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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Nitrogen Immobilization and Mineralization Kinetics of Cattle, Hog and Turkey Manure Applied to Soil

Authors
item Burger, Martin - UNIV OF CA DAVIS
item Venterea, Rodney

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2008
Publication Date: November 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/22666
Citation: Burger, M., Venterea, R.T. 2008. Nitrogen Immobilization and Mineralization Kinetics of Cattle, Hog and Turkey Manure Applied to Soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72(6):1570-1579.

Interpretive Summary: Manure application to cropland can be an economical alternative to synthetic fertilizers and also has potential environmental benefits. However, there are risks both to crop productivity and environmental impacts. The risk to crops depends on the availability of the nitrogen (N) present in the manure, i.e., whether it is released in a usable form at a time of plant demand. The environmental risks depend on potential off-site transfers of N including nitrate leaching to ground and surface waters and emission of N-containing gases to the atmosphere. The chemical characteristics of the manure may affect these risks. This study examined N availability during 6 months following the addition of liquid dairy (LD), liquid hog (LH), solid dairy (SD), and turkey (T) manure to two different soil types and at two temperatures. Carbon and N mineralization, and microbial N immobilization, as well as nitrous and nitric oxide gas production, were measured. The model NCSOIL was calibrated, and experimental and soil temperature data were used to simulate plant N availability with various manure incorporation dates. Net N immobilization and was up to 54% and 17% of inorganic N in LD and H, respectively, and lasted 35 to 50 d at 25°C and 133 to 180 d at 10°C. No net N mineralization of manure organic N occurred in LD, H, or T over 180 d. In SD, 22% of organic N was mineralized. Under climate conditions typical Upper Midwest of the United States, no clear advantage of fall compared to spring incorporation of manure could be shown based solely on the immobilization-mineralization dynamics. This study provides information useful to scientists, extension services, and growers aiming to improve the efficiency of manure as a N source for agricultural crops.

Technical Abstract: The timing of nitrogen (N) mineralization and immobilization after manure application to cropland is critical for optimizing plant N supply and minimizing the risks of undesirable N losses. To determine first-season N availability after manure inputs that differed in organic N (No) to inorganic N and in carbon to N ratios, soil microcosms amended with liquid dairy (LD; Bos taurus), liquid hog (H; Sus scrofa), solid dairy (SD), and turkey (T; Meleagris gallopavo) manure at a rate of 154 mg total N kg-1 soil and controls without N addition were incubated for 180 d at 25°C, and additionally, LD and controls also at 10°C. Carbon and N mineralization, and microbial N immobilization based on uptake of 15N-labeled NH4+ in LD and control, as well as nitrous and nitric oxide production were measured. The model NCSOIL was calibrated, and experimental and soil temperature data were used to simulate plant N availability with various manure incorporation dates. Net N immobilization and was up to 54% and 17% of inorganic N in LD and H, respectively, and lasted 35 to 50 d at 25°C and 133 to 180 d at 10°C. No net N mineralization of manure No occurred in LD, H, and T over 180 d. In SD, 22% of No was mineralized. Under typical Upper Midwest of the United States climate conditions, no clear advantage of fall compared to spring incorporation of manure could be shown based solely on the immobilization-mineralization dynamics.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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