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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Hydrological Properties of a Clay Loam Soil after Long-Term Cattle Manure Application


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 3, p. 989-996
    Received: May 21, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): millerjj@em.agr.ca
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  1. J. J. Miller *,
  2. N. J. Sweetland and
  3. C. Chang
  1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 3000, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1


Limited information exists on the effect of long-term application of beef cattle (Bos taurus) manure on soil hydrological properties in the Great Plains region of North America. A site on a clay loam soil (Typic Haploboroll) was used to examine the effect of manure addition on selected soil hydrological properties in 1997 and 1998. The manure was annually applied in the fall for 24 yr at one, two, and three times the recommended rates (in 1973) under dryland (0, 30, 60, and 90 Mg ha−1 wet basis) and irrigation (0, 60, 120, and 180 Mg ha−1). Manure significantly (P ≤ 0.05) increased soil water retention (0–5 and 10–15 cm) by 5 to 48% compared with the control at most potentials between 0 and −1500 kPa. Field soil water content (0–5 and 10–15 cm) was increased by 10 to 22% in the summers of 1997 and 1998. Manure increased ponded infiltration by more than 200% at 90 Mg ha−1 under dryland (1998) and at rates ≥ 120 Mg ha−1 under irrigation (1997). Field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (K fs) of surface soil (1-cm depth) was significantly increased by 76 to 128% under dryland (1998) and irrigation (1997), as were number of pores > 1120 μm in diameter (37–128% increase). In contrast, manure rate had little or no effect on unsaturated hydraulic conductivity [K(ψ)] values (−0.3, −0.5, −0.7, and −1.0 kPa) in 1997 and 1998. Overall, soil hydrological parameters generally had a neutral or positive response to 24 yr of annual manure addition.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:989–996.