Impacts of outdoor poultry stockpiles on the quality of surface run-off and sub-surface water

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Jaranilla-Sanchez, Patricia
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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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This study was conducted to determine the degree of risk of water pollution caused by outdoor stockpiling of manure. The project consisted of four parts. The first part of the study utilized rainfall simulation to monitor the rate of surface run-off as affected by the different shapes of the piles. Three replicates of trapezoidal micro-plots and three replicates of triangular micro-plots were tested with 3.3 in/hr simulated rainfall. The trapezoidal shaped piles showed significantly lower nutrient concentration in surface run-off as compared to the triangular shaped piles by an average of 34.5% for turkey manure and an average of 22.5% for layer manure. The second part of the study monitored subsurface water quality underneath "permanent" uncovered stockpiles on a commercial farm in Ellsworth, Iowa, using piezometers. Three check piezometers were located away from the stockpile and another three piezometers were located underneath the stockpile. Results show that the NO3+NO2 concentration was significantly higher in grassy areas as compared to the one underneath the piles by 83.19%. Ammonia nitrogen was found to be higher underneath the piles compared to the grassy area by 59.15%. Potassium concentration was higher underneath the stockpile by 74.81%. Total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, soluble phosphorus and total solids were not significantly different underneath the stockpiles and underneath grassy areas. A third part consisted of a laboratory investigation that leached water through manure columns to measure the effect of compaction on the rate of leaching the water through the piles. Three replicates of each of the different densities (base, +5%, +10%) of turkey and layer manure were added with 232 ml (approximately. 1 inch) per day until the cylinders started leaching in order to determine the water holding capacity of the manures. Three and 3.5 inches of moisture (rainfall) per foot of stockpile depth were added before any liquid leached out. Compaction decreased the volume of leachate by 19% (for turkey manure only) for a 5% increase in compaction. A reduction of 34% (for turkey manure) and 37% (for layer manure) in volume of leachate was observed for a 10% increase in compaction. The fourth part consisted of monitoring two small research piles (turkey and layer) in Field 5 of the Agricultural Engineering farm in Boone, Iowa. The mass balance of nutrients and water from the stockpiles showed that layer manure released more volume in the surface runoff than in the subsurface run-off by 97.16%, while turkey manure released more volume of surface run-off than subsurface run-off by 63.21%. Nutrient mass balance in the surface runoff for the turkey stockpile was significantly higher than concentrations in subsurface water. Mass balance of the nutrients in the layer stockpiles showed that the mass flow of the nutrients in the subsurface flow was significantly less than the mass flow of the nutrients in the surface run-off except for NO3+NO2 mass flow which was 94.58% greater in the subsurface flow compared to the surface run-off.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2004