Monday, November 5, 2007

Application of Manure to Frozen Ground in Ohio.

Lloyd Owens1, James Bonta1, Martin Shipitalo1, Shane Rogers2, and John Haines3. (1) USDA-ARS, PO Box 488, Coshocton, OH 43812, (2) Civil & Environmental Engineering, Clarkson University, 230 Rowley Laboratory, Potsdam, NY 13699, (3) US-EPA(Environ. Protection Agency), USEPA-RREL-420, 26 W. M.L. King, Cincinnati, OH 45268

Six small watersheds (approximately 1 ha each) at the USDA-ARS North Appalachian Experimental Watershed research station near Coshocton, Ohio were used to evaluate the environmental impacts of applying manure to frozen ground.  On frozen, snow-covered ground in February, two watersheds received turkey litter; two watersheds received liquid swine manure; and two watersheds were controls.  The manure was applied at an N rate for corn; the target level was 180 kg N ha-1.  There was a 33m setback from the area of application to the bottom of each watershed.  Five plots (66 x 12 m) were used for beef slurry applications; 2 plots had 66 x 12 m filter areas below them; and 2 treated plots plus one control plot had 33 x 12 m filter areas below them.  Ohio NRCS recommends a 66 m buffer area for winter manure applications along with slope and vegetative cover recommendations.  “Dustpan” runoff samplers were placed at the lower edge of each of the application areas in the watersheds and plots at 11 m downslope from the application areas in the plots.  This is a collaborative project between ARS and USEPA; nutrients in runoff were measured by ARS; and USEPA analyzed for pathogens (E. coli and enterococci).  Preliminary nutrient data indicate that set backs and filter areas provide some reduction in nutrient concentration even on frozen ground.