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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Properties of Sites Used for Composting Animal Manure

Authors
item Ginting, Daniel - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Eghball, Bahman
item Walters, D - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Francis, C - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Klopfenstein, T - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Wilson, C - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 2002
Publication Date: November 1, 2002
Citation: GINTING, D., EGHBALL, B., WALTERS, D.T., FRANCIS, C.A., KLOPFENSTEIN, T.J., WILSON, C.B. SOIL PROPERTIES OF SITES USED FOR COMPOSTING ANIMAL MANURE. AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS #120758. 2002.

Interpretive Summary: Long-term animal manure composting creates zones of high soil nutrient and salinity. Once the composting operation is terminated, there is a need to reclaim the sites for agricultural crops. The objective of this study is to evaluate soil properties and performance of corn (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) on land previously used as composting sites. Two sites previously used for windrow composting were planted with crops of interest perpendicular to the direction of the windrows. Soil samples were collected at 15 or 30 cm interval to a depth of 3.7 m from the compost and control areas (non-compost, within 100 m of the compost sites). Soil EC of the control site was uniform with depth to 3.7 m and less than 0.4 dS/m. In the compost sites, soil electrical conductivity (EC) ranged from 0.8 to 3.3 dS/m in the 1-m depth. High EC, K and Na in the 0-15 cm, and soil crusting in the windrow areas resulted in poorer germination and crop performance in the windrow than the inter-windrow areas especially in the first year. Crop yields were low and no alfalfa yield was observed in the compost areas.

Technical Abstract: Long-term animal manure composting creates zones of high soil nutrient and salinity. Once the composting operation is terminated, there is a need to reclaim the sites for agricultural crops. The objective of this study is to evaluate soil properties and performance of corn (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), barley (Hordeum vulgare), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) on land previously used as composting sites. Two sites previously used for windrow composting were planted with crops of interest perpendicular to the direction of the windrows. Soil samples were collected at 15 or 30 cm interval to a depth of 3.7 m from the compost and control areas (non-compost, within 100 m of the compost sites). Soil EC of the control site was uniform with depth to 3.7 m and less than 0.4 dS/m. In the compost sites, soil electrical conductivity (EC) ranged from 0.8 to 3.3 dS/m in the 1-m depth. High EC, K and Na in the 0-15 cm, and soil crusting in the windrow areas resulted in poorer germination and crop performance in the windrow than the inter-windrow areas especially in the first year. Crop yields were low and no alfalfa yield was observed in the compost areas.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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