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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 5, p. 1762-1770
    Received: Jan 25, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): sduiker@psu.edu
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Runoff Losses of Sediment and Phosphorus from No-Till and Cultivated Soils Receiving Dairy Manure

  1. David A. Verbreea,
  2. Sjoerd W. Duiker *b and
  3. Peter J.A. Kleinmanc
  1. a Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M Univ., 370 Olsen Blvd., College Station, TX 77843-2474
    b Pennsylvania State Univ., Dep. Crop and Soil Sciences, 116 ASI Bldg., University Park, PA 16802-3504
    c USDA–ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, University Park, PA 16802-3702. Mention of trade names does not constitute endorsement by USDA–ARS. Assigned to Associate Editor David Nash


Managing manure in no-till systems is a water quality concern because surface application of manure can enrich runoff with dissolved phosphorus (P), and incorporation by tillage increases particulate P loss. This study compared runoff from well-drained and somewhat poorly drained soils under corn (Zea mays, L.) production that had been in no-till for more than 10 yr. Dairy cattle (Bos taurus L.) manure was broadcast into a fall planted cover crop before no-till corn planting or incorporated by chisel/disk tillage in the absence of a cover crop. Rainfall simulations (60 mm h−1) were performed after planting, mid-season, and post-harvest in 2007 and 2008. In both years and on both soils, no-till yielded significantly less sediment than did chisel/disking. Relative effects of tillage on runoff and P loss differed with soil. On the well-drained soil, runoff depths from no-till were much lower than with chisel/disking, producing significantly lower total P loads (22–50% less). On the somewhat poorly drained soil, there was little to no reduction in runoff depth with no-till, and total P loads were significantly greater than with chisel/disking (40–47% greater). Particulate P losses outweighed dissolved P losses as the major concern on the well-drained soil, whereas dissolved P from surface applied manure was more important on the somewhat poorly drained soil. This study confirms the benefit of no-till to erosion and total P runoff control on well-drained soils but highlights trade-offs in no-till management on somewhat poorly drained soils where the absence of manure incorporation can exacerbate total P losses.

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Copyright © 2010. 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