American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers



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Runoff Nutrient Loads as Affected by Residue Cover, Manure Application Rate, and Flow Rate

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 55(1): 249-258. (doi: 10.13031/2013.41252) @2012
Authors:   C. A. Thayer, J. E. Gilley, L. M. Durso, D. B. Marx
Keywords:   Beef cattle, Feedlots, Land application, Manure management, Manure runoff, Nitrogen, Nutrients, Phosphorus, Runoff, Water quality

Manure is applied to cropland areas with varying surface cover to meet single-year or multiple-year crop nutrient requirements. The objectives of this field study were to: (1) examine runoff water quality characteristics following land application of manure to sites with and without wheat residue, (2) compare the water quality impacts of land application of manure to meet 0-, 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-year P-based requirements for corn, and (3) evaluate the effects of varying runoff rates on runoff nutrient loads. Three 30-min simulated rainfall events, separated by 24 h intervals, were applied at an intensity of 70 mm h-1 to 0.75 m wide by 2.0 m long plots on which manure has been previously applied and incorporated. Runoff loads of dissolved phosphorus (DP), total phosphorus (TP), NO3-N, NH4-N, and total nitrogen (TN) were significantly greater on the plots with residue cover. Manure application rate significantly influenced runoff loads of DP, TP, NO3-N, NH4-N, and TN. No significant differences in runoff loads of DP and TP were found between sites where manure was applied to meet a 1-year or 2-year P requirement for corn. However, runoff loads of DP and TP were significantly greater on the sites where manure was applied to meet a 4-year rather than a 2-year P requirement. Each of the measured water quality parameters except electrical conductivity (EC) was significantly influenced by runoff rate. The application of manure to meet multiple-year crop nutrient requirements may increase nutrient loads in runoff.