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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mineralization of Manure Nutrients

Authors
item Eghball, Bahman
item WIENHOLD, BRIAN
item GILLEY, JOHN
item EIGENBERG, ROGER

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2002
Publication Date: July 1, 2002
Citation: EGHBALL, B., WIENHOLD, B.J., GILLEY, J.E., EIGENBERG, R.A. MINERALIZATION OF MANURE NUTRIENTS. JOURNAL OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY 57:470-473. 2002.

Interpretive Summary: Knowledge of the amount of manure nutrients that become plant available following application is needed to effectively utilize this renewable resource. Availability of a nutrient from manure includes the amount of the plant available nutrient already present in manure plus the amount that is mineralized to plant available form following application. Nutrient mineralization from applied manure depends on temperature, soil moisture, soil properties, and manure characteristics. Since these factors cannot be accurately predicted, nutrient mineralization from applied manure can only be approximated. Nitrogen availability from applied manure includes the inorganic N (NO3-N and NH4-N) in manure plus the amount of organic N mineralized following application. Nitrogen mineralization values differ for different manure types since inorganic/organic fraction and quality of organic N varies among manure types. Mineralization of organic N is expected to be low for composted manure (~ 18%) and high for swine or poultry (hens) manure (~ 55%) since the organic N compounds are different for different manure types. Phosphorus availability from all animal production sources of manure is high (> 70%) as most of the manure P is inorganic and becomes plant- available after application. Potassium availability from manure is nearly 100% and therefore manure can be used similar to K fertilizer. When manure was analyzed for plant available nutrients, > 55% of Ca and Mg and < 40% of Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu, S, and B was plant available. To effectively utilize nutrients in manure, nutrient mineralization and availability potentials needs to be considered when application rates are determined.

Technical Abstract: In order to apply manure or compost to fulfill nutrient requirements of a crop, knowledge of the amount of nutrients mineralized following application is needed. Nutrient mineralization from applied manure depends on temperature, soil moisture, soil properties, and manure characteristics. Since these factors can not be accurately predicted, nutrient mineralization from applied manure can only be approximated. Nitrogen availability from applied manure includes the inorganic N (NO3-N and NH4-N) in manure plus the amount of organic N mineralized following application. Nitrogen mineralization values differ for different manure types since inorganic/organic fraction and quality of organic N varies among manure types. Mineralization of organic N is expected to be low for composted manure (~ 18%) and high for swine or poultry (hens) manure (~ 55%). Phosphorus availability from all animal production sources of manure is high (> 70%) as most of the manure P is inorganic and becomes plant-available after application. Potassium availability from manure is nearly 100% and therefore manure can be used similar to K fertilizer. When manure was analyzed for plant available nutrients, > 55% of Ca and Mg and < 40% of Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu, S, and B was plant available. To effectively utilize nutrients in manure, nutrient mineralization potential needs to be considered when application rates are determined.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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