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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Effect of Manure Application Timing, Crop, and Soil Type on Phosphorus Leaching


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 3, p. 1070-1080
    Received: Feb 28, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): hmv1@cornell.edu
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  1. H. M. van Es *a,
  2. R. R. Schindelbecka and
  3. W. E. Jokelab
  1. a Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
    b Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405


Phosphorus (P) leaching losses from manure applications may be of concern when artificial drainage systems allow for hydrologic shortcuts to surface waters. This study quantified P leaching losses from liquid manure applications on two soil textural extremes, a clay loam and loamy sand soil, as affected by cropping system and timing of application. For each soil type, manure was applied at an annual rate of 93800 L ha−1 on replicated drained plots under maize (Zea mays L.) in early fall, late fall, early spring, and as a split application in early and late spring. Manure was applied on orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) in split applications in early fall and late spring, and early and late spring. Drain water was sampled at least weekly when lines were flowing, and outflow rate and total P content were determined. High P leaching losses were measured in the clay loam as soon as drain lines initiated flow after manure application. Flow-weighted mean P leaching losses on clay loam plots averaged 39 times higher (0.504 mg L−1) than those on loamy sand plots (0.013 mg L−1), and were above the USEPA level of concern of 0.1 mg L−1 Phosphorus losses varied among application seasons on the clay loam soil, with highest losses generally measured for early fall applications. Phosphorus leaching patterns in clay loam showed short-term spikes and high losses were associated with high drain outflow rates, suggesting preferential flow as the main transport mechanism. Phosphorus leaching from manure applications on loamy sand soils does not pose environmental concerns as long as soil P levels remain below the saturation level.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA