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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: RUNOFF, EROSION AND NUTRIENT LOSSES FROM COMPOST AND MULCH BLANKETS UNDER SIMULATED RAINFALL 1592)

Author
item Faucette, L.
item Risse, L.
item Nearing, Mark
item Gaskin, J.
item West, L.

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2004
Publication Date: 9/21/2004
Citation: Faucette, L.B., Risse, L.M., Nearing, M.A., Gaskin, J.W., West, L.T. 2004. Runoff, erosion and nutrient losses from compost and mulch blankets under simulated rainfall. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 59(4): 154-160.

Interpretive Summary: Control of soil erosion and associated nonpoint source pollution to improving water quality. The use of compost or mulch blankets as a soil cover can help control soil erosion and provided sustainable alternatives to disposal for many biomass resources. The objective of this study was to investigate the amounts of runoff, erosion, and nutrient losses obtained under simulated rainfall using a variety of compost and mulch materials. Treatments included aged poultry litter, two different types of poultry litter compost, municipal solid waste compost, biosolids compost, food waste compost, yard waste compost, three different types of wood mulch, and bare soil. Results indicated that all of the treatments except for aged poultry letter were effective at reducing total solids loss in the runoff. Nutrient losses from most of the compost treatments, however, were higher than those from bare soil or mulch treatments. Treatments with lower respiration rates and nitrate-nitrogen concentrations tended to have less erosion and transport of solids. Nitrate-nitrogen content, respiration rates, soluble salt, sodium and potassium contents were good indicators of ammonium and phosphorus losses.

Technical Abstract: Control of soil erosion and associated nonpoint source pollution to improving water quality. The use of compost or mulch blankets as a soil cover canhelp control soil erosion and p[rovide sustainable alternatives to disposal for many biomass resources. The objective of this study was to investigae the amounts of runoff, erosion, and nutrient losses obtained under simulated rainfall using a variety of compost and mulch materials. Treatments included aged poultry litter, two different types of poultry litter compost, municipal soild waste compost, biosolids compost, food waste compost, yard waste compost, three different types of wood mulch, and bare soil. Results indicated that all of the treatments except for aged poiultry letter were effective at reducing total solids loss in the runoff. Nutrient losses from most of the compost treatments, however, were higher than those from bare soil or mulch treatments. Treatments with lower respiration rates and nitrate-nitrogen concentrations tended to have less erosion and transport of solids. Nitrate-nitrogen content, respiration rates, soluble salt, sodium and potassium contents were good indicators of ammonium and phosphorus losses.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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