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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 1, p. 280-286
    Received: June 18, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): Jorgen.Eriksen@agrsci.dk
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The Fate of Sulfate in Acidified Pig Slurry during Storage and Following Application to Cropped Soil

  1. Jørgen Eriksen *,
  2. Peter Sørensen and
  3. Lars Elsgaard
  1. Dep. of Agroecology and Environment, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Aarhus, PO Box 50, 8830 Tjele, Denmark


Acidification of slurry with sulfuric acid is a recent agricultural practice that may serve a double purpose: reducing ammonia emission and ensuring crop sulfur sufficiency. We investigated S transformations in untreated and acidified pig slurry stored for up to 11 mo at 2, 10, or 20°C. Furthermore, the fertilizer efficiency of sulfuric acid in acidified slurry was investigated in a pot experiment with spring barley. The sulfate content from acidification with sulfuric acid was relatively stable and even after 11 mo of storage the majority was in the plant-available sulfate form. Microbial sulfate reduction during storage of acidified pig slurry was limited, presumably due to initial pH effects and a limitation in the availability of easily degradable organic matter. Sulfide accumulation was observed during storage but the sulfide levels in acidified slurry did not exceed those of the untreated slurry for several months after addition. The S fertilizer value of the acidified slurry was considerable as a result of the stable sulfate pool during storage. The high content of inorganic S in the acidified slurry may potentially lead to development of odorous volatile sulfur-containing compounds and investigations are needed into the relationship between odor development and the C and S composition of the slurry.

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