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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Research Project #420546

Research Project: MANAGING FARMS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AND PROFIT

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

2012 Annual Report


4. Accomplishments
1. Mahantango Creek Experimental Watershed Historical Database. Long term watershed data are vital to developing and evaluating models for predicting or estimating nutrient flows and losses from watersheds. A forty-year historical database of rainfall, streamflow, and water quality for the Mahantango Creek experimental watershed near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was compiled by ARS researchers at University Park, Pennsylvania. The compiled data were annotated and made publically available through the USDA-ARS Sustaining the Earth's Watersheds—Agricultural Research Data System (STEWARDS), a digital repository for long-term watershed monitoring data. An accompanying web page with sources for regional geospatial data not maintained on STEWARDS was created for the University Park website and a suite of four papers were published documenting the database. This work improves public access and appropriate interpretation of these historical watershed data.

2. Predicting gaseous emissions from silage. Silage has been shown to be an important source of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Since measurement of these compounds is difficult and expensive, process level simulation provides an alternative approach for estimating these emissions from individual farms and evaluating the benefits of strategies for mitigating these emissions. Toward this goal, ARS researchers at University Park, Pennsylvania developed and evaluated a model for predicting alcohol and acetaldehyde emissions from silage in a feed bunk. This work provides the first tool available for estimating farm scale VOC emissions, providing a basis for evaluating mitigation strategies for use by producers.


Review Publications
Belflower, J.B., Bernard, J.K., Gattie, D.K., Hancock, D.W., Risse, L.M., Rotz, C.A. 2012. A case study of the potential environmental impacts of different dairy production systems in Georgia. Agricultural Systems. 108:84-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2012.01.005.

Hafner, S.D., Montes, F., Rotz, C.A. 2012. A model for predicting VOC emission from silage. Atmospheric Environment. 54:134-140.

Bryant, R.B., Veith, T.L., Feyereisen, G.W., Buda, A.R., Church, C., Folmar, G.J., Schmidt, J.P., Dell, C.J., Kleinman, P.J.A. 2011. U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Mahantango Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, United States: physiography and history. Water Resources Research. 47. DOI: 10.1029/2010WR010056.

El-Mashad, H.M., Zhang, R., Rumsey, T., Hafner, S.D., Montes, F., Rotz, C.A., Arteaga, V., Zhao, Y., Mitloehner, F.M. 2010. A mass transfer model of ethanol emission from thin layers of corn silage. Transactions of the ASABE. 53(6):1903-1909.

Buda, A.R., Feyereisen, G.W., Veith, T.L., Folmar, G.J., Bryant, R.B., Church, C., Schmidt, J.P., Dell, C.J., Kleinman, P.J.A. 2011. U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Mahantango Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, United States: long-term stream discharge database. Water Resources Research. 47. DOI: 10.1029/2010WR010059.

Li, C., Salas, W., Zhang, R., Krauter, C., Rotz, C.A., Mitloehner, F. 2012. Manure-DNDC: a biogeochemical process model for quantifying greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from livestock manure systems. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. DOI: 10.1007/s10705-012-9507-z.

Buda, A.R., Veith, T.L., Folmar, G.J., Feyereisen, G.W., Bryant, R.B., Church, C., Schmidt, J.P., Dell, C.J., Kleinman, P.J.A. 2011. U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Mahantango Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, United States: long-term precipitation database. Water Resources Research. 47. DOI: 10.1029/2010WR010058.

Church, C., Veith, T.L., Folmar, G.J., Buda, A.R., Feyereisen, G.W., Bryant, R.B., Schmidt, J.P., Dell, C.J., Kleinman, P.J.A. 2011. U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Mahantango Creek Watershed, Pennsylvania, United States: long-term water quality database. Water Resources Research. 47. DOI: 10.1029/2010WR010060.

Hafner, S.D., Montes, F., Rotz, C.A. 2012. The role of carbon dioxide in ammonia emission from manure. Atmospheric Environment. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.01.026.