Impact of swine manure bacteria transport through undisturbed soil columns

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Wang, F.
Lorimor, J. C.
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American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Kanwar, Rameshwar
Distinguished Professor
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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.

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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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Land application method of animal manure can have a significant effect on the leaching of bacteria to ground water. In order to determine the effects of manure placement method and application rate on bacteria transport with subsurface water, a soil column study was conducted in the laboratory in the spring of 2000. A total of 20 undisturbed soil columns were collected from a no-till corn field. Liquid swine manure was applied to these columns at two application rates (to give N application rate of 336 kg-N/ha and 168 kg-N/ha) using broadcast and incorporated methods of application. Three simulated rainfall amounts were applied on these soil columns using rainfall intensities of either 6.35 cm/hr (2.5 in/hr) or 0.762 cm/hr (0.3 in/hr). Fecal streptococcus and E-coli bacteria concentrations in the leachate were determined for all three simulated rainfall events. The results of this study indicated that broadcast method of manure application resulted in higher bacteria concentrations in the leachate in comparison with incorporated method. A positive correlation existed between the manure application rate and bacteria concentrations in the leachate, but differences in bacteria concentration were not statistically significant at 5% level between two application rates. Highest bacteria concentrations in the leachate were observed from columns receiving manure at a higher application rate using broadcast method of application. Results of this study suggest that bacteria transport to subsurface drainage water, under no-till conditions, is affected by the method and rate of manure application, soil structure, and rainfall intensity. Presence of large number of macropores in the undisturbed soil columns may be one of the reasons for higher bacteria concentrations in the subsurface drainage water under surface broadcast method of manure application. Incorporating of liquid manure in the surface 5 to 10 cm soil layer disturbed macropores resulting in lower bacteria concentration in the leachate.
This presentation is published as Wang, F., R. S. Kanwar, and J. C. Lorimor. "Impact of swine manure bacteria transport through undisturbed soil columns." In 2001 ASAE Annual Meeting, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2001. ASABE meeting paper No. 012196. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASABE. DOI: 10.13031/2013.4424. Copyright 2001 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Posted with permission.