Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Compost and Manure Effects on Fertilized Corn Silage Yield and Nitrogen Uptake under Irrigation

Authors
item Lehrsch, Gary
item Kincaid, Dennis - ARS (RETIRED)

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2006
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Citation: Lehrsch, G.A., Kincaid, D.C. 2007. Compost and manure effects on fertilized corn silage yield and nitrogen uptake under irrigation. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 38:2131-2147.

Interpretive Summary: Dairy manure increases the yields of dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) from eroded, furrow irrigated soils and may increase corn (Zea mays L.) silage yield from steeper eroded areas under sprinkler irrigation. In a 2-yr field study in southern Idaho on Portneuf silt loam, we evaluated the effects of a one-time, fall application of 13 and 32 tons of dry manure per acre and 10 and 21 tons of dry compost per acre on silage yield from previously eroded, sprinkler irrigated plots. In October 1999, we disked either stockpiled or composted dairy manure into plots with slopes from 0.8 to 4.4%. After planting field corn in 2000 and 2001, we irrigated two to three times per week using a low pressure, linear-move sprinkler system. In 2000, silage yields were 12.3 tons per acre, similar among all rates of all amendments and a fertilized control. In 2001, both compost rates increased silage yield, compared to controls. In contrast, 13 tons of manure per acre increased yield but 32 tons of manure per acre decreased yield, compared to controls. Regardless of treatment or year, yields decreased linearly as slope increased. We concluded that compost, applied once in the Fall at rates up to 21 tons per acre, did not decrease silage yields the next year and increased yields the following year. A one-time, fall application of manure, at rates exceeding 13 tons per acre, decreased silage yields in the second year after application.

Technical Abstract: Dairy manure increases the yields of dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) from eroded, furrow irrigated soils and may increase corn (Zea mays L.) silage yield from steeper eroded areas under sprinkler irrigation. In a 2-yr field study in southern Idaho on Portneuf silt loam (coarse silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Durinodic Xeric Haplocalcid), we evaluated the effects of a one-time application of 29 or 72 Mg/ha of dry manure or 22 or 47 Mg/ha of dry compost on silage yield from previously eroded, sprinkler irrigated hillslopes. In October 1999, we disked either stockpiled or composted dairy manure to a depth of 0.15 m into plots with slopes from 0.8 to 4.4%. After planting field corn in 2000 and 2001, we used a low pressure, six-span traveling lateral sprinkler system to apply water at 28 mm/h in amounts sufficient to satisfy evapotranspiration to 6.4- x 36.6-m field plots. Yields in 2000 were 27.5 Mg/ha, similar among all rates of all amendments and a fertilized control. In 2001, compost at each rate increased yield, compared to controls. Silage yield in 2001 increased initially then decreased with increasing manure applications. Regardless of treatment or year, yields decreased linearly as slope increased. Compost, fall-applied at oven-dry rates up to 47 Mg/ha, increased silage yields in the second year after it was applied. Manure, if fall-applied at rates up to 29 Mg/ha, also increased silage yields in the second year after it was applied.

Last Modified: 11/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page