Manure runoff depends on soil texture

Mar 29, 2011

Research has documented the rise of nutrient runoff from flat agricultural fields with high rates of precipitation that adds nitrates and phosphates to waterways.

These nutrients increase the amount of phytoplankton in the water, which depletes oxygen and kills fish and other aquatic creatures. While injecting animal manure slurry into the soil has been proven to be an effective way of reducing , there has been no research on the possibility of nutrients leaching from the soil and reaching waterways.

A collaborative study funded by the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries was carried out between University of Copenhagen and University of Aarhus, Denmark, to investigate the influence of dairy slurry on leaching of manure nutrient components.

Loamy sand, a sandy loam, and loam were the three sub soil textures beneath the plow layer. Bromide was mixed into the slurry to represent dissolved nonreactive solutes like nitrate. The experiments were performed under low precipitation intensity andnear-saturated conditions. Researchers analyzed the leaching of the bromide as well as particulate and dissolved phosphorus.

The results indicated that the slurry injected into the loam soil reduced leaching; however, there was no effect on bromide leaching in the sandy loam or loamy sand. The loamy sand also showed no difference in phosphorus leaching, but a reduction was noted in the sandy loam and the loam.

Nadia Glæsner, who conducted the study, said, "This highlights the importance of texture when evaluating agricultural management strategies for reducing nutrient losses from . Injection of dairy slurry might reduce leaching of nonreactive slurry components and phosphorus from fine-textured soils, but the effect was not seen on coarse-textured soils."

The full study is published in the March/April 2011 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.

Explore further: Underwater elephants

Provided by American Society of Agronomy

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is biochar the answer for ag?

Aug 02, 2010

Scientists demonstrate that biochar, a type charcoal applied to soils in order to capture and store carbon, can reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and inorganic nitrogen runoff from agriculture settings. ...

Improving swine waste fertilizer

Jul 08, 2008

Swine production generates large amounts of waste. While this waste contains nutrients that may serve as fertilizer when applied to agricultural fields, the ratio of nutrients in the waste is different than what a crop requires.

Tracking phosphorus runoff from livestock manure

Jun 14, 2010

Nutrient runoff from livestock manure is a common source of agricultural pollution. Looking for an uncommon solution, a team of scientists has developed an application of rare earth elements to control and track runoff phosphorus ...

Can hemp help the everglades?

Aug 06, 2007

Within Southern Florida, soil and water conditions indicate potential for leaching from the use of atrazine-based herbicides in corn crops. Scientists from USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University ...

Recommended for you

Big data confirms climate extremes are here to stay

8 hours ago

In a paper published online today in the journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature, Northeastern researchers Evan Kodra and Auroop Ganguly found that while global temperature is indeed increasing, so too is the variab ...

Peru's carbon quantified: Economic and conservation boon

8 hours ago

Today scientists unveiled the first high-resolution map of the carbon stocks stored on land throughout the entire country of PerĂº. The new and improved methodology used to make the map marks a sea change ...

How might climate change affect our food supply?

9 hours ago

It's no easy question to answer, but prudence demands that we try. Thus, Microsoft and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have teamed up to tackle "food resilience," one of several themes ...

Groundwater is safe in potential N.Y. fracking area

10 hours ago

Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York's Southern Tier. They determined that drinking water in potable ...

User comments : 0