ODOR Title: Transport of trace elements in runoff from unamended and pond-ash amended feedlot surfaces

Authors
item Vogel, Jason -
item Gilley, John
item Woodbury, Bryan
item Berry, Elaine
item Eigenberg, Roger

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 2011
Publication Date: September 12, 2011
Citation: Vogel, J.R., Gilley, J.E., Woodbury, B.L., Berry, E.D., Eigenberg, R.A. 2011. Transport of trace elements in runoff from unamended and pond-ash amended feedlot surfaces. Transactions of the ASABE. 54(4):1269-1279.

Interpretive Summary: Fly ash that has been placed in evaporative ponds for storage and subsequently dewatered is described as pond ash. The placement of pond ash on feedlot surfaces provides a drier environment for livestock and furnishes economic benefits. However, pond ash may have high concentrations of trace elements and the water-quality characteristics of runoff from feedlot surfaces amended with pond ash are not well known. In this investigation, concentrations for 23 trace elements were measured in cattle feedlot surface material amended with pond ash and in runoff water. A rainfall simulator was used to apply rainfall to 0.75 m wide by 2.0 m long plots over three consecutive days. Amending the feedlot surface with pond ash significantly increased the concentrations of 14 trace elements. Runoff concentrations for five trace elements were significantly greater on the pond-ash amended treatments. Concentrations in runoff were significantly correlated with concentrations in feedlot surface material for boron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and uranium. Runoff pH was found to be a dominant factor in determining if the addition of pond ash to feedlot surfaces affected the transport of trace elements in runoff.

Technical Abstract: The use of pond ash (fly ash that has been placed in evaporative ponds for storage and subsequently dewatered) for feedlot surfaces provides a drier environment for livestock and furnishes economic benefits. However, pond ash is known to have high concentrations of trace elements and the runoff water-quality effects of feedlot surfaces amended with pond ash are not well defined. For this study, two experimental plots were established in each of eight pens. Four of the pens contained unamended soil surfaces and the remaining four pens had pond-ash amended surfaces. Before each test, unconsolidated surface material was removed from four of the pens for each of the amendment treatments, resulting in eight unamended surface plots and eight pond ash amended plots. Concentrations for 23 trace elements were measured in cattle feedlot surface material and in the runoff water from three simulated rainfall events. Neither trace element concentrations in surface material nor in runoff differed between surface-consolidation treatments. Amending the feedlot surface material with pond ash had a significant effect on concentrations of 17 trace elements in feedlot surface material, and 14 of 17 trace element concentrations that differed significantly were greate in the pond ash-amended plots. Runoff concentrations for 21 trace elements were affected by pond-ash amendment, and 16 of 21 trace element concentrations that differed significantly were greater in runoff from unamended soil surfaces. Concentrations in runoff were significantly correlated with concentrations in feedlot surface material for boron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and uranium. Runoff pH appeared to be the most dominant factor in determining if pond ash amendment to feedlot surfaces affected the transport of trace elements in feedlot runoff.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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