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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326734

Title: Wind erosion potential following application of biosolids

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

Submitted to: WSU Dryland Field Day Abstracts
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2016
Publication Date: 6/16/2016
Citation: Sharratt, B.S., Schillinger, W., Bary, A., Cogger, C. 2016. Wind erosion potential following application of biosolids. WSU Dryland Field Day Abstracts. p. 67.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The application of biosolids to agricultural land has the potential to improve soil health and crop production. These benefits could also possibly reduce the threat of wind erosion in arid and semiarid regions. Therefore, we assessed the impact of biosolids on wind erosion of agricultural land at Lind, Washington. Synthetic fertilizer and biosolids were applied to a loess silt loam at the time of primary tillage in the spring (April) during the fallow phase of a winter wheat – summer fallow rotation. Wind erosion potential was assessed after the first rodweeding (mid-June) and sowing winter wheat (early September) in 2015 using a portable wind tunnel. The working section of the tunnel is 17.1 feet long, 3.3 feet wide and 4 feet high (Fig. 1). Sediment flux inside the tunnel was measured with an isokinetic sampler and at a free-stream velocity of 40 mph for two consecutive sample periods having little and copious saltation activity. Windblown soil loss from the footprint of the tunnel was greater for conventional (3970 lbs/ac) than conservation (2529 lbs/ac) tillage averaged across dates and sample periods. Differences in soil loss were not found between fertilizer and biosolid treatments. Preliminary results suggest that biosolids may not affect the wind erosion potential of loessial agricultural soils. Chemical and microbial analyses are being performed on the windblown sediment collected inside the tunnel. We will collect a second and final year of data after rodweeding and sowing wheat in 2016.