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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EFFICIENT AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN HUMID REGIONS

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Double-cropped soybean and wheat with subsurface drip irrigation supplemented by treated swine wastewater

Authors
item Hunt, Patrick
item Stone, Kenneth
item Matheny, Terry
item Vanotti, Matias
item Szogi, Ariel
item Busscher, Warren

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2011
Publication Date: November 23, 2011
Citation: Hunt, P.G., Stone, K.C., Matheny, T.A., Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A., Busscher, W.J. 2011. Double-cropped soybean and wheat with subsurface drip irrigation supplemented by treated swine wastewater. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 42:2778-2794.

Interpretive Summary: Swine production is important to both the USA economy and food supply. The wastewater from swine production facilities has been typically managed by treatment in anaerobic lagoons followed by land application. However, there have been considerable advances in superior treatment technologies. Wastewater from one of these technologies was effective for subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) of bermudagrass. Yet, this system of wastewater treatment and SDI had not been tested with grain crops. This experiment assessed a soybean and wheat rotation on such a deep sandy soil. The low water holding and water conductivity characteristics fo the soil caused major crop production problems even with the SDI. This condition contributed to complete crop failure in soybean in two years and generally low yields of wheat. In a good rainfall year, the soybean yield was somewhat satisfactory and benefited from the supplemental irrigation. Moreover, the soil nitrogen and carbon were not affected by the water treatments. Thus, the SDI on deep sandy soils with or without wastewater will likely be more effective for bermudagrass than grain crops.

Technical Abstract: The wastewater from swine production facilities has been typically managed by treatment in anaerobic lagoons followed by land application. However, there have been considerable advances in superior treatment technologies. Wastewater from one of these technologies was effective for subsurface drip irrigation of bermudagrass. The objectives of this experiment were to assess accumulation of soil nitrogen and carbon along with grain yield, dry matter accumulation, and plant nitrogen accumulation of soybean [Glycine max (L) Merr., cv.] and wheat [Triticum aestivum (L), cv.] when supplementally irrigated with treated swine effluent via subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). The soil series was Autryville loamy sand (loamy, siliceous, subactive, thermic Arenic Paleudults). Its low unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of 0.0017 ± 0.0023 mm/h caused problems with water movement to either the soil surface or laterally to adjoining soybean and wheat roots. This condition contributed to complete crop failure in soybean in two years and generally low yields of wheat. In a good rainfall year, the soybean yield was somewhat satisfactory and benefited from the supplemental irrigation. In that year, non-irrigated and irrigated soybean mean yields were 1.55 vs.1.98 Mg/ha, respectively. The mean yield of wheat was only 1.06 Mg/ha, and it was not affected by irrigation. The means for soil nitrogen and carbon in the 0 to 15 cm depth were 414 and 5,679 mg/kg, respectively; and they were not affected by the water treatments. Thus, neither soil conditions nor soybean/wheat production were greatly enhanced by the SDI system.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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