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Journal of Environmental Quality : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest research. Articles are compiled into issues at dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq, which includes the complete archive.

Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Maguire, R.O., P.J. A. Kleinman, C.J. Dell, D.B. Beegle, R.C. Brandt, J.M. McGrath, and Q.M. Ketterings. 2011. Manure application technology in reduced tillage and forage systems: A review. J. Environ. Qual. doi: 10.2134/jeq2009.0228

Current issue: J. Environ. Qual. 45(5)


    • Melvin T. Yokoyama, Cheryl Spence, Susan M. Hengemuehle, Terence R. Whitehead, Robert von Bernuth and Michael Cotta
      Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate Treatment Reduces Hydrogen Sulfide and the Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria Population of Swine Manure

      Emission of odorous and toxic gases from stored livestock manure is well documented and poses a serious health risk to farmers and livestock. Hydrogen sulfide emissions have been sharply rising with increasingly intensive livestock production and are of particular concern because of the acute toxicity of this gas. Numerous strategies, technologies, and chemical treatments have been used to control hydrogen sulfide emissions, but none have worked particularly well because they are neither cost-effective nor environmentally sustainable, or they are too toxic for animals. The inhibitory effect of the sodium tetraborate decahydrate (i.e., borax) treatment to reduce hydrogen sulfide production using sulfate-reducing bacteria was examined in shallow manure pits in a starter–grower swine facility. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Odors and toxic gases from stored manure pose a nuisance and a health risk.
      • The addition of borax significantly reduced the production of hydrogen sulfide.
      • The addition of borax reduced the population of sulfate-reducing bacteria.

      Published: September 1, 2016

    • Phasita Toonsiri, Stephen J. Del Grosso, Arina Sukor and Jessica G. Davis
      Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Solid and Liquid Organic Fertilizers Applied to Lettuce

      Improper application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer and environmental factors can cause the loss of nitrous oxide (N2O) to the environment. Different types of fertilizers with different C/N ratios may have different effects on the environment. The focus of this study was to evaluate the effects of environmental factors and four organic fertilizers (feather meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, and cyano-fertilizer) applied at different rates (0, 28, 56, and 112 kg N ha−1) on N2O emissions and to track CO2 emissions from a lettuce field (Lactuca sativa L.). The study was conducted in 2013 and 2014 and compared preplant-applied solid fertilizers (feather meal and blood meal) and multiple applications of liquid fertilizers (fish emulsion and cyano-fertilizer). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Multiple applications of liquid fertilizer can reduce GHG emissions.
      • Type of fertilizer and fertilizer application method can influence N2O emissions.
      • Soil temperature and soil water content influence N2O emissions.

      Published: September 1, 2016


    • Megan E. Shoda, Wesley W. Stone and Lisa H. Nowell
      Prediction of Pesticide Toxicity in Midwest Streams

      The occurrence of pesticide mixtures is common in stream waters of the United States, and the impact of multiple compounds on aquatic organisms is not well understood. Watershed Regressions for Pesticides (WARP) models were developed to predict Pesticide Toxicity Index (PTI) values in unmonitored streams in the Midwest and are referred to as WARP-PTI models. The PTI is a tool for assessing the relative toxicity of pesticide mixtures to fish, benthic invertebrates, and cladocera in stream water. One hundred stream sites in the Midwest were sampled weekly in May through August 2013, and the highest calculated PTI for each site was used as the WARP-PTI model response variable. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • WARP-PTI models predicted PTI at unmonitored streams in the Midwest.
      • The taxon-specific models varied based on explanatory variables and model fit.
      • Pesticide use estimates were important in the development of these predictive models.

      Published: September 15, 2016


    • Jongsung Kim and Sabine Grunwald
      Assessment of Carbon Stocks in the Topsoil Using Random Forest and Remote Sensing Images

      Wetland soils are able to exhibit both consumption and production of greenhouse gases, and they play an important role in the regulation of the global carbon (C) cycle. Still, it is challenging to accurately evaluate the actual amount of C stored in wetlands. The incorporation of remote sensing data into digital soil models has great potential to assess C stocks in wetland soils. Our objectives were (i) to develop C stock prediction models utilizing remote sensing images and environmental ancillary data, (ii) to identify the prime environmental predictor variables that explain the spatial distribution of soil C, and (iii) to assess the amount of C stored in the top 20-cm soils of a prominent nutrient-enriched wetland. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Remote sensing-supported models produced excellent predictions in a carbon-rich system.
      • Finer spatial resolution images did not produce more accurate soil carbon predictions.
      • Vegetation indices (SPOT, Landsat ETM+, and MODIS) served as major predictors in soil carbon models.

      Published: September 29, 2016


    • Matthew D. Jeffries, Fred H. Yelverton, Khalied A. Ahmed and Travis W. Gannon
      Persistence in and Release of 2,4-D and Azoxystrobin from Turfgrass Clippings

      Research has shown that pesticide residue in clippings from previously treated turfgrass may become bioavailable as grass decomposes, adversely affecting off-target organisms. We conducted a field study to quantify 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and azoxystrobin (methyl(E)-2-{2[6-(2-cyanophenoxy)pyrmidin-4-yloxy]phenyl}-3-methoxyacrylate) residues in turfgrass clippings collected from hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt–Davy], tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) S.J. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • 2,4-D and azoxystrobin residues were detected in clippings 32 d after treatment.
      • 2,4-D and azoxystrobin were released from turfgrass clippings into water.
      • Pesticide release from turfgrass clippings into water varied between compounds.

      Published: September 29, 2016

    • Stefan Koch, Petra Kahle and Bernd Lennartz
      Visualization of Colloid Transport Pathways in Mineral Soils Using Titanium(IV) Oxide as a Tracer

      In soils, colloidal transport has been identified as the most important pathway for strong adsorbing, environmental contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and phosphorus. We conducted a comparative dye tracer experiment using a Brilliant Blue (BB) solution and a Titanium(IV) oxide (TiO2) colloid suspension (average particle size 0.3 μm), aiming to visualize and quantify colloid pathways in soils. Both dye tracers showed comparable general flow patterns with preferred transport over the deepest part of the soil profile, independent of clay content. The stained area was generally smaller for TiO2 than for BB by a factor of ten, however, and there was no TiO2 to be found at all in the low clay content soil. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Colloidal transport is the most important pathway for strong adsorbing contaminants in soils.
      • TiO2 is a suitable tracer to visualize colloid pathways in mineral soils.
      • The distribution of colloid dye tracer can be explained as a function of clay and silt content.
      • TiO2 is exclusively transported in singular macropores rather than along soil ped interfaces.

      Published: September 29, 2016

    • Rebecca D. Marjerison, Jeff Melkonian, John L. Hutson, Harold M. van Es, Shai Sela, Larry D. Geohring and Jeffrey Vetsch
      Drainage and Nitrate Leaching from Artificially Drained Maize Fields Simulated by the Precision Nitrogen Management Model

      Environmental nitrogen (N) losses (e.g., nitrate leaching, denitrification, and ammonia volatilization) frequently occur in maize (Zea mays L.) agroecosystems. Decision support systems, designed to optimize the application of N fertilizer in these systems, have been developed using physically based models such as the Precision Nitrogen Management (PNM) model of soil and crop processes, which is an integral component of Adapt-N, a decision support tool providing N fertilizer recommendations for maize production. Such models can also be used to estimate N losses associated with particular management practices and over a range of current climates and future climate projections. The objectives of this study were to update the PNM model to include an option for simulating soil-water processes in artificially drained soils, and to calibrate the revised PNM model and test it against multiyear field studies in New York and Minnesota with different soils and management practices. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The Precision Nitrogen Management model simulates NO3–N leaching in maize fields.
      • We evaluated an updated version of the PNM model using data from two field studies.
      • Drainage and NO3–N were simulated well; prediction errors were around 30% or less.

      Published: September 15, 2016

    • Hambaliou Baldé, Andrew C. VanderZaag, Stephen D. Burtt, Robert J. Gordon and Raymond L. Desjardins
      Does Fall Removal of the Dairy Manure Sludge in a Storage Tank Reduce Subsequent Methane Emissions?

      When liquid manure is removed from storages for land application, “sludge” generally remains at the bottom of the tank. This may serve as an inoculum when fresh manure is subsequently added, thereby increasing methane (CH4) emissions. Previous pilot-scale studies have shown that completely emptying storages can decrease CH4 emissions; however, no farm-scale studies have been conducted to quantify the effect of sludge removal. In this study, a commercial dairy farm removed as much manure and sludge from their concrete storage as possible in the fall (∼2% by volume remained). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Pilot-scale studies suggest that complete manure storage emptying reduces CH4 emissions.
      • The effect of fall sludge removal for on-farm concrete tanks was evaluated.
      • Sludge removal in fall did not reduce subsequent CH4 emissions over the next 240 d.
      • Fall removal of sludge did not delay the onset of CH4 emissions in summer storage.
      • Methane fluxes increased with temperature in July.

      Published: September 1, 2016


    • Mark R. Williams, Kevin W. King, Gregory A. LaBarge, Remegio B. Confesor and Norman R. Fausey
      Edge-Of-Field Evaluation of the Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index

      The Phosphorus Index (PI) has been the cornerstone for phosphorus (P)-based management and planning over the past twenty years, yet field-scale evaluation of many state PIs has been limited. In this study, P loads measured in surface runoff and tile discharge from 40 agricultural fields in Ohio with prevailing management practices were used to evaluate the Ohio PI. Annual P loads were highly variable among fields (dissolved reactive P: 0.03–4.51 kg ha−1, total P: 0.03–6.88 kg ha−1). Both measured annual dissolved reactive P (R2 = 0.36, p < 0.001) and total P (R2 = 0.25, p < 0.001) loads were significantly related to Ohio PI score. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Measured P loads from 40 fields were used to evaluate the Ohio Phosphorus Index.
      • Risk of P loss was linearly related to both measured annual and averaged P loads.
      • Field P management recommendations varied among local, state, and national metrics.
      • Field datasets should be used to improve and calibrate the Ohio Phosphorus Index.

      Published: September 15, 2016


    • Joseph R. Sanford and Rebecca A. Larson
      Evaluation of Phosphorus Filter Media for an Inline Subsurface Drainage Treatment System

      Subsurface drainage from agricultural land has been identified as a contributor of both N and P into surface waters, leading to water quality degradation and eutrophication. This study evaluates the ability of P sorption media (PSM; expanded shale, expanded clay, furnace slag, and natural soil) to sorb P in both batch and column tests. Batch sorption tests estimated sorption of 3.4, 1.2, and 0.5 g P kg−1 for expanded shale, expanded clay, and natural soil, respectively. Furnace slag sorption was evaluated for fine (FSFine), small (FSSM), and large (FSLG) particle sizes, with estimated sorption of 6.8, 5.1, and 3.8 g P kg−1, respectively. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • An inline tile treatment system targeting P removal has potential to improve tile drainage water quality.
      • Batch sorption study found furnace slag had the greatest maximum P sorption of the media evaluated.
      • Column study found furnace slag achieved P reductions during continuous flow.

      Published: September 15, 2016

    • Daniel E. Line, Deanna L. Osmond and Wesley Childres
      Effectiveness of Livestock Exclusion in a Pasture of Central North Carolina

      Reducing the export of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sediment from agricultural land in water-supply watersheds is a continuing goal in central North Carolina. The objective of this project was to document the effectiveness of a combination of livestock exclusion fencing and nutrient management implemented on a beef cattle pasture located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. The quantity and quality of discharge from two predominantly pasture watersheds were monitored simultaneously for 3.8 yr before and after implementation of the exclusion fencing and nutrient management in the treatment watershed; a control watershed remained unchanged. The excluded stream corridor was intentionally minimized by constructing the fence line about 3 m from the top of the streambank on either side and limiting it to the main stream channel only. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Document, through water quality monitoring, the effectiveness of livestock exclusion fencing
      • Livestock exclusion reduced nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment export from a pasture.
      • Statistical analysis is required to assess trends in water quality monitoring data.

      Published: September 15, 2016

    • Guojuan Gan, Rongwu Mei, Lin Qiu, Huachang Hong, Qingjun Wang, Asit Mazumder, Shikai Wu, Xiangliang Pan and Yan Liang
      Effect of Metal Ions on the Formation of Trichloronitromethane during Chlorination of Catechol and Nitrite

      Catechol, nitrite, and dissolved metals are ubiquitous in source drinking water. Catechol and nitrite have been identified as precursors for halonitromethanes (HNMs), but the effect of metal ions on HNM formation during chlorination remains unclear. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of metal ions (Fe3+, Ti4+, Al3+) on the formation of trichloronitromethane (TCNM) (the most representative HNM species in disinfected water) on chlorinating catechol and nitrite. Trichloronitromethane was extracted by methyl tert-butyl ether and detected by gas chromatography. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Metal ions increased TCNM formation during chlorination of catechol and nitrite.
      • Type and concentration of metal ions affected TCNM yield.
      • Effect of metal ions on the formation of TCNM varied with pH.
      • Conjoint effect of metal ions on TCNM formation was not obvious.

      Published: August 25, 2016


    • Chanhee Lee, Rafael C. Araujo, Karen M. Koenig, Michael L. Hile, Eileen E. Fabian-Wheeler and Karen A. Beauchemin
      Effects of Feeding Encapsulated Nitrate to Beef Cattle on Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Their Manure in a Short-Term Manure Storage System

      A study was conducted to investigate effects of feeding encapsulated nitrate (EN) to beef cattle on ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gas emissions from their manure. Eight beef heifers were randomly assigned to diets containing 0 (control), 1, 2, or 3% EN (55% forage dry matter; EN replaced encapsulated urea in the control diet and therefore all diets were iso-nitrogenous) in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Urine and feces collected from individual animals were reconstituted into manure and incubated over 156 h using a steady-state flux chamber system to monitor NH3, methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Urinary, fecal, and manure nitrate (NO3)–N concentration linearly increased (P < 0.001) with feeding EN, and urinary urea concentration tended to be lower (P = 0.078) for EN versus Control. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Feeding encapsulated nitrate to beef heifers increased nitrate excretion by cattle.
      • Methane from manure decreased up to 45% by feeding encapsulated nitrate.
      • Ammonia, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide emissions from manure were not altered.

      Published: September 29, 2016

    • Daniel A. Bair, Fungai N. D. Mukome, Inna E. Popova, Temitope A. Ogunyoku, Allie Jefferson, Daoyuan Wang, Sarah C. Hafner, Thomas M. Young and Sanjai J. Parikh
      Sorption of Pharmaceuticals, Heavy Metals, and Herbicides to Biochar in the Presence of Biosolids

      Agricultural practices are increasingly incorporating recycled waste materials, such as biosolids, to provide plant nutrients and enhance soil functions. Although biosolids provide benefits to soil, municipal wastewater treatment plants receive pharmaceuticals and heavy metals that can accumulate in biosolids, and land application of biosolids can transfer these contaminants to the soil. Environmental exposure of these contaminants may adversely affect wildlife, disrupt microbial communities, detrimentally affect human health through long-term exposure, and cause the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This study considers the use of biochar co-amendments as sorbents for contaminants from biosolids. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Common contaminants in biosolids demonstrate high sorption to selected biochars.
      • Biochar has potential to decrease the efficacy of applied systemic herbicides.
      • Biochar co-amendments may decrease contaminant bioavailability and transport.
      • Biochar co-amendments should be selected for specific physiochemical characteristics.

      Published: September 29, 2016

    • J. Esperschuetz, S. Bulman, C. Anderson, O. Lense, J. Horswell, N. Dickinson and B. H. Robinson
      Production of Biomass Crops Using Biowastes on Low-Fertility Soil: 2. Effect of Biowastes on Nitrogen Transformation Processes

      Increasing production of biowastes, particularly biosolids (sewage sludge), requires sustainable management strategies for their disposal. Biosolids can contain high concentrations of nutrients; hence, land application can have positive effects on plant growth and soil fertility, especially when applied to degraded soils. However, high rates of biosolids application may result in excessive nitrogen (N) leaching, which can be mitigated by blending biosolids with other biowastes, such as sawdust. We aimed to determine the effects of biosolids and sawdust on growth and N uptake by sorghum, rapeseed, and ryegrass as well as N losses via leaching. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Mixing sawdust with biosolids did not reduce NO3− leaching irrespective of plant species.
      • Compared with urea, biosolids application did not result in higher N loss via leaching.
      • Results indicated biological nitrification inhibition of sorghum.

      Published: September 1, 2016

    • J. Esperschuetz, C. Anderson, S. Bulman, O. Lense, J. Horswell, N. Dickinson, R. Hofmann and B. H. Robinson
      Production of Biomass Crops Using Biowastes on Low-Fertility Soil: 1. Influence of Biowastes on Plant and Soil Quality

      Land application of biosolids to low-fertility soil can improve soil quality by increasing concentrations of macronutrients and trace elements. Mixing biosolids with sawdust could reduce the risks of contaminant accumulation posed by rebuilding soils using biosolids alone. We aimed to determine the effects of biosolids and biosolids-sawdust on the plant quality and chemical composition of sorghum, rapeseed, and ryegrass. Plants were grown in a greenhouse over a 5-mo period in a low-fertility soil amended with biosolids (1250 kg N ha−1), biosolids-sawdust (0.5:1), or urea (200 kg N ha−1). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Biosolids application showed potential for Zn enrichment in all plant species.
      • Biosolids and sawdust applied to soil enables growth of rapeseed in low-fertility soil.
      • Toxic elements like Cd were not increased to levels dangerous for human health.
      • Biosolids and sawdust increased seed quality and hence potentially plant products.

      Published: September 1, 2016

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