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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 63 No. 4, p. 895-901
    Received: Jan 22, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): beghball1@unl.edu
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Phosphorus- and Nitrogen-Based Manure and Compost Applications Corn Production and Soil Phosphorus

  1. Bahman Eghball *a and
  2. James F. Powera
  1.  aDep. of Agronomy and USDA-ARS, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583 USA


Manure or compost application based on N needs of corn (Zea mays L.) may result in soil accumulation of P, other ions, and salt because the manure or compost N/P ratio is usually smaller than the corn N/P uptake ratio. This study was conducted from 1992 to 1996 to evaluate effects of P- and N-based manure and compost application on corn yield, N and P uptake, soil P level, and weed biomass. Composted and noncomposted beef cattle (Bos taurus) feedlot manures were applied to supply N or P needs of corn for either a 1- or 2-yr period. Phosphorus-based manure or compost treatments also received additional fertilizer N as needed. Fertilized and unfertilized checks were also included. Manure or compost application increased corn grain yield in all 4 yr as compared with the unfertilized check. Annual or biennial manure or compost application resulted in corn grain yields similar to those of the fertilizer treatment. Phosphorus-based manure or compost application resulted in similar grain yields to those for N-based treatments but had significantly less soil available P level after 4 yr of application. Biennial manure or compost application resulted in corn yield similar to that for annual application but increased available P in the soil. Estimated N availability was 40% for manure and 15% for compost in the first year and was 18% for manure and 8% for compost in the second year after application. Weed biomass was more influenced by nutrient availability than any weed seed introduced by manure or compost application. When application rate is based on correct N or P availability, manure and compost can produce corn grain yields that are equal to or greater than that for fertilizer application. Annual P-based manure or compost application is the most effective method of using these resources when soil P buildup is a concern.

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