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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Nutrient Transport from Livestock Manure Applied to Pastureland Using Phosphorus-Based Management Strategies


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 4, p. 1269-1278
    Received: Aug 17, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): mpeterie@vt.edu
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  1. M. L. Soupir *,
  2. S. Mostaghimi and
  3. E. R. Yagow
  1. Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 201 Seitz Hall, Mail Code 0303, Blacksburg, VA 24061


Land applications of manure from confined animal systems and direct deposit by grazing animals are both major sources of nutrients in streams. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of P-based manure applications on total suspended solids (TSS) and nutrient losses from dairy manures and poultry litter surface applied to pasturelands and to compare the nutrient losses transported to the edge of the field during overland flow events. Two sets of plots were established: one set for the study of in-field release and another set for the study of edge-of-the-field nutrient transport. Release plots were constructed at three pastureland sites (previous poultry litter applications, previous liquid dairy manure application, and no prior manure application) and received four manure treatments (turkey [Meleagris gallopavo] litter, liquid dairy manure, standard cowpies, and none). Pasture plots with a history of previous manure applications released higher concentrations of TSS and higher percentages of total P (TP) in the particulate form. Transport plots were developed on pasture with no prior manure application. The average flow-weighted TP concentrations were highest in runoff samples from the plots treated with cowpies (1.57 mg L−1). Reducing excess P in dairy cow diets and surface applying manure to the land using P-based management practices did not increase N concentrations in runoff. This study found that nutrients are most transportable from cowpies; thus a buffer zone between pastureland and streams or other appropriate management practices are necessary to reduce nutrient losses to waterbodies.

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