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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347093

Research Project: Developing Safe, Efficient and Environmentally Sound Management Practices for the Use of Animal Manure

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research

Title: Interactive effects of animal manure and cover crop use in improving agricultural soil quality in Kentucky

Author
item Sarr, Sait - Kentucky State University
item Gebremedhin, Maheteme - Kentucky State University
item Coyne, Mark - University Of Kentucky
item Sistani, Karamat
item Tope, Avinash - Kentucky State University

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2017
Publication Date: 10/24/2017
Citation: Sarr, S., Gebremedhin, M., Coyne, M.S., Sistani, K.R., Tope, A. 2017. Interactive effects of animal manure and cover crop use in improving agricultural soil quality in Kentucky. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 218-9.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: With greater awareness of the wide-ranging implications degraded soils have in the food chain, there is growing interest in developing technologies and management practices to improve soil quality. To date, such initiatives are at the forefront of soil science as climate change is expected to alter some of the key soil biophysical and chemical properties. In this study, a two year on-farm demonstration is sought to examine the benefit and advantage of animal manure use as an alternative to chemical fertilizers with substantial potential to supply required crop nutrient needs while improving soil organic content. The on-farm study was conducted at two farms owned by minority farmers at Logan and Madison, Kentucky. The broad objective of this study was to determine if using cover crops and/or applying animal manure improves physical, chemical and biological soil properties thereby providing data for economic reasons and incentives for farmers to adopt the technology. Soils at each site was sampled and analyzed for texture, bulk density, organic carbon content, soil microbial presence, soil CO2 flux and relative water holding content. Comprehensive soil and crop tests and analyses were conducted to identify the key soil quality indicators for monitoring soil health. These measurements were taken prior to, during and after each cropping season. Preliminary findings will be presented. Keywords: conservation, cover crops, manure, soil productivity, soil health and quality.