Submitted to: Environmental and Engineering Geoscience
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2009
Publication Date: 9/1/2009
Publication URL: www.eegs.org/fasttimes
Citation: Eigenberg, R.A., and Woodbury, B.L. 2009. Subsurface Sensors to Manage Cattle Feedlot Waste. Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, FastTIMES 14(3):30-32. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Subsurface sensing tools were used to aid collection of biosolids from feedlot surfaces to be utilized by crops, for control and utilization of nutrient laden liquid runoff, and to enhance feedlot surface management to reduce nutrient losses and gaseous emissions. The work described here was all conducted at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), Clay Center, NE (40**o**32’ N, 98**o**09’ W, altitude of 609 m). An electromagnetic soil conductivity meter and a GPS system were used to map areas associated with cattle biosolids management. Soil sample data and soil conductivity measurements were combined to form linear equations. Regression analysis shows apparent soil conductivity (ECa) is highly correlated with volatile solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus (R2=0.92, 0.91, 0.93 respectively). The GPS coordinates associated with the mapping technique could be used for precision harvesting of nutrients, or site specific application of the pesticides or antimicrobial compounds. The same techniques could be applied to locate recoverable energy from the biosolids. Also, soil conductivity maps of a VTA proved valuable in management decisions and performance evaluation of that system.