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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR REDUCTION OF GAS EMISSIONS, NUTRIENTS, AND PATHOGENS

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Runoff nutrient loads as affected by residue cover, manure application rate, and flow rate

Authors
item Thayer, Chance -
item Gilley, John
item Durso, Lisa
item Marx, David -

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2012
Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/55185
Citation: Thayer, C., Gilley, J.E., Durso, L.M., Marx, D. 2012. Runoff nutrient loads as affected by residue cover, manure application rate, and flow rate. Transactions of the ASABE. 55(1): 249-258.

Interpretive Summary: Manure is applied to cropland areas with varying surface cover to meet single- or multiple-year crop nutrient requirements. This field study was conducted to compare the water quality impacts of land application of manure to meet 0-, 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8- year phosphorus based requirements for corn. Three 30-min simulated rainfall events, separated by 24-hour intervals, were applied to field plots using widely adopted data collection procedures. Runoff loads of phosphorus were significantly greater on sites where manure was applied to meet a 4-year rather than a 2-year phosphorus requirement for corn. The application of manure to meet multiple-year crop nutrient requirements provides economic benefits but may increase nutrient loads in runoff.

Technical Abstract: Manure is applied to cropland areas with varying surface cover to meet single- or multiple-year crop nutrient requirements. The objectives of this field study were to (1) examine runoff water quality characteristics following land application of manure to sites with and without wheat residue, (2) compare the water quality impacts of land application of manure to meet 0-, 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8- year P based requirements for corn; and (3) evaluate the effects of varying runoff rates on runoff nutrient loads. Three 30-min simulated rainfall events, separated by 24-hour intervals, were applied at an intensity of approximately 70 mm hr-1 to 0.75 m wide by 2.0 m long plots on which manure has been previously applied and incorporated. Runoff loads of dissolved phosphorus (DP), total phosphorus (TP), NO3-N, NH4-N, and total nitrogen (TN) were significantly greater on the plots with residue cover. The reduction in flow velocity on the surfaces with residue is thought to have provided greater time for overland flow to interact with soil nutrients. Manure application rate significantly influenced runoff loads of DP, TP, NO3-N, NH4-N, and total nitrogen (TN). Runoff loads of DP and TP were significantly greater on sites where manure was applied to meet a 4-year rather than a 2-year P requirement for corn. Each of the measured water quality parameters except electrical conductivity (EC) was significantly influenced by runoff rate. The application of manure to meet multiple-year crop nutrient requirements provides economic benefits but may increase nutrient loads in runoff.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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