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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341142

Title: Biochar-amended filter socks reduce herbicide losses via tile line surface inlets

item Shipitalo, Martin
item Moore, Matthew
item Gonzalez, Javier

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Standing water in depressions and behind terraces in fields with subsurface drainage systems can result in reduced crop yields. This concern can be partially alleviated by installing surface inlets that reduce the duration of ponding. Unfortunately, these inlets provide an open conduit for surface water to enter subsurface drains, thus can contribute to water quality concerns. Encircling surface inlets with woodchip-filled filter socks has been shown to reduce sediment and nutrient concentrations, but herbicide losses may also be a concern. Therefore, we investigated whether adding biochar to filter socks can increase their ability to sorb herbicides. Three surface inlets behind terraces in a single corn (Zea mays L.) field were used in this study. Each of the three inlets was replaced with two identical inlets ~ 5 m apart at the same elevation resulting in three pairs of twinned inlets. Woodchip-filled filter socks were placed around one inlet and socks filled with a 50:50 mixture (by volume) of woodchips and hardwood-derived biochar were placed around the other inlet in each pair. When ponding occurred ISCO samplers were used to simultaneously withdraw samples from each inlet every 30 min after it passed through the filter socks. The samples were analyzed for atrazine, metolachlor, sediment, and nutrient concentrations during the 2017 growing season. Use of biochar in this manner before spreading it on agricultural fields to improve soil properties and sequester carbon should increase the economic viability of its usage by obtaining an additional environmental benefit.