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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Heavy Metals in the Environment

Trace Elements in Feed, Manure, and Manured Soils


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 6, p. 1846-1856
    Received: Mar 30, 2012
    Published: October 4, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): sheppards@ecomatters.com
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  1. S. C. Sheppard * and
  2. B. Sanipelli
  1. ECOMatters Inc., 24 Aberdeen Ave., Pinawa, MB, Canada R0E 1L0. Assigned to Associate Editor James Ippolito


Modern animal feeds often include nutritional mineral supplements, especially elements such as Cu, P, Se, and Zn. Other sources of trace elements also occur in livestock systems, such as pharmaceutical use of As and Zn to control gut flora, Bi in dairy for mastitis control, and Cu as hoof dips. Additionally, potential exists for inadvertent inclusion of trace elements in feeds or manures. There is concern about long-term accumulation of trace elements in manured soil that may even exceed guideline “safe” concentrations. This project measured ∼60 elements in 124 manure samples from broiler, layer, turkey, swine grower, swine nursery, sow, dairy, and beef operations. The corresponding feeds were also analyzed. In general, concentrations in manure were two- to fivefold higher than those in feed: the manure/feed concentration ratios were relatively consistent for all the animal-essential elements and were numerically similar for many of the non-nutrient elements. To confirm the potential for accumulation in soil, total trace element concentrations were measured in the profiles of 10 manured and 10 adjacent unmanured soils. Concentrations of several elements were found to be elevated in the manured soils, with Zn (and P) the most common. One soil from a dairy standing yard had concentrations of B that exceeded soil health guideline concentrations. Given that the Cu/P and Zn/P ratios found in manure were greater than typically reported in harvested crop materials, these elements will accumulate in soil even if manure application rates are managed to prevent accumulation of P in soil.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.