Phosporus Loss in Surface Runoff from Piedmont Soils Receiving Animal Manure and Fertilizer Additions

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Title: Phosporus Loss in Surface Runoff from Piedmont Soils Receiving Animal Manure and Fertilizer Additions
Author: Tarkalson, David Dale
Advisors: Robert L. Mikkelsen, Chair
J. Wendell Gilliam, Member
John E. Parsons, Member
Eugene J. Kamprath, Member
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to measure P losses in runoff from agricultural land in the Piedmont region of the southeastern U.S. with varying soil P levels and receiving broiler litter and inorganic P fertilizers. The experimental results will be helpful for the development of the P Loss Assessment Tool in North Carolina and other P Index approaches in states with similar soil characteristics and crop management practices. A net influx of P into many areas due to high animal populations has resulted in increased potential P losses to sensitive surface waters. A typical North Carolina broiler farm and dairy farm were found to have annual P surpluses of 65 kg P/ha and 20 kg P/ha respectively. The use of low phytic acid corn varieties and phytase enzyme has the potential to reduce the P surplus on broiler farms by 25 to 58%. Phosphorus losses in runoff from Piedmont conventional till (CT) and no-till (NT) soils with varying soil P concentrations and from soils currently receiving broiler litter and fertilizer P applications were assessed. In these studies, rainfall simulation at rates of 6 and 7.6 cm/hr were utilized to collect runoff samples from crop land with a range of initial P concentrations and from plots with varying fertilizer P and broiler litter application rates, both incorporated and broadcast. Runoff samples were collected at 5-min intervals for 30 min and analyzed for reactive P (RP), algal-available (AAP), and total P (TP). Concentration of RP in runoff from CT and NT plots was positively correlated with Mehlich-3 extractable P (r2 = 0.61 and 0.7 respectively) and oxalate extractable degree of P saturation (DPS) (r2 = 0.6 and 0.61 respectively). However, only TP mass loss (kg TP/ha) in runoff from CT was correlated with DPS (r2 = 0.57). A Mehlich 3 extractable P concentration of 350 mg P/kg and a DPS of 84% corresponded to 1 mg RP/L in runoff. Incorporation of broiler litter and inorganic P fertilizer into the soil at all P application rates virtually eliminated P runoff loses and had similar P losses in runoff as the unfertilized control. Surface application of broiler litter resulted in runoff containing between 2.9 and 24.5 mg RP/L for application rates of 8 to 82 kg P/ha respectively. Mass loss of TP in runoff from surface-applied broiler litter ranged from 1.3 to 8.5 kg P/ha over the same application rates. There was no significant relationship between surface applied inorganic P application rate and RP concentrations or TP mass losses in runoff. However, there was a trend for increased RP concentrations and TP mass losses in runoff with increasing application rate. Concentration of RP and mass loss of TP in runoff from surface applied inorganic P averaged 4.9 mg RP/L and 1.1 kg P/ha over all application rates. There was no significant difference between P losses in runoff from plots receiving surface applied conventional broiler litter and broiler litter derived from birds fed a low phytic acid corn (High Available P corn).
Date: 2001-09-26
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Soil Science

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