Utilization of Gypsum as a Filter Material in Agricultural Drainage Ditches: Impacts of Land Application on Soil Fertililty Conditions

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Date
2010
Authors
Grubb, Karen Lyn
Advisor
McGrath, Joshua M.
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Abstract
Agricultural drainage ditches can provide a direct connection between fields and surface waters, and some have been shown to deliver high loads of phosphorus (P) to sensitive water bodies. A potential way to reduce nutrient loads in drainage ditches is to install filter structures containing P sorbing materials (PSMs) including gypsum to remove P from ditch flow. One projected advantage would be the potential application of spent PSMs to agricultural fields to provide nutrients for crop production after the filter has lost its effectiveness. The study evaluated the feasibility of this strategy. Gypsum was saturated at two levels on mass basis of P, and applied to two soil types, a silt loam and a sandy loam and applied at both a high and low rate. The treated soils were incubated at 25° C, and samples were collected at 0, 1, 7, 28, 63, 91, 119, and 183 days after saturation.
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