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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Strategies for Improved Water Quality and Ecosystem Integrity within Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research

Title: Soluble calcium amendments: reducing pathogen losses

Authors
item Jenkins, Michael
item Schomberg, Harry
item Endale, Dinku
item Franklin, Dorcas -
item Fisher, Dwight

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 28, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only

Technical Abstract: Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum is a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. Its application to agricultural fields may increase water infiltration, reduce soil erosion, and decrease nutrient losses from applications of animal manures. It may also reduce fecal bacterial contamination of surface waters. Research conducted at the USDA-ARS research center in Watkinsville, GA tested the hypothesis that FGD gypsum would decrease Salmonella, and the fecal indicator bacterium Escherichia coli in runoff from areas receiving poultry litter applications. In 2009, after initial application of treatments, Salmonella was not detected in runoff from rainfall simulations and there were no differences in the flow-weighted concentrations (FWC), total loads, and soil concentrations of E. coli across the four rates of FGD gypsum (0, 2.2, 4.5, and 9.0 Mg ha-1). However, after three years of FGD gypsum applications, the highest rate of FGD gypsum (9.0 Mg ha-1 ) resulted in decreased FWCs and total loads of E. coli. FGD gypsum applications may be a management practice that reduces microbial contamination of surface waters from manure applied to agricultural fields in the southeastern USA.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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