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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Residual Effects of Manure and Compost Applications on Corn Production and Soil Properties

Authors
item Eghball, Bahman
item Ginting, Daniel - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Gilley, John

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2004
Publication Date: April 1, 2004
Citation: Eghball, B., Ginting, D., Gilley, J.E. 2004. Residual effects of manure and compost applications on corn production and soil properties. Agronomy Journal 96:442-447.

Interpretive Summary: Residual effects of manure or compost application on crop production and soil properties can last for several years. This study was conducted to evaluate residual effects of annual or biennial applications of N- and P-based composted and non-composted beef cattle feedlot manure, chemical fertilizer, and no treatment check on corn production and soil properties. Manure and compost were applied from 1992 to 1995 and the residual effects were determined from 1997 to 1999. Residual effects of N- and P-based manure and compost applications on corn grain yield and N uptake lasted for at least one growing season while the effects on soil properties were longer lasting. Soil P can contribute to crop P uptake for greater than four years after N-based manure or compost application had ceased. The residual effects of manure and compost applications significantly increased soil electrical conductivity and pH levels, and plant-available P and nitrate concentrations. Four years after the last application, P leaching to a soil depth of 18 to 24 inch was observed with N-based manure or compost application. No residual effects of manure and compost applications on soil ammonium were observed. Averaged across years, soil total carbon concentrations or quantities were not different among the treatments indicating that total carbon was not a sensitive indicator of soil organic matter changes. Residual effects of annual N- or P-based manure or compost application increased crop production for one year and influenced soil properties for several years.

Technical Abstract: Residual effects of manure or compost application on crop production and soil properties can last for several years. This study was conducted to evaluate residual effects of annual or biennial applications of N- and P-based composted and non-composted beef cattle (Bos taurus) feedlot manure, chemical fertilizer, and no treatment check on corn (Zea mays L.) production and soil properties. Manure and compost were applied from 1992 to 1995 and the residual effects were determined from 1997 to 1999. Residual effects of N- and P-based manure and compost applications on corn grain yield and N uptake lasted for at least one growing season while the effects on soil properties were longer lasting. Soil P can contribute to crop P uptake for > 4 years after N-based manure or compost application had ceased. The residual effects of manure and compost applications significantly increased soil EC and pH levels, and plant-available P and NO3-N concentrations. Four years after the last application, P leaching to a soil depth of 45- to 60-cm was observed with N-based manure or compost application. No residual effects of manure and compost applications on soil NH4-N were observed. Averaged across years, soil total C concentrations or quantities were not different among the treatments indicating that total C was not a sensitive indicator. Residual effects of annual N- or P-based manure or compost application increased crop production for one year and influenced soil properties for several years.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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