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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impacts of Composted Swine Manure on Weed and Corn Nutrient Uptake, Growth, and Seed Production

Authors
item Liebman, Matt - IA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Menalled, R - IA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Buhler, D - MICHIGAN STATE UNIV
item Richard, T - IA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sundberg, D - IA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Cambardella, Cynthia
item Kohler, Keith

Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 2003
Publication Date: May 28, 2004
Citation: Liebman, M., Menalled, R.D., Buhler, D.D., Richard, T.L., Sundberg, D.N., Cambardella, C.A., Kohler, K.A. 2004. Impacts of composted swine manure on weed and corn nutrient uptake, growth, and seed production. Weed Science. 52:365-375.

Interpretive Summary: Hoop structures bedded with crop residues are becoming increasingly popular for swine production in the north-central United States. Compost made from bedding materials and swine manure can be used as a soil amendment, but little is known about its effects on soils, crops and weeds. This field study (1998-2001) evaluated the effect of composted swine hoop manure on nutrient uptake, growth, and seed production of corn and three weed species (giant foxtail, velvetleaf, and common waterhemp) grown in mixture with corn. Compost consistently increased corn height but not grain yield. It consistently increased the potassium concentration of corn leaves and weed shoots. Compost increased common waterhemp and velvetleaf height, biomass, and seed production, but had no effect on giant foxtail. Results of this study show that large differences can exist among crop and weed species in their responses to soil amendments. The results of this study will be useful to scientists interested in agroecology, especially, crop/weed interactions, and the impact of soil amendments on these relationships.

Technical Abstract: Hoop structures bedded with crop residues are becoming increasingly popular for swine production in the north-central United States. Compost made from bedding materials and swine manure can be used as a soil amendment, but little is known about its effects on soils, crops, and weeds. To address this information gap, a three-year field experiment was conducted in Boone, IA, to determine how composted swine manure affected selected soil characteristics and nutrient uptake, growth, and seed production of corn and three weed species (giant foxtail, velvetleaf, and common waterhemp) grown in mixture with corn. Application of compost increased soil organic matter, phosphorous, potassium, and early season nitrate nitrogen levels. It also raised the nitrogen concentration of velvetleaf shoots, the phosphorous concentration of giant foxtail and common waterhemp shoots, and the potassium concentration of shoots of all of the weed species. Compost increased common waterhemp height and biomass in three of three years, increased velvetleaf height in three of three years and velvetleaf biomass in one of three years, but had no effect on giant foxtail height or biomass. Measurements of weed seed production, conducted in one year, showed that compost increased velvetleaf and common waterhemp seed production, but had no effect on giant foxtail. Compost consistently increased corn height and leaf potassium concentration but had a variable effect on grain yield. For 12 year-weed infestation treatment combinations, compost significantly increased corn grain yield in one comparison, had no effect in ten comparisons, and significantly reduced yield in one comparison. Results of this study indicate that large differences can exist among crop and weed species in their responses to soil amendments. Depending on the weed species present, use of composted swine manure may increase requirements for weed management in corn production systems.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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