Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Vegetative filer strips, Animal manures, Nonpoint source pollution, Pasture


Land application of animal manures (e.g. poultry litter, poultry manure, and swine manure) to pasture and range can lead to runoff quality degradation during storms that occur soon after application. Vegetative filter strips (VFS) have been shown to reduce pollution in runoff from row-cropped areas but have not been extensively studied in pasture and range settings. This research involved characterizing performance of fescue VFS in improving quality of runoff from pasture land areas treated with poultry litter and swine manure. The VFS were found to be quite effective in reducing off-site transport of ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ortho-phosphorus (P04-P), total phospnorus (TP) , and fecal coliform (FC) for simulated storms occurring 2-5 days following poultry litter and swine manure applicati on. The VFS were from 81 to 99% effective (at a VFS length of 21.4 m) in reducing incoming mass transport of NH3-N, TKN, P04-P, TP, and FC in runoff from poultry litter-treated plots. Similar performance was observed for the VFS installed below plots treated with swine manure. Transport of suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand was also reduced by the VFS, but generally not to the extent of other litter and manure constituents. Transport of poultry litter and swine manure constituents were well-described by first-order kinetics.

Report Number

PUB 166