Narrow grass hedge effects on nutrient transport following compost application

John E. Gilley, Bahman Eghball, David B. Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The placement of stiff-stemmed grass hedges on the contour along a hillslope has been shown to decrease nutrient transport in runoff. This study was conducted to measure the effectiveness of a narrow grass hedge in reducing runoff nutrient transport from plots with a range of soil nutrient values. Composted beef cattle manure was applied at dry weights of 0, 68, 105, 142, and 178 Mg ha -1 to a silty clay loam soil and then incorporated by disking. Soil samples were collected 243 days later for analysis of water-soluble phosphorus (WSP), Bray and Kurtz No. 1 phosphorus (Bray-1 P), NO 3-N, and NH 4-N. Three 30 min simulated rainfall events, separated by 24 h intervals, were then applied. The transport of dissolved phosphorus (DP), total P (TP), NO 3-N, NH 4-N, total nitrogen (TN), runoff, and soil erosion were measured from 0.75 m wide x 4.0 m long plots. Compost application rate significantly affected soil measurements of WSP, Bray-1 P, and NO 3-N content. The transport of DP, TP, NO 3-N, NH 4-N, TN, runoff, and soil erosion was reduced significantly on the plots with a grass hedge. Mean runoff rates on the hedge and no-hedge treatments were 17 and 29 mm, and erosion rates were 0.12 and 1.46 Mg ha -1, respectively. Compost application rate significantly affected the transport of DP, TP, and NO 3-N in runoff. The experimental results indicate that stiff-stemmed grass hedges, planted at selected downslope intervals, can significantly reduce the transport of nutrients in runoff from areas with a range of soil nutrient values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1005
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Grass filters
  • Land application
  • Manure management
  • Manure runoff
  • Nitrogen movement
  • Nutrient losses
  • Phosphorus
  • Runoff
  • Sediment detention
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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