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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Special Submissions: Novel Manure Management Techniques in No-Till and Forage Systems

Interactions between Soil Texture and Placement of Dairy Slurry Application: I. Flow Characteristics and Leaching of Nonreactive Components


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 2, p. 337-343
    Received: July 16, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): nagl@life.ku.dk
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  1. Nadia Glæsner *ab,
  2. Charlotte Kjaergaardb,
  3. Gitte H. Rubækb and
  4. Jakob Magida
  1. a Dep. of Agriculture and Ecology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Univ. of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
    b N. Glæsner, C. Kjaergaard, and G.H. Rubæk, Dep. of Agroecology and Environment, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Univ. of Aarhus, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8860 Tjele, Denmark. Assigned to Associate Editor Peter Kleinman


Land application of manure can exacerbate nutrient and contaminant transfers to the aquatic environment. This study examined the effect of injecting a dairy cattle (Bos taurus L.) manure slurry on mobilization and leaching of dissolved, nonreactive slurry components across a range of agricultural soils. We compared leaching of slurry-applied bromide through intact soil columns (20 cm diam., 20 cm high) of differing textures following surface application or injection of slurry. The volumetric fraction of soil pores >30 μm ranged from 43% in a loamy sand to 28% in a sandy loam and 15% in a loam-textured soil. Smaller active flow volumes and higher proportions of preferential flow were observed with increasing soil clay content. Injection of slurry in the loam soil significantly enhanced diffusion of applied bromide into the large fraction of small pores compared with surface application. The resulting physical protection against leaching of bromide was reflected by 60.2% of the bromide tracer was recovered in the effluent after injection, compared with 80.6% recovery after surface application. No effect of slurry injection was observed in the loamy sand and sandy loam soils. Our findings point to soil texture as an important factor influencing leaching of dissolved, nonreactive slurry components in soils amended with manure slurry.

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