Submitted to: Proceedings of the Annual South Platte Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 8, 2004
Publication Date: October 27, 2004
Citation: Lentz, R.D. 2004. Polyacrylamide: One of the irrigation's most versatile tools. In: Brown, J., editor. Proceedings of the 15th Annual South Platte Forum, October 27-28, 2004, Longmont, Colorado. p. 11. Technical Abstract: The polyacrylamide used in agriculture and irrigation, often referred to as PAM, is a unique material that interacts with soil and water in dramatic and complex fashion. These interactions are responsible for making PAM one of the most multifaceted tools available to resource managers today. PAM is a polymer made from two organic building blocks that are linked together into a single chain of great length. If each link in PAM's chain was the size of a walnut, a single PAM molecule would form a continuous strand nearly 50 football fields long. In addition to its size, PAM's solubility in water and binding action with soil and organic particles make it an efficient soil stabilizer and particle settling agent, and give it the ability to alter water infiltration characteristics of soil. These attributes can be exploited by different PAM treatments to reduce soil erosion and increase infiltration, improve runoff water quality, limit water-borne transport of weed seeds and bacteria off fields, and inhibit seepage losses from canals and ponds. This presentation will discuss research illustrating PAM's effectiveness for these uses.