Runoff from container nurseries contains nutrient and sediment from fertilizer and irrigation. We assessed runoff total suspended solids (TSS), N as total N (TN), and P as total P (TP) from a 5.2 ha production area of a mid-Atlantic nursery. TN and TP storm loads were approximately 900, 35 and 50 times greater than irrigation loads. While TN and TP were comparable to urban runoff, TSS was 2-4 times greater. The Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) was calibrated to the results and used to generate annual TSS, TN, and TP loading, providing a valuable planning tool for nurseries.
Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.326
A national team of scientists is working to encourage use of alternative water resources by the nation’s billion-dollar nursery and floriculture industry has been awarded funds for the first year of an $8.7 million, five year US Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture –Specialty Crop Research Initiative competitive grant.
The team will develop and apply systems-based solutions to assist grower decision making by providing science-based information to increase use of recycled water. This award from the NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative is managed by Project Director Sarah White of Clemson University. She leads a group of 21 scientists from nine U.S. institutions.
Entitled “Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle – Enhancing Alternative Water Resources Availability and Use to Increase Profitability in Specialty Crops”, the Clean WateR3 team will assist the grower decision-making process by providing science-based information on nutrient, pathogen, and pesticide fate in recycled water both before and after treatment, average cost and return-on investment of technologies examined, and model-derived, site specific recommendations for water management. The trans-disciplinary Clean WateR3 team will develop these systems-based solutions by integrating sociological, economic, modeling, and biological data into a user-friendly decision-support system intended to inform and direct our stakeholders’ water management decision-making process.
The Clean WateR3 grant team is working with a stakeholder group of greenhouse and nursery growers throughout the United States.
For example, at the University of Florida graduate student George Grant is collecting data on removal of paclobutrazol, a highly persistent plant growth regulator chemical, from recirculated water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. This is being done in both research greenhouses and in a commercial site. The GAC filters can remove more than 90% of chemical residues, and are proving to be a cost-effective treatment method.