Environmental impacts of the use of poultry manure for agricultural production systems

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2000-01-01
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Chinkuyu, Adion
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Rameshwar S. Kanwar
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

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In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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1905–present

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Excessive use of poultry manure (PM) on croplands is likely to affect the quality of surface and groundwater resources. A three-year study (1998--2000) was conducted on nine 0.4-ha plots and on six 2.1-m2 lysimeters to: (1) determine the movement of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), orthophosphate (PO4-P), Escherichia coli, fecal coliform, and fecal streptococcus with surface runoff and subsurface drain water from plots and lysimeters treated with 168 kgN/ha from urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer, and 168 and 336 kg-N/ha from PM, and (2) predict the impacts of PM and UAN fertilizer application on NO3-N losses with subsurface water using GLEAMS model;The results of this study show that use of PM in field plots resulted in significantly higher corn and soybean yields when compared with commercial N fertilizer. The N application rate of 336 kg-N/ha from PM resulted in the highest NO3-N and PO4-P concentrations in subsurface drain water in comparison with the N application rates of 168 kg-N/ha from UAN and 168 kg-N/ha from PM. The 336 kg-N/ha N application rate from PM resulted in higher concentration of PO4-P in surface runoff in comparison with the N application rate of 168 kg-N/ha. The N application rate of 336 kg-N/ha from PM resulted in higher concentrations of fecal streptococcus, Escherichia coli, and fecal coliform bacteria in surface and subsurface drain water in comparison with N application rate of 168 kg-N/ha from PM or UAN. This study shows that excessive use of PM (at an application rate of 336 kg-N/ha) is likely to increase pollution potential of water resources with nutrients and bacteria;The GLEAMS model was capable of simulating subsurface drain flow from 168UAN, 168PM, and 336PM treatments. The model predicted overall NO3 -N concentration in subsurface drain water from lysimeters under 168UAN, 168PM, and 336PM treatments reasonably well, giving mean differences of -0.43, -0.10, and -0.15 mg/L, respectively. The results show that there were no significant differences (P = 0.05) between measured and simulated NO3-N losses with drainage water from 168UAN, 168PM, and 336PM treatments. These results show that GLEAMS model can be used as a viable management and decision-making tool to assess impacts of alternative N application treatments.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2000