Navigation Links
Compost filter socks improve runoff from croplands
Date:6/20/2010

MADISON, WI, June 21st, 2010 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.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Compostable plastics have a sweet ending
2. Vermicompost from pig manure grows healthy hibiscus
3. Composted dairy manure in foliage plant production
4. Compost can turn agricultural soils into a carbon sink, thus protecting against climate change
5. Pitt researcher says simple polymer-based filter successfully cleans water, recovers oil in Gulf of Mexico tests
6. Polymer-based filter successfully cleans water, recovers oil in Gulf of Mexico test
7. Blue light-filtering increases macular pigment, may protect against age-related vision loss
8. New filtering technology has environmental, industrial applications
9. Biological sand filters, a practical approach to combat poverty and inequality
10. High blood pressure takes big toll on small filtering units of the kidney
11. Research team finds that microorganisms filter nitrogen from small streams
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... June 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking ... supplier of face and eye tracking software, became ... provider program. "Artificial intelligence and ... to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on ... able to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is ... tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global ... June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase the ... in various industries. France ... international market, with a 30 percent increase in the number ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, ... provider of online age and identity verification solutions, announced ... K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, ... Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The Blavatnik Family ... and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. ... and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences to honor the excellence ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... with the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s ... hemostats, absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At ... Purple announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist ... has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device ... on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together ... as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: