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Forage Subsurface Drip Irrigation Using Treated Swine Wastewater
- The rapid expansion of animal production in the eastern U.S. in the 1990s resulted in large quantities of concentrated animal waste that must be utilized or disposed of in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. To address these environmental concerns for wastewater utilization, we installed a subsurface drip irrigation system to apply treated swine wastewater effluent for bermudagrass hay production. The overall study objective was to determine the feasibility of using subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) for treated wastewater effluent applications. The specific objectives for the SDI system were to compare bermudagrass hay production using (1) commercial and wastewater effluent for nutrients, (2) two SDI lateral spacings (0.6 and 1.2 m) installed at 0.3 m below the surface, and (3) two irrigation application rates based on calculated evapotranspiration (ET(c)) requirements (75% or 100%). The two-year study measured hay yields, hay biomass, soil nutrients, and soil water nutrients. The SDI system was successfully operated for two years applying effluent and commercial fertilizer to supply the nutrient requirements of the bermudagrass hay. Bermudagrass hay production for 2004 and 2005 ranged from 5.65 to 14 Mg ha -1 . Results from the SDI system indicated no significant differences between the SDI lateral spacings or irrigation application rates. Treatments using wastewater effluent had significantly higher hay yields and significantly higher nutrient biomass removal rates than the commercial fertilizer treatments. Nitrate-N observed in soil water lysimeters increased with depth, indicating the potential for leaching without proper management. Soil nitrogen and carbon were not significantly different for any of the treatments but did vary slightly over the life of the project.
Stone, Kenneth C. , Hunt, Patrick G. , Millen, Joseph A. , Johnson, Melvin H. , Matheny, Terry A. , Vanotti, Matias B. , Burns, Joseph C.
wastewater irrigation , wastewater , pig manure , microirrigation , subsurface irrigation , irrigation rates , crop production , Cynodon dactylon , hay , forage grasses , crop yield , soil nutrients , soil fertility , nitrate nitrogen , leaching , North Carolina
- Includes references
- Transactions of the ASABE 2008 Mar-Apr, v. 51, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
- Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.