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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Long-term Annual Manure Applications Increase Soil Organic Matter and Nitrogen, and Decrease Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 52 No. 6, p. 1668-1672
    Received: Jan 14, 1988

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. T. G. Sommerfeldt ,
  2. C. Chang and
  3. T. Entz
  1. Agriculture Canada Res. Stn., Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1J 4B1



The effects of long-term annual applications of cattle (Bos taurus) feedlot manure on the accumulation, decomposition (amounts and rates), and movement of organic matter (OM) and Kjeldahl-determined N (total N) in soil were determined. Manure was applied annually since 1973 at three different levels to nonirrigated and irrigated Dark Brown Chernozemic (Typic Haploborolls) clay loam soil. Significant increases in soil OM and total N content in the first 8 and 6 yr, respectively, as affected by the level of manure application, were limited to the surface 30 cm of soil of the nonirrigated and irrigated land. Tillage did not affect the amount of OM and total N accumulated in the soil, but it did affect their distribution within the 0 to 30-cm depth, which is attributed to placement during incorporation. The accumulation of OM and total N were similar under nonirrigated and irrigated conditions. Manure (C/N ratio of ca. 10.2) lowered the C/N ratio of the soil (ca. 8.2) by small amounts. The accumulation of OM and total N was described by a Michaelis-Menten type of function. A response surface was generated for the accumulation of OM and total N with increasing levels and years of manure application, from which the rates of accumulation and decomposition were derived. The rates of accumulation decrease with years of application such that after two or three decades increases will be small. The model can be used to develop general guidelines for use and disposal of feedlot manure under similar conditions.

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