Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Transactions of the ASABE. 62:1 (January 2019), pp149-156.


U.S. government work.


The effectiveness of a 1.4 m wide grass hedge in reducing microbial transport following manure application was examined in this study. Beef cattle manure was applied to 0.75 m wide by 4.0 m long plots established on an Aksarben silty clay loam located in southeast Nebraska. Manure was added at rates required to meet none or the 1-, 2-, or 4-year nitrogen requirements for corn. The transport of phages, total coliforms, E. coli, and enterococci was measured for three 30 min simulated rainfall events, which were separated by approximately 24 h intervals. The narrow grass hedge reduced total counts of phages, E. coli, and enterococci from 10.8 to 9.01 log PFU ha-1, from 12.4 to 11.9 log CFU ha-1, and from 11.8 to 11.2 log CFU ha-1, respectively. For the plots that received manure, no significant differences in transport of phages or enterococci were found among the three manure application rates. Rainfall simulation run significantly affected measurements of phages, total coliforms, and enterococci, with measurements during the three runs varying from 8.91 to 10.5 log PFU ha-1, from 12.7 to 13.3 log CFU ha-1, and from 11.2 to 11.7 log CFU ha-1, respectively. Counts for phages, total coliforms, and enterococci were significantly less for the first than the second and third rainfall simulation runs. All four of the microbial constituents were significantly correlated to dissolved P, particulate P, total P, and total N. A narrow grass hedge placed on the contour significantly reduced microbial transport following variable applications of beef cattle manure.