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item ADELI, A
item VARCO, J
item Rowe, Dennis
item El Balaa, Mohamad

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/8/2002
Publication Date: 7/1/2002
Citation: Adeli, A., Varco, J.J., Mostafa, S.M., Rowe, D.E., El Balaa, M.F. 2002. Comparability of anaerobic swine lagoon effluent to commercial fertilizer on soil nutrient dynamics. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 33:3779-3795.

Interpretive Summary: The nutrients in manures are often in forms unlike the salts found in bagged fertilizers. Knowing the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients in the manure may not accurately predict just how much manure needs to be applied to a crop. The difference between nutrients of commercial fertilizer and manure may also affect the rate of movement of nutrients down into the soil. Thus real field measurements are needed with manure fertilization. This research fertilized hybrid bermudagrass and johnson grass with different rates of commercial fertilizer and different rates of swine effluent from a lagoon (swine manure dissolved in water). Results indicated at the low and moderate rates of fertilization that the nutrients moved through the soil similarly for the swine effluent and the commercial fertilizer. At the high rate of fertilization, the nutrient moved similarly through the soil except for the nitrogen. The nitrogen from commercial fertilizer accumulated in the region of 6 to 24 inches deep at much higher levels than for the manure fertilization. This suggests that the very soluble nitrogen fertilizer is not being used as well by the plants as the nitrogen from the manure which is more slowly released in the soil for the plant. Thus the manure nutrient appears more effectively used by the plants and less likely to pass through the soil profile and less likely to pollute the runoff water.

Technical Abstract: The effects of swine effluent relative to commercial fertilizer on nutrient dynamics in two soils were studied. Swine effluent and commercial fertilizer were applied to established bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] on slightly acid Vaiden silty clay (very fine, montmorillonitic, thermic, Aquic Hapludalfs) and to johnsongrass [Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.] on a slightly alkaline Okolona silty clay (fine, montmorrilonitic, thermic, Typic Chromuderts) from 1994 to 1996. Treatments were multiple effluent irrigations resulting in 4 N rates from 0 to 665 kg N ha-1yr-1. Treatments were arranged as randomized complete blocks and replicated four times. Commercial fertilizer treatments were applied at equivalent N-P-K rates. The extractable soil P,K,Ca,Mg,Cu, and Zn at the top 5 cm of soil profile increased with increasing swine effluent application rates. For both soils, the high effluent and medium fertilizer treatments resulted in similar N03-N concentrations when compared to lower application rates. Excessive soil NO3-N was observed with the high fertilizer treatments with concentrations of 50 mg kg-1 or more for some depths of both soils. No significant differences in extractable soil K and P were observed between swine effluent and commercial fertilizer at the low and medium rates. However, at the high rate, P and K contents were greater for swine effluent than for fertilizer. Swine effluent applied at a rate equivalent to approximately 448 kg N ha-1y-1 minimized soil residual NO3-N and salt content, and appears to be the optimal rate under the conditions of this study.