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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Effect of Soil-Incorporated Dairy Cattle Manure on Runoff Water Quality and Soil Properties1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 4 No. 2, p. 163-166
    Received: Apr 25, 1974

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  1. F. L. Long,
  2. Z. F. Lund and
  3. R. E. Hermanson2



Effects of cattle manure application on quality of runoff water and soil properties were studied on 0.04-ha plots cropped with millet (‘Gahi-1’ pearl millet [Pennisetum americanum (L.) K. Schum.]) and rye (‘Abruzzi’ rye [Secale cereale L.]) and instrumented for measuring and sampling runoff water. Manure applied at the rate of 45 metric tons ha−1 year−1 (dry weight) for 3 years and incorporated into the surface 15 cm of soil did not result in runoff water biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) values exceeding those for untreated soil. Nitrate levels in runoff water were not affected by the manure application and averaged less than 2 mg/liter of NO3-N. There was a slight accumulation of nitrate in the soil profile due to the manure applications. After 3 years, nitrate averaged 0.15 and 0.08 meq NO3/100 g greater in the manured plots than in the check plots at the 0- to 45-cm and 45- to 90-cm depths, respectively. Nitrate accumulated in the millet forage above the safe level for feeding cattle, but not in the rye forage. Soil pH was increased to a depth of about 60 cm by manure application. Periodic carbon analysis of the soil indicated that organic matter was being decomposed fairly rapidly, and at the end of 3 years only 38% of the applied carbon remained.

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