Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Compost Filter Socks Improve Runoff from Croplands

21.06.2010
Grassed waterways including compost filter socks reduce soil erosion and herbicide concentrations from fields

Water runoff from cropped farm fields can contain large amounts of eroded soil as well as some of the fertilizer and herbicide. Expanding on existing conservation practices, a team of scientists has tested whether compost filters socks in grassed waterways would reduce sediment flow and retain dissolved chemicals in runoff. The researchers observed reduced sediment in a non-tilled field and reduced concentrations of two herbicides.

Compost filter socks are mesh tubes filled with composted bark and wood chips. These devices have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use at construction sites as an alternative to silt fences and bales of straw, but have not been tested in agricultural fields.

The two year field study was conducted by USDA-ARS soil scientists Martin Shipitalo and Lloyd Owens, along with hydraulic engineer Jim Bonta and Ohio State University collaborator Libby Dayton. They found that filter socks reduced sediment concentration by 49% in runoff from the tilled field, but had no effect for the no-till field, where sediment concentrations were already 1/5 of that from the tilled field. The filter socks also reduced the concentrations of the herbicide alachlor by 18% and the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) by 5% in runoff from the tilled field. The filter socks had a negligible effect on nutrient concentrations in the runoff.

Their report was published in the May-June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, published by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America. It was conducted at the USDA-ARS’s North Appalachian Experimental Watershed near Coshocton, OH.

Conservation tillage practices, sometimes referred to as “no-till,” leave some of the residue from the previous crop on the soil surface, help reduce the amount of sediment lost in runoff, but do little to reduce the concentrations of surface-applied nutrients and herbicides that can be readily dissolved and transported in runoff.

Similarly, conservation buffers, such as filter strips, riparian forest buffers, and grassed waterways, can further reduce chemical and nutrient transport as runoff moves from crop fields to streams. They are also generally more effective in retaining sediment than dissolved chemicals and work best when runoff is uniformly distributed across the entire area of the buffer.

Unfortunately, uniform distribution is often difficult to achieve and maintain due to soil and topographic conditions. Runoff can naturally concentrate in small areas as it passes through buffers. In fact, the USDA-NRCS has referred to concentrated flow as the ‘nemesis’ of pesticide trapping in conservation buffers.

This study demonstrates that filter socks can enhance the effectiveness of grassed waterways in reducing sediment transport. Investigations in which materials will be mixed with the compost to improve the removal of nutrients and herbicides are being conducted in collaboration with filter sock manufacturer Filtrexx International, LLC. If these results are promising, filter socks may become another tool that can be used by farmers and conservationists to reduce the impact of crop production on surface water quality.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/39/3/1009.

The Journal of Environmental Quality, http://jeq.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org

Further reports about: Agronomy Compost Filter Science TV Society Soil Soil Science crop environmental risk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>