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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343655

Research Project: Precipitation and Irrigation Management to Optimize Profits from Crop Production

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Changes in soil nutrients after 10 years of cattle manure and swine effluent application

Author
item Schlegel, Alan - Kansas State University
item Assef, Yared - Kansas State University
item Bond, H - Kansas State University
item Haas, Lucas - Kansas State University
item Stone, Loyd - Kansas State University

Submitted to: Soil and Tillage Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2017
Publication Date: 6/4/2017
Citation: Schlegel, A.J., Assef, Y., Bond, H.D., Haas, L.A., Stone, L.R. 2017. Changes in soil nutrients after 10 years of cattle manure and swine effluent application. Soil and Tillage Research. 172:48-58.

Interpretive Summary: Application of cattle manure and swine effluent to cropland builds nutrient pools, affects soil quality, and increases crop productivity. However, application of animal waste in excess of crop nutrient requirements may lead to build up of soil nutrients that may have adverse environmental effects. Scientists in the ARS led Ogallala Aquifer Program from Kansas State University evaluated the rate of change in soil nutrient concentration and soil chemical properties in response cattle manure and swine effluent applications over a ten year period. A significant build up in soil nutrients of phosphorus and nitrate occurred when cattle and swine nutrient applications were supplied to meet or exceed the crop's nitrogen requirement. These results indicate that farmers need to balance nutrient additions to crop requirements to avoid building up soil levels of these nutrients.

Technical Abstract: Application of cattle manure and swine effluent to cropland builds nutrient pools, affects soil quality, and increases crop productivity. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the rate of change in soil nutrient concentration and soil chemical properties due to cattle manure and swine effluent application. The study was conducted from 1999 to 2008 near Tribune, KS, with 10 treatments (three levels each of cattle manure and swine effluent [P, N, and 2N], three levels of N fertilizer, and a control). Soil NO3-N, P, K, micronutrients, pH, and EC were measured annually. Swine P treatment resulted in significantly greater NO3-N concentration in most years compared with all other treatments, followed by the Cattle 2N and Swine 2N treatments. The cattle treatments, in the order Cattle 2N greater than Cattle N greater than Cattle P, built the total N, soil P, and total C level significantly over the years compared with all other treatments. Soil pH did not change over time for most treatments except for the Swine P and Swine 2N treatments. Soil K, Cl, Fe, Zn, and Cu concentration increased significantly in cattle and swine treatments in 2008 compared with their initial level in 1999, and compared with check and inorganic fertilizer treatments. A significant build up in soil nutrients due to cattle and swine nutrient application suggests that they are good sources of many essential nutrients, in places where nutrients are limiting, but can cause excessive accumulation and increased environmental risk. A quick build up from Cattle 2N and Swine P applications calls for lower rates and periodic soil tests to determine need for further applications.