Skip to main content

Field results using polyacrylamide to manage furrow erosion and infiltration

Lentz, R.D. and Sojka, R.E. (1994) Field results using polyacrylamide to manage furrow erosion and infiltration. Soil Science. 158(4):274-282.

[img] PDF

Download (552kB)


Furrow irrigation-induced soil erosion is
a serious threat to sustainable irrigated
agriculture globally. Recent field studies
have demonstrated that small concentrations
of polymers dissolved in irrigation
water appreciably reduce soil loss from
irrigated furrows and increase net infiltration
(total inflow - total outflow). This
paper summarizes polymer-related field
studies conducted in Idaho on highly erodible
silt loam soils (Durixerollic Calciorthids,
Xerollic Haplargids, Haploxerollic
Durargids). A range of furrow lengths
(163-264 m), slopes (0.5-7%), and inflows
(15-38 L min-1) were included in the studies.
A moderate-charge-density anionic
polyacrylamide (PAM), highly effective
for controlling furrow sediment losses,
was employed in the field trials. Treatment
efficacy depended primarily on application
rate, PAM concentration in irrigation
water, duration of furrow exposure, and
inflow rate. Nontreated furrow soil loss in
75% of the irrigations exceeded soil loss
tolerance (T) for these soils, whereas only
13% of the PAM-treated irrigations exceeded
T. Those treatments that applied at
least 0.7 kg ha' PAM (mean, 1.3 kg ha-1 )
reduced furrow sediment loss by 94%
(range: 80-99%) and increased net infiltration
by 15% (range: –8-57%). One of
the most effective treatments applied PAM
at 10 g m-3 in irrigation inflows during the
furrow advance period. This initial high-load
treatment was nearly twice as effective
as a continuous 0.25 g m-3 PAM application
on these soils when slopes were
1-2%. The initial high-load treatment protected
furrows with slopes ranging from
0.5 to 3.5%. PAM reduced total phosphorus
(84% of control value), nitrate (83%),
biochemical oxygen demand (72%), and
sediment (57%) in treated runoff water.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0850
Subjects: Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Erosion > Polyacrylamide
Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Infiltration > Polyacrylamide
Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM) > Erosion control
Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM) > Infiltration management
Soil > Erosion
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:54
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2016 21:41
Item ID: 628