Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2010
Publication Date: 5/6/2010
Publication URL: agronomy.org/publications/agronomy-journal/view/102-4/aj09-0382-pub.pdf
Citation: Carter, J.E., Jokela, W.E., Boxworth, S.C. 2010. Grass Forage Response to Broadcast or Surface-Banded Liquid Dairy Manure and Nitrogen Fertilizer. Agronomy Journal. 102:1123-1131. Interpretive Summary: Manure can provide valuable nutrients, especially nitrogen (N), for grass forage, but N availability is limited because of high ammonia N losses from standard surface-broadcast application of manure. Field experiments were conducted in northwest Vermont to evaluate an alternative application method, applying liquid dairy manure in narrow bands with a trailing-foot attachment. This method was compared to conventional surface broadcast application and several rates of fertilizer N to determine effects on grass yield and N uptake. All fertilizer and manure treatments significantly increased yields and N uptake above the non-fertilized control, and those from the high manure rate were greater than those from the low rate. The high rate of banded manure produced 80 to 110% of the yields from the high N fertilizer rate. Yields from banded manure were 6 to 14% higher than from broadcast manure in the two site-years where application method made a difference. On average, manure N was equivalent to 44% of fertilizer N (on a yield basis) when manure was banded and 34% when it was broadcast. Based on these results, surface-banding manure with a trailing-foot applicator has the potential to provide benefits over conventional broadcast application by improving N utilization and increasing crop yield.
Technical Abstract: Manure can provide valuable nutrients, especially N, for grass forage, but N availability is limited because of high NH3 volatilization losses from standard surface-broadcast application. Field experiments were conducted at two sites in NW VT to evaluate effects of broadcast or banded liquid dairy manure and broadcast N fertilizer on grass yield and N utilization. Treatments were applied to orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) on a well drained Galway silt loam and to reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) on a somewhat poorly drained Kingsbury clay soil. Manure was applied three or four times per year at rates of 25 and 47 m3 ha-1 using either a splash-plate for low-trajectory broadcasting or a trailing-foot attachment for spreading in narrow bands. Fertilizer N (as NH4NO3) was broadcast at 0, 28, 56 and 84 kg N ha-1 on separate plots at the same time as each manure application. Fertilizer N increased yields significantly to the medium rate (224 kg ha-1 yr-1) on orchardgrass and the high rate (252 kg ha-1 yr-1) on the reed canarygrass site. The high rate of banded manure produced 80 to 110% of the yields from the high N fertilizer rate. Yields from the trailing-foot, banded manure application were 6 to 14% higher than those from broadcast manure in the two site-years where method had a significant effect. Fertilizer N equivalence of manure (yield-basis) averaged 44% with banded and 34% with broadcast application. Based on these results, surface-banding manure with a trailing-foot applicator has the potential to provide benefits over conventional broadcast application by improving N utilization and increasing yield.