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Estrogen Transport in Surface Runoff from Agricultural Fields Treated with Two Application Methods of Dairy Manure

Mina, Odette, Gall, Heather E., Saporito, Louis S., Kleinman, Peter J.A.
Journal of environmental quality 2016 v.45 no.6 pp. 2007-2015
agricultural land, agricultural runoff, application methods, dairy manure, estrone, hail, manure amendments, manure spreading, rain, soil, storms, Pennsylvania
This study compares two methods of dairy manure application—surface broadcast and shallow disk injection—on the fate and transport of natural estrogens in surface runoff from 12 field plots in central Pennsylvania. Ten natural surface runoff events were sampled over a 9-mo period after fall manure application. Results show that the range of estrogen concentrations observed in surface runoff from the broadcast plots was several orders of magnitude higher (>5000 ng L⁻¹) than the concentrations in runoff from the shallow disk injection plots (<10 ng L⁻¹). Additionally, the transport dynamics differed, with the majority of the estrogen loads from the surface broadcast plots occurring during the first rainfall event after application, whereas the majority of the loads from the shallow disk injection plots occurred more than 6 mo later during a hail storm event. Total estrogen loads were, on average, two orders of magnitude lower for shallow disk injection compared with surface broadcast. Independent of the method of manure application, 17α-estradiol and estrone were preserved in the field for as long as 9 mo after application. Overall, injection of manure shows promise in reducing the potential for off-site losses of hormones from manure-amended soils.