Individual study: Mitigation techniques reduce sediment in runoff from furrow-irrigated cropland
Long R.F., Hanson B.R., Fulton A.E. & Weston D.P. (2010) Mitigation techniques reduce sediment in runoff from furrow-irrigated cropland. California Agriculture, 64, 135-140
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Water: Plant buffer strips
A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2007 in two arable fields in California, USA, found that planting vegetation in ditches reduced the amount of sediment in runoff from furrow-irrigated fields. Sediments: Vegetated ditches reduced the amount of solids in runoff by 62%. Vegetated ditches reduced the amount of soil in runoff (0.1 g/L). Methods: Plots (183 m plots; 8–12 plots; number of plots not clearly reported) grew processing tomatoes (in Davis) or lima beans (in Chico). Each plot had 9–10 furrows, spaced 1.5 m apart. Water was added to the plots (12–20 gallons/minute/furrow; 5-6 replicates per growing season). Runoff was collected in a drain at the end of the plots (every 30 mins from beginning of surface runoff until the water was turned off). Flow rate was automatically measured every minute. Runoff was directed into vegetated and non-vegetated ditches. Water samples (500 ml) were taken before and after it passed through the vegetated ditches. Vegetation was planted in ditches (49 x 1.5 m, 0.2 m deep; six replicates: five with tall fescue Festuca arundinacea and one with rye grass Lolium spp.).