SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Modeling runoff and sediment yields from combined in-field crop practices using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool 
Authors:Maski, D., K.R. Mankin, K.A. Janssen, P. Tuppad, and G.M. Pierzynski 
Journal:Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 
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URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic & pollutant 
Primary Application Category:BMP assessment 
Secondary Application Category:sediment loss and transport 
Watershed Description:4.7 ha field in southeastern Franklin County, Kansas in the Upper Marais des Cygnes basin 
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Abstract:Cropland best management practice recommendations often combine improvements to both tillage and fertilizer application practices to reduce sediment losses with surface runoff. This study evaluated the impact of conventional-till and no-till management practices with surface or deep-banded fertilizer application in sorghum-soybean rotation on runoff and sediment-yield predictions using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The model was calibrated using USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service runoff curve number for antecedent moisture condition II (CNII), saturated hydraulic conductivity, and available water capacity parameters for runoff and USLE cropping factor (Cmin) for sediment-yield predictions for three field plots (0.39 to 1.46 ha [0.96 to 3.6 ac]) with different combinations of practices and validated for three field plots (0.40 to 0.56 ha [1.0 to 1.4 ac]) over a period of 2000 to 2004. Surface runoff calibration required CNII values greater than the recommended baseline values. No-till treatments required slightly greater curve number values than the till treatment, and this difference was similar to that associated with increasing the soil hydrologic group by one classification. Generally the model underpredicted the sediment yield for all management practices. Baseline Cmin values were adequate for treatments with soil disturbance, either by tillage or fertilizer deep-banding, but best-fit Cmin values for field conditions without soil disturbance (no-till with surface-broadcast fertilizer) were 2.5 to 3 times greater than baseline values. These results indicate current model limitations in modeling undisturbed (no-till) field management conditions, and caution that models calibrated for fields or watersheds predominated by tilled soil conditions may not function equally well in testing management scenarios without tillage. 
Keywords:erosion, fertilizer application, no-till, modeling, Soil and Water Assessment Tool