Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Buffer strips, also known as vegetative filter strips (VFS), are an excellant means of controlling non-point source pollution from row crops. However, the benefits of this best management practice for uncultivated fields fertilized with poultry litter are unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of VFS in reducing nutrient runoff ffrom fields fertilized with poultry litter. Results showed that buffer strips that were 21.4 m (about 70 feet) wide would reduce runoff of most nutrients by over 80%, except nitrate which was unaffected.
Technical Abstract: Vegetative filter strips (VFS) have been shown to have high potential for reducing nonpoint source pollution from cultivated agricultural source areas, but information from uncultivated source areas amended with poultry litter is limited. Simulated rainfall was used in analyzing effects of VFS length (0,3.1,6.1,9.2,15.2,and 21.4m) on quality of runoff from fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) plots (1.5 x 24.4,) amended with poultry litter (5 Mg/ha). The VFS reduced mass transport of ammonia-nitrogen (NH3- N), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ortho-phosphorus (PO4-P), total phosphorus (TP), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and total suspended solids (TSS). Mass transport of TKN, NH3-N, TP, and PO4-P were reduced by averages of 39, 47, 40, and 39%, respectively, by 3.1 m VFS and by 81,98, 91, and 90%, respectively, by 21.4 m VFS. Effectiveness of VFS in terms of mass transport reduction was unchanged, however, beyond 3.1 m length for TSS and dCOD and averaged 35 and 51%, respectively. The VFS were ineffective in removing nitrate-nitrogen from the incoming runoff. Removal of letter constituents was described very well (r**2 = 0.70 TO 0.94) by a first-order relationship between constituent removal and VFS length.