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Narrow Grass Hedge Effects on Nutrient Transport Following Variable Manure Application

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008477.(doi:10.13031/2013.29624)
Authors:   John E Gilley, Lisa M Durso, Roger A Eigenberg, David B Marx, Bryan L Woodbury
Keywords:   Grass filters, Land application, Manure management, Manure runoff, Nitrogen movement, Nutrient losses, Phosphorus, Runoff, Sediment detention, Water quality

Nutrient transport in runoff has been shown to be reduced by the placement of stiff-stemmed grass hedges on the contour along a hill slope. This study was conducted to measure the effectiveness of a narrow grass hedge in reducing runoff nutrient transport soon after manure application. Beef cattle manure was applied to a silty clay loam soil at rates required to meet 0, 1, 2 or 4-year corn P requirements. Supplemental inorganic N fertilizer was also added at rates necessary to meet a 1-year nutrient requirement. Three 30-minute simulated rainfall events, separated by 24-hour intervals, were then applied. Runoff water quality characteristics were measured from 0.75-m wide x 4.0-m long plots. Manure application rate significantly affected the transport of DP and TP in runoff on the treatments without a grass hedge. However, DP and TP transport were not significantly affected by manure application rate on the hedge treatments. The grass hedge reduced runoff transport of DP and TP on the plots where manure was applied to values similar to those measured on the zero manure treatment. The transport of NO3-N, NH4-N, and TN in runoff was significantly less on the hedge than the no-hedge treatments. No significant differences in EC values were found among manure application rates for the hedge condition. Each of the runoff water quality parameters were significantly affected by runoff rate. The experimental results indicate that stiff-stemmed grass hedges can significantly reduce the transport of nutrients in runoff occurring soon after manure application.

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