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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223473

Title: Reduction of Interrill Erosion by different application methods of Polyacrylamide and Gypsum

item Norton, Lloyd

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2008
Publication Date: 3/29/2008
Citation: Acuna, S.F., Norton, L.D., Ventura, E. 2008. Reduction of Interrill Erosion by different application methods of Polyacrylamide and Gypsum. In: E.W. Tollner and A. Saleh, editors. 21st Century Watershed Technology: Improving Water Quality and Environment. Proceedings of the 29 March - 3 April 2008 Conference of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). Concepcion, Chile, ASABE Publication No. 701P0208cd.

Interpretive Summary: Management of soil surface residues and roughness are two of the basic methods of erosion control in conservation tillage. With the increase potential of residue removal for biofuels other techniques for erosion control will need to be explored. The method explored in this research is to stabilize geometrically ordered soil roughness with soil amendments to control erosion. We used two soil amendments each which have difficulty in application due to their unique properties. These included flue gas desulfurization gypsum from a power plant and polyacrylamide. A new product where both of these are pelletized in the proper proportion was compared to conventional application procedures. All methods of application of the materials greatly reduced the erosion by stabilized the soil surface however the pelletized material was much easier to apply. The practical application of this research is that farmers now have an easy to apply to stabilize soil structure and prevent erosion on highly erodible lands even when the residue in removed.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion has been studied from different perspectives. This paper presents results on interrill erosion for three different application methods of Polyacrylamide (PAM) and Gypsum. Small interrill plots (0.74 m2) were packed with a highly erodible sieved soil and surface was prepared for it to have a geometrically ordered rough (GOR) surface. Soil was brought to saturation from below for a 24-hour period. The soil surface was amended with PAM and gypsum at rates of 20 kg ha-1 and 1 MT ha-1, respectively, before a de-ionized rainfall event at a target intensity of 44 mm hr-1. During rainfall the soil had a -10-cm tension and samples of runoff were collected at 5-minute intervals for one hour after runoff or until steady state runoff conditions were obtained. Soil loss was determined by measuring gravimetrically the sediment concentration in the runoff and runoff calculated as a function of time. Treatments were: PAM in solution plus powdered gypsum, granulated PAM plus powdered gypsum, and pelletized PAM and gypsum. Three replications for each treatment were performed. We found a reduction in soil erosion when PAM and gypsum were applied to the soil surface, regardless of what application method was used. Soil erosion was reduced in a range of one forth to a half of that found for the GOR control. The recommended application method is Gypsum and PAM pelletized together and applied at a rate of 1 MT ha-1, due to an easier application and being statistically the same or better than the other application methods.