Decline in Soluble Phosphorus Mobility from Land-Applied Dairy Manure – Modeling and Practical Applications

Friday, 19 December 2014
Josephine A Archibald, Michael Todd Walter, Maxwell Peterson, Brian K Richards and Shree K Giri, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
Non-point source transport of soluble-reactive phosphorus (SRP) from agricultural systems to freshwater ecosystems is a significant water quality concern. Although farmers are encouraged to avoid manure or fertilizer application before runoff events, the implications of these management choices remain largely unquantified. We conducted soil box experiments to test how manure application timing and temperature or moisture conditions impact SRP concentration in runoff. We found that SRP concentrations dropped off exponentially over time, and that higher temperatures accelerated the decline in SRP in overland runoff over time. During the first runoff events after manure application, infiltration depth prior to runoff was not a primary driver of SRP concentrations. This research has implications for incorporating manure spreading timing into watershed models.