Cattle manure as a nutrient source for barley and oilseed crops in zero and conventional tillage systems.

January 1, 1998 Plant Breeding and Agronomy Data 0 Comments

Cattle manure as a nutrient source for barley and oilseed crops in zero and conventional tillage systems.

Year: 1998
Authors: Stevenson, F.C., Johnston, A.M., Beckie, H.J., Brandt, S.A., Townley-Smith, L.
Publication Name: Can. J. Plant Sci.
Publication Details: Volume 78; Pages 409–416.


Manure application should be equally effective in meeting crop nutrient requirements in zero and conventional tillage systems in order to be sustainable in a semi-arid region. A study was conducted from 1993 to 1996 at Scott and Melfort, Saskatchewan, to determine if feedlot cattle manure and inorganic N fertilizer were equally effective as nutrient sources for barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), canola (Brassica rapa L.) and flax (Linum usitatissumum L.) production, and soil N dynamics, in zero and conventional tillage systems. Inorganic fertilizer was compared with a factorial combination of two manure treatments: manure composition (fresh versus stockpiled), and application rate and frequency (annual versus once every four years). Barley and oilseed yields at Scott did not differ between fertilizer and manure treatments, whether manure was applied annually or once every 4 yr. At Melfort, the site with the highest yield potential, grain yields were 24% lower with manure. This yield reduction could be related to soil N availability; net N mineralization was 37 kg ha–1 lower in plots that received manure rather than inorganic fertilizer. Yield responses to the different types of manure and inorganic fertilizer were similar under zero-till and conventional tillage management. Low levels of N volatilization from the manure, and similar levels of net N mineralization, explained why crop responses to nutrient source did not differ with tillage system. Feedlot cattle manure can be applied as a nutrient source when surface applied in a zero-till system without significant yield reductions compared with soil incorporation in a conventional tillage system. Author’a Abstract.

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