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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Food Animal Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251051

Title: Estrogenic Activity in Runoff – Effect of Animal Waste-Based Fertilizer Application to Frozen Fields

item Billey, Lloyd
item Shipitalo, Martin
item Owens, Lloyd
item Shappell, Nancy

Submitted to: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2010
Publication Date: 7/21/2010
Citation: Billey, L.O., Shipitalo, M.J., Owens, L.B., Shappell, N.W. 2010. Estrogenic activity in runoff – effect of animal waste-based fertilizer application to frozen fields. Midwest Chapter Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Abstracts, March 24-26, 2010, St. Paul, MN. Available:–%20effect%20of%20animal%20waste-based%20fertilizer%20application%20to%20frozen%fields, %20Billey.pdf.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The potential for contamination of surface waters with estrogenic activity from agricultural animal waste has been of recent concern. Application of manure to frozen fields is currently permitted in some states, but requires a 100 ft vegetative buffer between application area and any waterway or tile drain surface inlet. Winter grazing of animals on frozen fields could also impact estrogenicity of surface waters through runoff. Therefore, the E-Screen (MCF-7 cells) was used to evaluate the estrogenic activity of runoff post-application of animal wastes to frozen fields. Event-based runoff samples from small (~1 ha) watersheds used to produce corn were obtained prior to application of waste, after application of swine waste, and after application of turkey waste, and to 2 control watersheds. Estrogenic activity of runoff pre-application ranged from 0.1-0.3 ng/L estradiol equivalents (E2Eq). Runoff from plots receiving swine waste had E2Eqs 5 – 10 times higher post-application, the no-till plot having the higher value. Differences in soil texture of the watersheds receiving turkey waste resulted in variable infiltration rates, with one watershed having minimal runoff and no increase in E2Eqs, while E2Eqs of runoff from the second watershed was ~12 times the pre-application concentration. These data indicate that while manure application to frozen fields may increase estrogenicity of runoff, in this study, no runoff had E2Eqs greater than the proposed Lowest Observable Effect concentration for estradiol of 10ng/L for fish.