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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Phosphorus Forms in Manure and Compost and Their Release during Simulated Rainfall


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 5, p. 1462-1469
    Received: Sept 1, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): ans3@psu.edu
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  1. Andrew Sharpley * and
  2. Barton Moyer
  1. USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Lab., Bldg. 3702, Curtin Rd., University Park, PA 16802-3702.



The large accumulation of P in manure from animal feeding operations in localized areas has increased the potential for P export following land application. Impairment of freshwater quality by accelerated eutrophication has focused attention on manure management and the potential for P loss in runoff. Thus, we investigated the amounts and relative solubilities of P in manures and their composts using a modified Hedley fractionation and release of P during simulated rainfall (70 mm h−1 for 30 min) in laboratory columns (15-cm diameter). Twenty-four samples each of dairy manure, dairy manure compost, poultry manure, poultry manure compost, poultry litter, and swine manure were collected over 2 yr. Total P concentration ranged from 2600 to 40 000 mg kg−1, mostly as inorganic P (63 to 92%). The distribution of inorganic and organic P fractions depended on manure and compost type. Most of the inorganic P, 80%, was water extractable (2030 mg kg−1), while 55% was hydroxide extractable in swine slurry (16 620 mg kg−1) and 38% acid extractable in poultry manure (9320 mg kg−1). The dissolved inorganic P concentration in leachate from manure and compost (10 Mg ha−1 manure application rate) during 30-rain rainfall ranged from 34 (poultry litter) to 75 mg L−1 (poultry manure). The amount of P leached by five simulated rainfall events was significantly correlated to respective water extractable inorganic (r2 = 0.98) or organic P (r2 = 0.99) of each material. This suggests that water extractable P may be used to estimate the potential for land-applied manures or composts to enrich leachate and surface runoff P.

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