Biological Systems Engineering



Charles A. Shapiro

Date of this Version



Published by University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Livestock Environmental Issues Committee.


Reducing Spatial Variability of Soil Carbon and Phosphorus by Site-Specific Manure Application

Spatial variability can significantly influence crop performance across a field. Manure, a renewable resource, is an excellent source of nutrients that can be substituted for synthetic types of fertilizers. The carbon (C) and nutrients in manure can enhance the physical and chemical properties of soils, especially infertile soils, hence reducing soil spatial variability. Organic C constitute about 58% of organic matter in the soil (%OM = %OC x 1.724). Manure application not only provides nutrients for crops but also improves soil quality since the organic matter in manure improves soil physical and chemical properties. Manure also contains lime that will increase soil pH in areas with acidic soil pH. Therefore one would expect more positive effects of manure application on crop yield than chemical fertilizer application. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of C and nutrients in manure on soil C and P variability.