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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Dairy Heifer Manure Management, Dietary Phosphorus, and Soil Test P Effects on Runoff Phosphorus


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 5, p. 1600-1611
    Received: Jan 30, 2012
    Published: September 14, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): bill.jokela@ars.usda.gov
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  1. William E. Jokela *a,
  2. Wayne K. Coblentza and
  3. Patrick C. Hoffmanb
  1. a USDA–ARS, Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research Unit, Dairy Forage Research Center, 2615 Yellowstone Dr., Marshfield, WI
    b Dep. of Dairy Science, Univ. of Wisconsin, 2611 Yellowstone Dr., Marshfield, WI. Assigned to Associate Editor Barbara Cade-Menun


Manure application to cropland can contribute to runoff losses of P and eutrophication of surface waters. We conducted a series of three rainfall simulation experiments to assess the effects of dairy heifer dietary P, manure application method, application rate, and soil test P on runoff P losses from two successive simulated rainfall events. Bedded manure (18–21% solids) from dairy heifers fed diets with or without supplemental P was applied on a silt loam soil packed into 1- by 0.2-m sheet metal pans. Manure was either surface-applied or incorporated (Experiment 1) or surface-applied at two rates (Experiment 2) to supply 26 to 63 kg P ha−1. Experiment 3 evaluated runoff P from four similar nonmanured soils with average Bray P1-extractable P levels of 11, 29, 51, and 75 mg kg−1. We measured runoff quantity, total P (TP), dissolved reactive P (DRP), and total and volatile solids in runoff collected for 30 min after runoff initiation from two simulated rain events (70 mm h−1) 3 or 4 d apart. Manure incorporation reduced TP and DRP concentrations and load by 85 to 90% compared with surface application. Doubling the manure rate increased runoff DRP and TP concentrations an average of 36%. In the same experiment, P diet supplementation increased water-extractable P in manure by 100% and increased runoff DRP concentration threefold. Concentrations of solids, TP, and DRP in runoff from Rain 2 were 25 to 75% lower than from Rain 1 in Experiments 1 and 2. Runoff DRP from nonmanured soils increased quadratically with increasing soil test P. These results show that large reductions in P runoff losses can be achieved by incorporation of manure, avoiding unnecessary diet P supplementation, limiting manure application rate, and managing soils to prevent excessive soil test P levels.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.