Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version

January 2002


Published in 2002 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. Copyright © 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Soil pH can be increased by manure or compost application because cattle rations usually contain limestone (calcium carbonate). From 1992 to 1996 this study evaluated effects of phosphorus and nitrogen-based manure and compost applications (annual and biennial) management strategies on soil pH level. Manure and composted manure contained about 0.9% calcium carbonate resulting in application rates of up to 1,540 lb lime per acre in four years. The surface soil (0-6 inch) pH was significantly decreased with ammonium-N fertilizer application as compared to soil in the unfertilized check or to soil receiving manure or compost. Nitrogen- based applications resulted in higher soil pH than P-based, since P-based treatments also received N fertilizer.