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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

Todd P. Trooien


Vegetated treatment system (VTS) effectiveness is governed by the system's ability to utilize applied water and nutrients. This study was conducted to determine whether existing VTS technology in South Dakota is effective at preventing release of water and nutrients from animal feeding operations.
Vegetated treatment systems at South Dakota feedlots were studied and analyzed for 1 to 3 years from 2005 to 2007. The systems were monitored for precipitation, sediment basin discharge, crop water use, and system discharge to determine if water entering the vegetated treatment area (VTA) was fully utilized by the vegetation in the area. Water was also monitored at each site to determine relative nutrient concentrations, total water applications, and total nutrient loadings. For Miner County in 2007, these data were compiled and compared to relative nutrient use by the vegetation on the VTA to determine whether the system adequately utilized all of the nutrients provided. Soil samples were taken at the sites to confirm nutrient buildup in the upper 0.3 m of soil profile.
The Miner County site, with a VTA:feedlot area ratio of 0.17:1 proved to be inadequate to fully utilize the water applied from 2005 to 2007. The Haakon County site, with a ratio of 0.29:1 proved to be adequately sized for water applied in 2007. The Meade County site, with a ratio of 1.41:1 proved to be adequately sized for water applied in 2006, but inadequately sized for water applied in 2007 because of an event requiring water release from the VTA.
It was determined that the Miner County system is inadequately sized for existing vegetation to fully utilize nutrients applied. The Haakon and Meade County sites are adequately sized based on total nutrient loading of the VTA.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Feedlot runoff -- South Dakota -- Management
Agricultural wastes -- South Dakota -- Management


Includes bibliographical references (73-74)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2007 Nicholas O. Michael. All rights reserved