Effects of composted dairy manure on soil chemical properties and forage yield and nutritive value of coastal Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]
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Research was conducted to compare the effects of composted dairy manure and raw dairy manure alone, or in combination with supplemental inorganic fertilizer, on soil chemical properties and Coastal bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] yield and nutritive value. Composted dairy manure was surface applied at rates of 14 (125 kg N ha-1), 29 (250 kg N ha-1) and 57 (500 kg N ha-1) Mg dry matter (DM) ha-1, and raw dairy manure was surface applied at a rate of 54 (420 kg N ha-1) Mg DM ha-1 to established bermudagrass. Selected compost and manure plots received supplemental inorganic N at rates of 56, 84 and 112 kg ha-1 cutting-1 or 112 kg ha-1 cutting-1 of supplemental N with supplemental inorganic phosphorus or potassium at rates of 112 kg P2O5 ha-1 yr-1 and 112 kg K2O ha-1 cutting-1, respectively. Composted dairy manure (29 and 57 Mg DM ha-1) or raw manure alone increased cumulative forage yields compared to the untreated check in both years of the study, but were less than those obtained using only inorganic fertilizer. Application of 56 kg N ha-1 cutting-1 or more of supplemental N to compost (29 and 57 Mg DM ha-1) or iv manure produced forage yields that were equal to or greater than those obtained using inorganic fertilizer alone. However, increasing compost rate did not increase tissue N concentrations regardless of supplemental inorganic N rate. Yield and tissue K concentrations were increased in the second growing season when supplemental inorganic K was applied to 29 Mg ha-1 of compost or 54 Mg ha-1 of raw dairy manure. No yield response was observed when supplemental inorganic P was applied to compost or manure. Soil pH and concentrations of NH4, NO3, K, Ca, Mg and Mn were increased by application of compost or manure. Soil P concentrations in the 0 to 5-cm zone exceeded 200 mg kg-1 when compost was applied at the high rate. Dairy manure compost was an effective nutrient source for bermudagrass hay production, but will require the use of supplemental N and, in some cases, K to achieve yields comparable to inorganic fertilizer.
Helton, Thomas J. (2004). Effects of composted dairy manure on soil chemical properties and forage yield and nutritive value of coastal Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from