Bacterial Transport from Agricultural Lands Fertilized with Animal Manure
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution , 189 , 2008

Mishra, A., Benham, B.L., Mostaghimi, S.

A plot scale study was conducted to determine bacterial transport in runoff from cropland treated with poultry litter and dairy manure applied at phosphorus (P) agronomic rates. Treatments included surface application of dairy manure, surface application of poultry litter, incorporation of dairy manure and control. A rainfall simulator was used to induce runoff 1 and 2 days after manure application. Runoff was analyzed to determine the concentration of indicator bacteria-fecal coliform, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus. Observed edge-of-field bacterial concentrations were 102 to 105 times higher than Virginia’s in-stream bacteria criteria for primary contact recreation waters. No significant treatment effects were observed on edge-of-field bacteria concentration or yield. Results suggest that the manure application based on agronomic P rates may yield significant bacterial loading to downstream waterbodies if rainfall occurs soon after manure application. This research underscores the need for BMPs that reduce runoff volumes and filter pollutants associated with animal manures.