Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2011
Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Citation: Maguire, R.O., Kleinman, P.J.A., Beegle, D.B. 2011. Novel manure management technologies in no-till and forage systems: introduction to the special series. Journal of Environmental Quality. 40:287-291. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: Surface application of manures leaves nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) susceptible to losses in runoff and N can also be lost to the atmosphere through ammonia volatilization. Tillage immediately after surface application of manure moves manure nutrients under the soil surface where they are less vulnerable to runoff and volatilization loss. However, tillage destroys soil structure, can lead to soil erosion, and is incompatible with forage and no-till systems. A variety of technologies are now available to place manure nutrients under the soil surface, none of which are widely used as surface broadcasting is cheap and long established as the standard method for land application of manure. This collection of papers includes agronomic, environmental and economic assessments of manure application technologies, many of which clearly show benefits when compared with surface broadcasting. However, there remain significant gaps in our current knowledge, some related to the site-specific nature of technological performance, others related to the nascent and incomplete nature of the assessment process. Thus, while we know that we can improve land application of manure and the sustainability of farming systems with alternatives to surface broadcasting, there are many questions that remain about which technologies work best for particular soils, manure types and farming and cropping systems.