Soil nitrogen mineralization in a soil with long-term history of fresh and composted manure containing straw or wood-chip bedding.

Sharifi, M., Zebarth, B.J., Miller, J.J., Burton, D.L., and Grant, C.A. (2014). "Soil nitrogen mineralization in a soil with long-term history of fresh and composted manure containing straw or wood-chip bedding.", Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 99(1-3), pp. 63-78. doi : 10.1007/s10705-014-9618-9  Access to full text

Abstract

Long-term effects of fresh (FM) versus composted (CM) beef manure application to barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) on potentially mineralizable nitrogen (N {sub}0{/sub} ), and mineralizable nitrogen (N) pools, were evaluated in a clay loam soil in southern Alberta, Canada. A suite of laboratory-based indices were evaluated for prediction of soil N supply. The treatments were three rates (13, 39, 77 Mg ha1 dry wt.) of FM or CM containing either straw or wood-chip bedding, 100 kg N ha1 as inorganic fertilizer, and an unfertilized control. Treatments were fall-applied annually for 8 years (1998–2005). Soil samples (top 15 cm) were collected in spring 2006. The medium and high rates of organic amendment resulted in increases in N {sub}0{/sub} , and readily (Pool I) and intermediate (Pool II) mineralizable N pools in ranges of 140–355 % compared with the average of the fertilizer and control treatments. Fertilizer application had no significant effect on mineralizable N pools, but increased the mineralization rate constant (k) compared with the control. Application of FM and use of straw bedding resulted in a greater quantity of readily available and intermediate mineralizable N, and also increased the rate of N turn-over as indicated by greater values of k, compared with CM and wood-chip bedding. Among laboratory-based measures of soil N supply, CaCl2–NO3 (r2 = 0.84) and NaHCO3-205 (r 2 = 0.79) were strong predictors of plant N uptake (PNU). Increased soil mineralizable N did not translate into greater barley dry-matter yield or PNU. Composted beef manure and use of wood-chip bedding can be recommended as alternatives to FM and use of straw bedding for barley production is Southern Alberta.

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