Long term application of dairy cattle manure and pig slurry to winter cereals improves soil quality
Domingo Olivé, Francesc
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Organic fertilizers (manures and slurries) applied repeatedly over many cropping seasons favourably influence nutrient recycling, maintenance of soil organic matter (SOM), and improve soil quality parameters such as soil aggregation and porosity. These aspects are particularly relevant in Mediterranean
environments characterized by low SOM. This study was set up in a subhumid Mediterranean area where two different trials, devoted to winter cereals, were fertilized with dairy cattle manure (DCM) or pig slurry (PS) for a period of 12 years. One objective of this research was to evaluate the impacts of these fertilization practices on aggregate stability and SOM fractions, when compared with a mineral N fertilizer and a control (no-N) treatment. Porosity and pore shape were also studied in PS plots. The use of DCM significantly increased water stable aggregates by up to 16.4–18.0 %. Slurry addition did not affect aggregation but it increased the area occupied by pores >65 µm. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and light organic fraction (0.05–0.2 mm) increased with DCM incorporation but in PS treatments the SOC increment was non-significant. Data from DCM and PS together showed a positive and significant linear relationship between SOC (p < 0.05, R2 = 0.60), SOC light fraction (p < 0.01, R2 = 0.75) and SOC light fraction at 0.05–0.2 mm size (p < 0.01, R2 = 0.83), with water-stable aggregate. The use of animal residues (DCM or PS), applied according to an N criterion, increased available phosphorus and potassium soil content while improving yields. The enrichment of soil nutrients with DCM and PS use requires further research in order to avoid potential environmental impacts.
Is part ofNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 2016, vol. 104, núm. 1, p. 39-51
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