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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING CROP AND ANIMAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SOUTHERN PRODUCERS Title: Nutrient losses in runoff from conventional and no-till pearl millet on pre-wetted Ultisols fertilized with broiler litter

Authors
item Franklin, Dorcas
item Truman, Clinton
item Potter, Thomas
item Bosch, David
item Strickland, Timothy
item Jenkins, Michael
item Nuti, Russell

Submitted to: Agricultural Water Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 2012
Publication Date: July 20, 2012
Citation: Franklin, D.H., Truman, C.C., Potter, T.L., Bosch, D.D., Strickland, T.C., Jenkins, M., Nuti, R.C. 2012. Nutrient losses in runoff from conventional and no-till pearl millet on pre-wetted Ultisols fertilized with broiler litter. Agricultural Water Management. 113:38-44.

Interpretive Summary: In the Southeastern Coastal Plain (USA), farmers with access to irrigation commonly water in herbicides following their preemergence application to improve usefulness of the herbicide. This practice increases near surface soil water content and may promote increased runoff during subsequent storm events. Scientists from USDA-ARS J. Phil Campbell Sr., Natural Research Conservation Center and the Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory conducted research to determine differences in P and N runoff from Conventional tillage and No tillage systems when herbicides were watered into loamy sand Ultisols fertilized with chicken litter. Simulated rain with rainfall intensity patterns similar to May rainfall patterns was applied for 70 min. Results indicated the No-tillage treatment lost significantly more PO4-3 and NH4+ than the Conventional tillage treatment. However, total P and N and NO3- runoff losses were significantly less in the No-tillage treatment. The proportion of total P and N leached through residues was 5.6% and 22% of the P and N applied as chicken litter, and the proportion of total P and N in runoff was 0.8% and 1.2% of the P and N applied in chicken litter. Under irrigation systems, watering-in of nutrients as well as herbicides can be an effective management tool to migrate P and N from surface applied chicken litter from the surface into the soil thereby helping producers to reduce unnecessary losses of N and P in runoff.

Technical Abstract: In the Southeastern Coastal Plain (USA), farmers with access to irrigation commonly water in herbicides following their preemergence application to improve efficacy of the herbicide. This practice increases near surface soil water content and may promote increased runoff during subsequent storm events. The objective was to determine differences in P and N runoff from Conventional tillage and No-tillage systems when herbicides were watered into loamy sand Ultisols fertilized with broiler litter. Simulated rain with variable intensity was applied for 70 min with runoff samples collected every 5 min and analyzed for total P and N, PO4-3, NH4+ and NO3- Results indicated the No-tillage treatment lost significantly more PO4-3 and NH4+ than the Conventional tillage treatment. However, total P and N and NO3- runoff losses were significantly less in the No-tillage treatment. The proportion of total P and N leached through residues was 5.6% and 22% of the P and N applied as broiler litter, and the proportion of total P and N in runoff was 0.8% and 1.2% of the P and N applied in broiler litter. Under irrigation systems, watering-in of nutrients as well as herbicides can be an effective management tool to migrate surface applied broiler litter P and N from the surface into the soil thereby mitigating N and P losses in runoff.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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