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17β-Estradiol and testosterone in drainage and runoff from poultry litter applications to tilled and no-till crop land under irrigation

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Thirteen metric tons of poultry litter are produced annually by poultry producers in the U.S. Poultry litter contains the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone, endocrine disruptors that have been detected in surface waters. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential impact of poultry litter applications on estradiol and testosterone concentrations in subsurface drainage and surface runoff in irrigated crop land under no-till and conventional-till management.We conducted an irrigation study in fall of 2001 and spring of 2002. Four treatments, no-till plus poultry litter, conventional-till plus poultry litter, no-till plus conventional fertilizer, and conventional-till plus conventional fertilizer, were evaluated. Flow-weighted concentration and load ha-1 of the two hormones were measured in drainage and runoff. Soil concentrations of estradiol and testosterone were measured. Based on comparisons to the conventional fertilizer (and control) treatments, poultry litter did not add to the flow-weighted concentration or load ha-1 of either estradiol or testosterone in subsurface drainage or surface runoff. Significant differences were, however, observed between tillage treatments: flow-weighted concentrations of estradiol were greater for no-till than conventional-till plots of the June irrigation; and runoff loads of both estradiol and testosterone were less from no-till than conventional-till plots for the November irrigation. Although the differences between no-till and conventional-tillage appeared to affect the hydrologic transport of both hormones, the differences appeared to have inconsequential environmental impact.
Jenkins, Michael B. , Endale, Dinku M. , Schomberg, Harry H. , Hartel, Peter G. , Cabrera, Miguel L.
Includes references
Journal of environmental management 2009 June, v. 90, issue 8
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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