Introduction to Nutrient Management, Nutrient Cycling and Regional Nutrient Balance Issues

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1 Introduction to Nutrient Management, Nutrient Cycling and Regional Nutrient Balance Issues 2005 Fundamentals of Nutrient Management Training Course Dec Tom Basden Ag. and Natural Resources WVU Extension Service, Morgantown WV

2 Introduction Why is Nutrient Management So Important? Changes in Farming Systems and Nutrient Cycling 2 Watersheds with Issues in WV Chesapeake Bay Basin and Mississippi River Basin

3 Importance of Nutrient Management Loss of nutrients to the environment Water Quality Impairment

4 Why the Concern? Eutrophication Critical problem in impaired fresh waters Freshwater eutrophication usually limited Algal Blooms! Fish kills due to hypoxia ( Dead Zone ) fiesteria iscicidia acute risk Chlorination of eutrophic drinking waters carcinogenic risk.

5 Eutrophication and Agriculture With 30 years of point source control the relative contribution of agricultural non-point sources of has increased.

6 The roblem: Changes in the Cycle re cycle occurred within the farm

7 Fertilizer Use (Millions of Tons) fertilizers have helped to build productive agriculture! Year

8 Today s Cycle is Fragmented Grain Manure Manure Rock

9 Farming System and Balance Input Fertilizer Feed Crop Dairy ig oultry kg /ha/yr Output Balance ennsylvania farms Cash crop 30 ha 65 Holsteins 40 ha 1280 hogs 30 ha 75,000 birds 12 ha

10 N-Based Manure Management results in excess application N N N N N N N N N N N N: for crops (7:1-11:1) N: for manures (2:1-6:1)

11 N-Based Manure Management More is added in manure than needed by the crop! removed Corn harvest Dairy manure added in manure ig slurry oultry litter oultry manure hosphorus (kg/ha)

12 Nutrient Cycling

13 Nutrient Cycling II

14 Nutrient Cycling III

15 Chesapeake Bay Basin

16 Sources of Nitrogen Loads to the Chesapeake Bay (Including atmospheric deposition to tidal waters) 2002 Total = million lbs/year Atmospheric Deposition to Tidal Water 7% Atmospheric Deposition to Non- Tidal Water 1% Forest 14% Agriculture - Animal Waste 18% Septic 4% Agriculture- Chemical Fertilizer 16% oint Source 20% Mixed Open 6% Urban Runoff 10% Agriculture - Atmospheric Deposition 4%

17 Sources of hosphorus Loads to the Chesapeake Bay (Including atmospheric deposition to tidal waters) 2002 Total = million lbs/year Atmospheric Deposition to Tidal Water 7% Atmospheric Deposition to Non- Tidal Water 1% Forest 2% Agriculture - Animal Waste 26% oint Source 20% Mixed Open 11% Agriculture- Chemical Fertilizer 17% Urban Runoff 15% Agriculture - Atmospheric Deposition 1%

18 Chesapeake Bay Basin (cont d) Features: 64,000 sq. miles second largest estuary in the world >15 million people in the basin Easy to pollute long coastline (7,900 mi.) & shallow depth (~ 21 ft) Major economic resource 50% of blue crab catch; 90% of soft shell crab

19 Chesapeake Bay Basin (cont d) roblems: Decline in fisheries - Oysters: 92% decline during Clam (MD): 95% decline during Health concerns due to pfiesteria outbreak in Md. and Va. rivers Aesthetic, taste, and odor problems

20 Chesapeake Bay Basin (cont d) roblem pollutants Nitrogen: agricultural (60%), atmospheric deposition (25%), & other (15%) - ~70,000 tons-n from otomac ( ), 23% of total hosphorus agricultural (30%) & point sources (70%) - ~3,750 tons- from otomac ( ), 25% of total Sediments Toxics

21 Chesapeake Bay Basin (cont d) Detrimental effects of nutrients and sediments Nutrients move into receiving waters in dissolved and sediment-bound forms Sediments blanket stream floor degrading or destroying aquatic habitat & breeding areas Eutrophication - high inorganic dissolved N and may result in rapid growth of algae

22 Chesapeake Bay Basin (cont d) Detrimental effects of nutrients and sediments Algae, both alive and dead (during decomposition) consume dissolved oxygen (DO), depriving other aquatic organisms of DO, degrading aquatic habitat Hypoxia very low DO levels (<2 mg/l) can result in fish kills Healthy DO range for estuaries mg/l

23 Hypoxia

24 Gulf of Mexico Basin

25 Gulf of Mexico Basin (cont d) Drains nearly 2 million sq. miles 20% ($) of commercial fishery landings Annual nitrate loading ~1 million tons - 75% from agriculture - Ohio River contributes less nitrate compared to discharge Annual orthophosphate loading ~38,600 tons

26 Gulf of Mexico Basin (cont d) Hypoxia in the Gulf ~8,600 sq. miles of the Gulf below LA & TX affected in summer 2002 (worst case yet) Excessive nutrient loadings from farmlands suspected as prime factor in hypoxia Hypoxia could occur due to natural causes

27 Nutrient Eco-regions WV in Eco-region XI, Central and Eastern Forested Uplands

28 Questions? Questions

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