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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325546

Title: Can biosolids reduce wind erosion of agricultural soils?

item Sharratt, Brenton
item SCHILLINGER, WILLIAM - Washington State University
item BARY, ANDREW - Washington State University
item COGGER, CRAIG - Washington State University

Submitted to: International Conference on Aeolian Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2016
Publication Date: 7/5/2016
Citation: Sharratt, B.S., Schillinger, W., Bary, A., Cogger, C. 2016. Can biosolids reduce wind erosion of agricultural soils? International Conference on Aeolian Research. p. 12.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The application of biosolids to agricultural land has the potential to improve soil health and crop production. In addition, organic material contained in biosolids may enhance biological activity, retention of soil water, and soil aggregation. Thus, there is a likelihood that biosolids applied to soil could reduce the threat of wind erosion. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of biosolids on wind erosion of agricultural land in the Columbia Plateau of the Pacific Northwest United States. Synthetic fertilizer and biosolids were applied to a loess silt loam in the spring (April) during the fallow phase of a winter wheat – summer fallow rotation. The experimental design was split plot with the application of fertilizer and biosolids as main plot treatments and conventional and conservation tillage as subplot treatments. Wind erosion potential was assessed after the first rodweeding using a portable wind tunnel. An isokinetic sampler was used to measure horizontal sediment flux inside the tunnel. Sediment flux was measured at free-stream velocity for 10 minutes with little saltation activity and a subsequent seven minutes with copious saltation activity. After the first rodweeding, horizontal sediment flux was greater for conventional than conservation tillage, but no differences in flux were found between fertilizer and biosolids treatments. Preliminary results suggest that biosolids may not affect the wind erosion potential of loessial agricultural soils.