Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version

July 1998


Published in Transactions of the ASAE VOL. 41(5): 1289-1294 1998. Published by American Society of Agricultural Engin.


Manure or compost from beef cattle feedlots can be excellent sources of nutrients and organic matter when added to soils. This study was conducted to determine the effect of a single application of manure and compost on runoff and erosion under no-till and tillage conditions. Tillage consisted of a single disking operation up and down the slope on a Sharpsburg soil which was cropped to grain sorghum or wheat the previous season. Manure and compost were applied at rates required to meet corn fertility requirements. Additional experimental treatments included the application of inorganic fertilizer and an untreated check. The addition of manure or compost to the no-till plots containing sorghum or wheat residue resulted in significant reductions in residue cover. However, residue cover following tillage was unaffected by the earlier addition of manure or compost. Runoff and erosion from simulated rainfall were not significantly influenced by the single application of manure or compost. On the no-till sorghum residue treatments, total solids transport represented 5.1% and 3.3% of the mass of applied manure and compost, respectively. Total solids transport was 1.3% and 1.4% of the mass of applied manure and compost, respectively, on the no-till wheat residue treatments.