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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Influence of Solid Dairy Manure and Compost with and Without Alum on Survival of Indicator Bacteria in Soil and on Potato

Authors
item Entry, James
item Leytem, April
item Verwey, Sheryl

Submitted to: Environmental Pollution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 5, 2005
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Citation: Entry, J.A., Leytem, A.B., Verwey, S.A. 2005. Influence of solid dairy manure and compost with and without alum on survival of indicator bacteria in soil and on potato. Environmental Pollution. 138:212-218.

Interpretive Summary: Bacterial pollution of surface flow and ground water from animal manure applied to soils has been well documented. We measured Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp and fecal coliform numbers in soil and on fresh potato skins after addition of solid dairy manure and dairy compost with and without alum treatment 1, 7, 14, 28, 179 and 297 days after application. The addition of dairy compost or solid dairy manure at rates to meet crop phosphorus uptake did not consistently increase E. coli and Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform bacteria in the soil. Seven, 14, 28, 179 and 297 days after solid dairy waste and compost and alum were applied to soil, alum did not consistently affect Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform bacteria in the soil. Dairy compost or solid dairy manure application to soil at rates to meet crop phosphorus uptake did not consistently increase Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform numbers in bulk soil. Solid dairy manure application at rates to meet crop phosphorus uptake increased Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform numbers in potato rhizosphere soil. However, fresh potato skins had higher Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform numbers when solid dairy manure was added to soil compared to compost, nitrogen and phosphorus inorganic fertilizer and nitrogen fertilizer treatments. We did not find and E. coli, Enterococcus or total coliform bacteria on the exterior of the tuber, within the peel or within a whole baked potato after microwave cooking for 5 min. Farm managers and consumers need to be aware that bacterial pathogens have been found on ready-to eat salad vegetables and these foods caused disease outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: Bacterial pollution of surface flow and ground water from animal manure applied to soils has been well documented. We measured Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp and fecal coliform numbers in soil and on fresh potato skins after addition of solid dairy manure and dairy compost with and without alum treatment 1, 7, 14, 28, 179 and 297 days after application. The addition of dairy compost or solid dairy manure at rates to meet crop phosphorus uptake did not consistently increase E. coli and Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform bacteria in the soil. We did not detect E. coli in any soil sample after the first sampling day. Seven, 14, 28, 179 and 297 days after solid dairy waste and compost and alum were applied to soil, alum did not consistently affect Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform bacteria in the soil. We did not detect E. coli in any soil, fresh potato skin or potato wash-water at 214 days after dairy manure or compost application regardless of alum treatment. Dairy compost or solid dairy manure application to soil at rates to meet crop phosphorus uptake did not consistently increase Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform numbers in bulk soil. Solid dairy manure application at rates to meet crop phosphorus uptake increased Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform numbers in potato rhizosphere soil. However, fresh potato skins had higher Enterococcus spp. and fecal coliform numbers when solid dairy manure was added to soil compared to compost, nitrogen and phosphorus inorganic fertilizer and nitrogen fertilizer treatments. We did not find E. coli, Enterococcus or total coliform bacteria on the exterior of the tuber, within the peel or within a whole baked potato after microwave cooking for 5 min. Farm managers and consumers need to be aware that bacterial pathogens have been found on ready-to eat salad vegetables and these foods caused disease outbreaks.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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