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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Tood D. Trooien

Second Advisor

Jeppe Kjaersgaad


There are very limited options when managing agricultural waste during the winter months. Currently the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources regulates and discourages any manure spreading on frozen soils. The Natural Resources Conservation Service also discourages winter manure application except under certain conditions. As a result, the most common option for winter manure management is to store it until the following spring and summer. Allowing some manure spreading during the winter on crop ground would decrease the amount of storage space needed and reduce the environmental risk associated with stockpiling manure. The hypothesis for this project was manure spread on high terrain results in less environmental risk than manure spread on lower terrain. Conducting research on this topic will provide detailed information on the environmental risk of spreading manure on frozen soil and specify best management practices (BMPs). A three-year study was conducted where three separate watersheds (WS) located on the same field were being used for two different manure treatments and a control. The two treatments consisted of spreading manure on the highest 50% of the terrain and on the lowest 50% of the terrain. Runoff methodology techniques were redeveloped for monitoring runoff during winter months. Runoff volumes and nutrient/sediment concentration samples were measured from the three WS to determine the manure treatment effect. Climatic and soil data were also collected on-site to assess the impact of spreading manure on frozen soil. Based on the measured data, the Water Erosion Prediction Project model was also used to model runoff and sediment losses based on slope and soil type. Using the data collected in the WS and model results, BMPs could be developed based on location, placement, and timing of manure applications. The results at this stage of the project indicate there are no significant differences between the manure treatments and the control. Projected BMPs include spreading manure on fields that had been previously tilled considering soil texture and not just slope. More data and results need to be collected and analyzed to make firm conclusions on BMPs.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Farm manure -- Management
Manures -- Management
Organic wastes as fertilizer -- Management
Agricultural wastes -- Environmental aspects
Water quality
Runoff -- Environmental aspects


Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-74)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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