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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN AGROECOSYSTEMS OF THE NORTHEASTERN US

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Effect of tillage on phosphorus leaching through coastal plain soils

Authors
item Kun, Han -
item Kleinman, Peter
item Bryant, Ray
item Reiter, Mark -
item Mcgrath, Josh -
item Church, Clinton
item Allen, Arthur -

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2012
Publication Date: October 21, 2012
Citation: Kun, H., Kleinman, P.J., Bryant, R.B., Reiter, M., Mcgrath, J., Church, C., Allen, A. 2012. Effect of tillage on phosphorus leaching through coastal plain soils[abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 280-8.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Leaching of phosphorus (P) is a primary water quality concern in soils of the Atlantic Coastal plain where lateral subsurface flow is the dominant P transport pathway. We hypothesize that very high soil P in the upper 2 cm of no-till soils contributes to P leaching via macropore flow and that cultivation will result in overall lower soil P values and less P leaching. We investigated the effect of tillage as a means of reducing P leaching in selected agricultural soils of the Delmarva Peninsula. Intact soil columns of 30-cm diameter and 50-cm length (five replicates) were collected from the Bojac (coarse-loamy, mixed, semiactive, thermic Typic Hapludult), Evesboro (mesic, coated Lamellic Quartzipsamment), and Sassafrass (fine-loamy, siliceous, semiactive, mesic Typic Hapludult) soils. Soil properties range from excessive to somewhat poorly drained and from sand to silty clay loam texure. Soil P stratification with depth was determined by testing the 0-2 cm, 2-10 cm and 10-20 cm layers. To achieve uniform conditions before tillage, soils were pre-irrigated once a week indoors (22-26 deg C) with 2 mm of water having simulated rainwater chemistry. Tillage was simulated by gently removing and mixing the upper 20 cm of soil and replacing it in the column. Soils were subsequently leached. Differences due to mixing across high and low P soils and soils of varying texture will be presented.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014