Submitted to: Progressive Forage Grower
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Citation: Vigil, M.F., Poss, D.J., Benjamin, J.G., Mikha, M.M. 2016. Use of manure to remediate eroded hill top soils. Progressive Forage Grower. 3/33-34.
Technical Abstract: Soils damaged by the dustbowl years can still be found across the Western Central Great Plains. Most of these soils have lost top soil rich in organic matter. Our objective was to determine best management practices for remediating these soils using beef manure as an organic amendment. In a field study under semi-arid dryland conditions, we evaluated two rates of manure (approximately 3 tons and 7 tons/acre). These were compared to chemical fertilizer (and no fertilizer) as the check treatments. For some plots manure was applied on the surface and left unincorporated. Other plots were shallowly incorporated (4-5 inches) with V-blade sweeps. A third group of plots were incorporated 12-14 inches with a moldboard plow. The study was replicated 4 times and conducted over a 6 year period. Our results show greater crop yields with manure treatment when compared to just chemical fertilizer. In many cases the low rate of manure is providing a yield response that is nearly the same as the high rate. We also found no yield advantage when manure was incorporated with tillage. Whereas, the results are preliminary we suspect that the most cost effective method of manure application for the producer under semi-arid dryland conditions may be the no-till option.