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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Geospatial methods for monitoring a vegetative treatment area receiving beef feedlot runoff

item Eigenberg, Roger
item Lesch, Scott
item Woodbury, Bryan
item Nienaber, John - Jack

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2008
Publication Date: 9/2/2008
Publication URL: http://doi:10.2134/jeq2007.0347
Citation: Eigenberg, R.A., Lesch, S.M., Woodbury, B.L., Nienaber, J.A. 2008. Geospatial methods for monitoring a vegetative treatment area receiving beef feedlot runoff. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37(5,Supplement):S68-S77.

Interpretive Summary: Cattle feedlots benefit from environmental management. Vegetative treatment areas offer alternatives to traditional runoff holding ponds for environmental management. This study used methods developed for the management of saline soils. Soil quality maps were produced of the vegetative area using measurements and satellite positioning. A computer program developed by an ARS laboratory in California was used to pick the soil sampling locations. The combination of our mapping system and the selected sampling points was used to estimate nutrients applied to the vegetation area. Tests showed how well the combination described the use of the nutrients.

Technical Abstract: Soils data can be used to establish nutrient distribution at a selected site; however, soil sampling is labor intensive, costly, and selection of sampling sites may be difficult. This study was conducted to determine if methods developed for the management of saline soils can be applied to a vegetative treatment area (VTA) utilized to control feedlot runoff. Soil conductivity maps were generated at a VTA site. A software package, ESAP, developed by the Soil Salinity Lab at Riverside, CA was used to determine soil core locations and to estimate constituent distribution across the VTA. Tests were conducted to determine the ability of the ESAP program to estimate soil sample constituent values based on a subset of the soil conductivity and soil analysis data. Initial results indicated the method has good predictive ability based on a relatively small number of soil sampling sites. Additional work is underway to validate the methodology for alternative runoff control systems.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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