Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grassed waterways including compost filter socks reduce soil erosion and herbicide concentrations from fields

Date:
June 21, 2010
Source:
American Society of Agronomy
Summary:
A new study finds that compost filters socks can reduce soil erosion from croplands and reduce the amount of herbicide in runoff.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Agronomy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. J. Shipitalo, J. V. Bonta, E. A. Dayton, L. B. Owens. Impact of Grassed Waterways and Compost Filter Socks on the Quality of Surface Runoff from Corn Fields. Journal of Environmental Quality, 2010; 39 (3): 1009 DOI: 10.2134/jeq2009.0291

Cite This Page:

American Society of Agronomy. "Grassed waterways including compost filter socks reduce soil erosion and herbicide concentrations from fields." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621072110.htm>.
American Society of Agronomy. (2010, June 21). Grassed waterways including compost filter socks reduce soil erosion and herbicide concentrations from fields. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621072110.htm
American Society of Agronomy. "Grassed waterways including compost filter socks reduce soil erosion and herbicide concentrations from fields." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621072110.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins