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Wheat Strip Effects on Nutrient Loads Following Variable Manure Applications

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 55(2): 439-449. (doi: 10.13031/2013.41393) @2012
Authors:   C. A. Thayer, J. E. Gilley, L. M. Durso, D. B. Marx
Keywords:   Filter strips, Land application, Manure management, Manure runoff, Nitrogen, Nutrients, Phosphorus, Runoff, Vegetative filters, Water quality

Vegetative filters have been found to significantly reduce nutrient loads in runoff. This study was conducted to: (1) evaluate the effects of a narrow wheat strip, varying manure application rates, and different overland flow rates on runoff nutrient loads following application of beef cattle manure; (2) determine the upper capacity of a narrow wheat strip to reduce nutrient loads by applying excessive amounts of manure; and (3) compare the effectiveness of narrow wheat strips and grass hedges in reducing runoff nutrient loads. A 1.4 m wide strip of actively growing winter wheat was located at the bottom of selected 0.75 m wide by 4.0 m long plots. Three 30 min simulated rainfall events, separated by 24 h intervals, were applied at an intensity of 70 mm h-1 to the plots. The wheat strips were effective in reducing runoff loads of NO3-N, NH4-N, and total nitrogen (TN). Runoff loads of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DP), particulate phosphorus (PP), total phosphorus (TP), NH4-N, and TN were significantly influenced by manure application rate. The application of manure to meet a 2-year rather than a 1-year corn P requirement did not significantly increase DP, PP, or TP loads. However, application of manure to meet a 4-year P requirement resulted in DP, PP, and TP loads that were significantly greater than those obtained for a 2-year P requirement. Runoff rate significantly affected each of the measured water quality parameters. The actively growing wheat strips were much less effective than grass hedges in reducing runoff nutrient loads.

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