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Polyacrylamide in agriculture and environmental land management

Sojka, R.E. and Bjorneberg, D.L. and Entry, J.A. and Lentz, R.D. and Orts, W.J. (2007) Polyacrylamide in agriculture and environmental land management. Advances in Agronomy. 92:75-162.

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Abstract

Anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) has been sold since 1995 to reduce irrigation-induced erosion and enhance infiltration. Its soil stabilizing and flocculating properties improve runoff water quality by reducing sediments, N, dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and total P, chemical oxygen demand (COD), pesticides, weed seeds, and microorganisms in runoff. PAM used for erosion control is a large (12-15 Mg mol -1) water-soluble (non-cross-linked) anionic molecule, containing <0.05% acrylamide monomer. In a series of field studies, PAM eliminated 80-99% (94% avg.) of sediment in runoff from furrow irrigation, with a 15-50% infiltration increase compared to controls on medium to fine-textured soils. Similar but less dramatic results occur with sprinkler irrigation. In sandy soils infiltration is often unchanged by PAM or can be slightly reduced. Typical seasonal application totals in furrow irrigation vary from 3 to 7 kg ha -1 . Research has shown little or no consistent adverse effect on soil microbial populations. Some evidence exists for PAM-related yield increases where infiltration was crop-limiting, especially in field portions having irregular slopes, where erosion prevention eliminated deep furrow cutting that deprives shallow roots of adequate water delivery. Modified water management with PAM shows great promise for water conservation. High effectiveness and low cost of PAM for erosion control and infiltration management, coupled with easier implementation than traditional conservation measures, has resulted in rapid adoption. About 800,000 ha of US irrigated land use PAM for erosion and/or infiltration management. In recent years, PAM has been deployed for uses beyond agricultural erosion control, including construction site erosion control, use in storm water runoff ponds to accelerate water clarification, soil stabilization and dust prevention in helicopter-landing zones, and various other high-traffic military situations. Among the newest topics being researched is the use of PAM to reduce ditch, canal, and pond seepage, using specific application protocols that take advantage of its increase of water viscosity at higher concentrations.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1196
Subjects: Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM)
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Michelle Wayment
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:49
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 15:26
Item ID: 43
URI: https://eprints.nwisrl.ars.usda.gov/id/eprint/43

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