Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251721

Title: Manure Application under Winter Conditions: Nutrient Runoff and Leaching Losses

item WILLIAMS, M - Pennsylvania State University
item Feyereisen, Gary
item BEEGLE, D - Pennsylvania State University
item SHANNON, R - Pennsylvania State University
item Folmar, Gordon
item Bryant, Ray

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/2010
Publication Date: 3/26/2010
Citation: Williams, M.R., Feyereisen, G.W., Beegle, D.B., Shannon, R.D., Folmar, G.J., Bryant, R.B. 2010. Manure Application under Winter Conditions: Nutrient Runoff and Leaching Losses [poster]. Twenty-fifth Annual Graduate Exhibition. March 26-28, 2010. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Winter application of manure is commonly practiced and potential nutrient losses can be difficult to predict due to wide variations in weather within a year and between years. This study was conducted to determine nutrient losses via surface runoff and subsurface leachate from winter-applied manure based on its relative placement with respect to snow, and to quantify the nutrient levels remaining in the soil that would be available for crop use in the spring. A soil thermal cycling system containing a commercially-available heating cable and 15-cm diameter PVC lysimeters encased in sand was used to replicate field conditions. Following the application of dairy manure and man-made snow, a snowmelt event and a rainfall simulation were conducted. During the snowmelt, manure covered with snow resulted in the largest mineral-nitrogen losses (205 µg/cm2) compared to manure applied in between snow layers (114 µg/cm2) and manure on top of snow (76 µg/cm2). Dissolved-reactive phosphorus (DRP) losses were greater for the manure on top of the snow (2.4 µg/cm2) than the manure in between snow layers (1.5 µg/cm2) and manure covered by snow (0.7 µg/cm2). Water extractable phosphorus (WEP) levels in the soil increased to 4 mg/kg from an initial value of 3 mg/kg, but did not depend on the placement of the manure. Nitrate levels in the soil only increased significantly when the manure was applied in between snow layers (8.1 mg/kg) compared to pre-manure soil conditions (2.7 mg/kg). It appears that the relative placement of manure with respect to snow plays a significant role in the fate of nitrogen and phosphorus from winter applied manure.