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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Modeling the Effect of Soil Amendments (Composts) on Water Balance and Water Quality

Authors
item Savabi, M
item Shinde, D - UNIV OF FLA, GAINESVILLE
item Konomi, K - FLORIDA INTL UNIV
item Nkedi-Kizza, P - UNIV OF FLA, GAINESVILLE
item Jayachandran, K - FLORIDA INTL UNIV

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Hydrology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2005
Publication Date: December 30, 2005
Citation: Savabi, M.R., Shinde, D., Konomi, K., Nkedi-Kizza, P., Jayachandran, K. 2005. Modeling the effect of soil amendments (composts) on water balance and water quality. Journal of Environmental Hydrology. 13(31):1-14.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural soils in south Miami-Dade county Florida are mainly composed of crushed limestone, which has a low water and chemical retention capacity. Therefore, sustaining a profitable agricultural system requires appropriate applications of fertilizer and irrigation. We used a computer model to evaluate the impact of different types and amounts of compost applications on water balance and agro-chemical transport in a typical farm of south Florida. The model was used to select the best management practice (BMP) considering the long-term impact of composting on the soil water balance and the fate and transport of the agricultural chemicals in South Florida farm fields.

Technical Abstract: Non-point source water pollutants resulting from agricultural areas have been implicated as a source of water quality degradation in South Florida. The nutrients loading from agricultural and urban areas have increased nutrient concentrations, particularly phosphorus at the Everglades National Park. Application of composts as soil amendment promises improved water holding capacity and chemical retention. The USDA- Everglades-Agro-Hydrology Model (EAHM) has been developed to evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on the crop production, water balance and the fate and transport of nutrients and pesticides. The model was modified to simulate the effect of different types and amounts of compost applications on water balance and agro-chemical transport in a typical farm of south Florida. The model was used to select the best management practice (BMP) considering the long-term impact of composting on the soil water balance and the fate and transport of the agricultural chemicals in South Florida farm fields. Considering the poor soil quality in south Miami-Dade county, Florida, the model test indicated that the application of 40 T/acre of per year will result in increases soil water, increase yield, reduces the leaching pesticides without significantly increasing the leaching of N. However, application of compost more than 40 T/acre will result in significant increase of nitrogen leaching particularly from sludge particularly for Sludge.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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