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K-State Agronomy eUpdates

Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

agronomy@ksu.edu

Extension Agronomy

Livestock waste applications to cropland: Water Quality Best Management Practices

(Note: The following article is a slightly edited excerpt from Water Quality Best Management Practices, Effectiveness, and Cost for Reducing Contaminant Losses from Cropland K-State Research and Extension publication MF-2572, August 2015, by Peter Tomlinson, Environmental Quality Specialist, Agronomy; John Leatherman, Agricultural Economist; Josh Roe, Economist, Kansas Department of Agriculture; Nathan Nelson, Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management, Agronomy; Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, Nutrient Management Specialist, Agronomy; Dan Devlin, Director, Kansas Center for Agriculture Resources and the Environment; Aleksey Sheshukov, Environmental Engineer, Biological and Agricultural Engineering; Phil Barnes, Environmental Engineer, Biological and Agricultural Engineering; Joel DeRouchey, Environmental Management and Livestock Nutrition Specialist, Animal Science and Industry; and Charles Rice, Soil Microbiologist, Agronomy. -- Steve Watson, Agronomy eUpdate Editor)

 

K-State Research and Extension faculty have conducted field, laboratory, and computer modeling studies on the effect of land application of livestock waste on the runoff of pesticides, nutrients, and sediments/suspended solids from crop fields. This article lists recommended best management practices (BMP) for land application of livestock waste. This publication also shows the effectiveness of a BMP in reducing edge of field surface runoff of a contaminant, and an estimated cost of implementing BMPs.

Figure 1. Poultry litter being loaded into a spreader. Photo by Doug Shoup, K-State Research and Extension.

 

The percent reduction in surface runoff by adopting a listed BMP is the effectiveness obtained from adoption of a single new BMP. It is not appropriate to consider the effectiveness of the adoption of several BMPs to be additive.

A reported BMP cost is the expected loss in producer profitability associated with adoption. Alternatively, it can be treated as the payment-to-producer required to encourage adoption. BMP costs and effectiveness figures are based on research, farm data, and professional estimates.

The table below contains the cost and effectiveness of various BMPs for reducing the edge of field surface runoff of contaminants associated with the application of livestock waste. The data on reduction of surface runoff by adopting a BMP are relative to livestock waste application broadcast applied in summer months without incorporation to conventionally tilled fields, with greater than 1 percent slope on upland clay or clay loam soils.

Best Management Practice for Livestock Waste Applications to Cropland

Cost/Acre

Fecal Coliform Bacteria

Soluble Phosphorus

Total Phosphorus

Nitrogen

Suspended Solids

 

($)

(percent reduction in surface runoff by adopting BMP)

Incorporate with tillage equipment

9.92

90

70

20

50

0

Subsurface inject liquid waste

35.37

90

70

20

50

0

No-till farming

0

60

0

40

0

60

Conservation tillage farming

0

50

0

35

0

50

Test livestock waste for nutrient value

1.00

0

0-30

0-30

0-30

0

Source for Custom Farm Rates: www.agmanager.info/farmmgt/machinery/Tools/KCD_CustomRates(Feb2014).pdf

 

Peter Tomlinson, Environmental Quality Specialist
ptomlin@ksu.edu