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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 184-191
    Received: Mar 31, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): vdna@ifas.ufl.edu
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Associated Release of Magnesium and Phosphorus from Active and Abandoned Dairy Soils

  1. M. S. Josan,
  2. V. D. Nair *,
  3. W. G. Harris and
  4. D. Herrera
  1. Soil and Water Science Department, 106 Newell Hall, P.O. Box 110510, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32611-0510


Dairy manure application to soils can result in phosphorus (P)-related degradation of water quality. The P in these manure-impacted soils can be labile even years after abandonment and under conditions normally associated with high P stability. Failure of P to stabilize with time compounds the environmental consequences of dairy manure disposal, especially on sandy soils. The objectives of this study were to compare chemical characteristics of active and abandoned dairy manure–impacted soils and minimally impacted soils and to assess the continuous release of P in relation to sparingly soluble salts using repeated water extractions, X-ray diffraction, and speciation modeling of column leachates. Soil samples from Ap horizons were collected from nine highly manure-impacted (total P > 1000 mg P kg−1 soil) areas on four active and five abandoned dairies and four minimally impacted soils (total P < 200 mg P kg−1 soil). Soil extracts were analyzed for electrical conductivity (EC), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), Ca, Mg, Na, and K. The EC of the soil solutions decreased as active dairy > abandoned dairy > minimally impacted soils. Release of Mg and SRP were significantly correlated (r 2 = 0.68) and did not decline after abandonment; Ca release was not correlated with SRP (r 2 = 0.01), and declined significantly (p < 0.05) after abandonment. Speciation data from column leachates suggested that Mg-P phases and/or the most soluble Ca-P phases could control P solution activities. An implication of this study is that P stabilization via crystallization of calcium phosphates (even at near-neutral pH) may be preempted by Mg-P association. Thus, mechanisms to minimize P release may require P-retaining soil amendments or management of animal rations to eliminate Mg-P formation.

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Copyright © 2005. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA