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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Dairy Cattle Manure—Its Effect on Yield and Quality of Coastal Bermudagrass1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 4 No. 3, p. 358-362
    Received: Aug 26, 1974

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  1. Z. F. Lund,
  2. B. D. Doss and
  3. F. E. Lowry2



The effect of year-round disposal of dairy cattle manure on Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers.) yield and quality was evaluated on small plots. It was applied as a solid at rates of 45 and 90 metric tons ha−1 year−1 and as a liquid at rates of 45, 90, and 135 metric tons ha−1 year−1, dry weight basis. The manure was applied six times annually at approximately 2-month intervals. Check plots received N, P, and K at the rate of 470, 225, and 470 kg ha−1 year−1 from mineral fertilizer during the growing season. The soils were Lucedale sandy loam and Dothan loamy sand.

Yields were lower on the manure-treated plots than on the mineral-fertilized plots the first year except for the 90 and 135 metric tons ha−1 year−1 liquid manure treatments on the Dothan soil. Yields were lower on the solid-manure treated plots than on plots treated with an equivalent rate of liquid manure on both test areas all 3 years except for the Dothan soil in 1973. The 90 metric tons ha−1 year−1 treatment yielded as much as the mineral-fertilizer plots the second year on the Dothan soil, but this was not true until the third year on the Lucedale soil. The 90 metric tons ha−1 year−1 treatments, solid or liquid, outyielded the mineral fertilizer check by 25 to 40% on the Lucedale soil the second and third years.

Nitrate N and organic N were highly correlated. Nitrate N was accumulated when organic N contents in the tissue were 2.5% or higher. Concentration of K in the plant tissue was high, but K/(Ca + Mg) ratios were not above 2.2, so the forage was not considered tetanic. Manure could be disposed of at rates of 45 to 90 metric tons ha−1 year−1 on Coastal bermudagrass and without impairing quality of forage.

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