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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Impact of Gypsum Applied to Grass Buffer Strips on Reducing Soluble P in Surface Water Runoff


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 4, p. 1511-1517
    Received: Aug 20, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): dwatts@ars.usda.gov
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  1. D. B. Watts * and
  2. H. A. Torbert
  1. USDA-ARS, National Soil Dynamics Lab., 41 S. Donahue Dr., Auburn, AL 36832


The threat of P transport from land applied manure has resulted in water quality concerns. Research was conducted to evaluate gypsum as a soil amendment applied to grass buffer strips for reducing soluble P in surface runoff. A simulated concentrated flow was created in an established tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) pasture. Poultry litter (PL) was applied at a rate of 250 kg N ha−1 to the upper 3.05 m of each plot, while gypsum was applied at rates of 0, 1, 3.2, and 5.6 Mg ha−1to the lower 1.52 m of the plot functioning as a grass buffer strip. Two 30-min runoff events (∼4 L min−1) were conducted, immediately after PL application and 4 wk later to determined soluble P concentration in the surface water samples. The greatest concentration of soluble P was in the runoff event occurring immediately after the PL application. Gypsum applied to grass buffer strips was effective in reducing soluble P concentrations (32–40%) in surface runoff, while the untreated buffer strip was somewhat effective in reducing soluble P (18%). No significant differences were observed between gypsum rates, suggesting that land managers would achieve the greatest benefit from the lowest application rate (1Mgha−1). In the second runoff event, although concentrations of soluble P in the surface water runoff were greatly reduced, the effect of gypsum had disappeared. Thus, these results show that gypsum is most effective in reducing the initial P losses from PL application when applied to grass buffer strips. The information obtained from this study may be useful in aiding land managers in developing management practices that reduce soluble P loss at the edge of a field.

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Copyright © 2009. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America