Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version

January 2004


Published in Agron. J. 96:442–447 (2004).


Residual effects of manure or compost application on crop production and soil properties can last for several years. This study was conducted to evaluate residual effects of annual or biennial applications of N- and P-based composted and non-composted beef cattle (Bos Taurus) feedlot manure, chemical fertilizer, and no-treatment check on corn (Zea mays L.) production and soil properties. Manure and compost were applied from 1992 to 1995, and the residual effects were determined from 1997 to 1999. Residual effects of N- and P-based manure and compost applications on corn grain yield and N uptake lasted for at least one growing season while the effects on soil properties were longer lasting. Soil P can contribute to crop P uptake for >4 yr after N-based manure or compost application had ceased. The residual effects of manure and compost applications significantly in- creased soil electrical conductivity and pH levels and plant-available P and NO3–N concentrations. Four years after the last application, P leaching to a soil depth of 45 to 60 cm was observed with N-based manure or compost application. No residual effects of manure and compost applications on soil NH4–N were observed. Averaged across years, soil total C concentrations or quantities were not different among the treatments, indicating that total C was not a sensitive indicator. Residual effects of N- or P-based manure or compost application increased crop production for one year and influenced soil properties for several years.