The water quality of two small, adjacent watersheds was monitored to determine the effect of land use on nutrient loads and flow-weighted mean concentrations. Poultry litter and liquid swine waste are surface applied as fertilizer to pastures that are used for hay production and beef cattle grazing. The study area is located in northwestern Arkansas, east central Washington County. Cannon Creek, the less influenced watershed (628 hectares), contains 11% pasture; whereas, Shumate Creek, the more influenced watershed (589 hectares), contains 22% pasture and receives approximately four times more land applied animal waste as fertilizer. The remaining land cover in both watersheds is primarily hardwood forest. Shumate Creek lad higher nutrient concentrations and greater nutrient mass transport. Stormflow transports a larger percentage of the nutrient load than baseflow; e.g., during the month of April more than 30% of the total phosphorus (TP) load was transported in less than four days of storm flow at the Shumate Creek site. The total pasture area, the proximity of pastures to streams, and he intensity of pasture management (i.e., the rate and timing of manure applications) are important aspects to consider when monitoring water quality.
Roggio, Robin G.; Steele, Kenneth F.; Vendrell, P. F.; and Nelson, M. A.
"Effects of Agricultural Practices on Nutrient Concentrations and Loads in Two Small Watersheds, Northwestern Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 52
, Article 15.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol52/iss1/15