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Evaluating phosphorus loading from repeated manure applications to two Saskatchewan soils

Stumborg, C. and J.J. Schoenau. 2008. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 88: 377-387


An understanding of the impact of repeated manure additions on soil phosphorus (P) is needed to determine appropriate manure application rates for prairie soils and manure sources. The objective of this study was to assess the loading of manure-derived phosphorus using P budgets and soil P measurement techniques applied to two Saskatchewan soils with known histories of manure application. Liquid hog manure (LHM) and solid cattle manure (SCM) treatments were applied annually over 8 yr to Black Chernozemic soils (Dixon site), and LHM was applied to Dark Brown Chernozemic soils (Plenty site) over 6 yr. Soil samples were collected in the spring of 2003 and 2004 and analyzed for labile P (Modified Kelowna extractable, Olsen extractable, water extractable, and Plant Root Simulator exchange resin methods) and total P. The P budgets were in good agreement with the observed patterns in labile soil Pat the two sites. The annual application of LHM (37 000 L ha-1 yr-1) at agronomic nitrogen (N) rates with no additional P fertilizer (Dixon only) did not significantly elevate soil labile P compared with the unfertilized controls at both Dixon and Plenty. The annual application of SCM (7.6 Mg ha-1 yr-1) at agronomic N rates did not significantly elevate soil labile P compared with the unfertilized control at Dixon; whereas application of SCM at higher rates (15.2 Mg ha-1 yr-1 and 30.4 Mg ha-1 yr-1) showed some elevation in labile soil P. Measures of labile P were sensitive to P surpluses or deficits predicted by P balances, and all methods of measuring labile soil P were strongly correlated with one another at both sites (r>=0.803 at P<=50.01).

Key Words

Manure, cattle manure, nitrogen, phosphorus, soil test phosphorus