Animal manures can be very useful sources of amendments for building healthy soils. They are high in nutrients needed by plants and, depending on the species and the amount of bedding used, may help build and maintain soil organic matter levels. Because of the wide variability of the characteristics of manures, even from the same species—depending on feeding, bedding, and manure handling practices—it is important to analyze manures to more accurately judge the needed application rates. When using manures, it is important to keep in mind the potential limitations—pathogen contamination of crops for direct human consumption; accumulations of potentially toxic metals from high application of certain manures; and overloading the soil with N or P by applying rates that are in excess of needs, as demonstrated by soil test and known crop uptake.
Cimitile, M. 2009. Crops absorb livestock antibiotics, science shows. Environmental Health News. https://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/antibiotics-in-crops.
Elliott, L.F., and F.J. Stevenson, eds. 1977. Soils for Management of Organic Wastes and Waste-waters. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America.
Endres, M.I., and K.A. Janni. Undated. Compost Bedded Pack Barns for Dairy Cows. https://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/dairy/facilities/compost-bedded-pack-barns/.
Harrison, E., J. Bonhotal, and M. Schwarz. 2008. Using Manure Solids as Bedding. Report prepared by the Cornell Waste Management Institute (Ithaca, NY) for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Madison, F., K. Kelling, J. Peterson, T. Daniel, G. Jackson, and L. Massie. 1986. Guidelines for Applying Manure to Pasture and Cropland in Wisconsin. Agricultural Bulletin A3392. Madison, WI.
Magdoff, F.R., and J.F. Amadon. 1980. Yield trends and soil chemical changes resulting from N and manure application to continuous corn. Agronomy Journal 72: 161–164. See this reference for dairy manure needed to maintain or increase organic matter and soil chemical changes under continuous cropping for silage corn.
Magdoff, F.R., J.F. Amadon, S.P. Goldberg, and G.D. Wells. 1977. Runoff from a low-cost manure storage facility. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers 20: 658–660, 665. This is the reference for the nutrient loss that can occur from uncovered manure stacks.
Magdoff, F.R., and R.J. Villamil, Jr. 1977. The Potential of Champlain Valley Clay Soils for Waste Disposal. Proceedings of the Lake Champlain Environmental Conference, Chazy, NY, July 15, 1976.
Maryland State Soil Conservation Committee. Undated. Manure Management Handbook: A Producer’s Guide. College Park, MD: Author.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. 1994. Livestock and Poultry Waste Management. Best Management Practices Series. Available from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. 1997. Nutrient Management. Best Management Practices Series. Available from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Soil Conservation Society of America. 1976. Land Application of Waste Materials. Ankeny, IA: Author.
van Es, H.M., A.T. DeGaetano, and D.S. Wilks. 1998. Space-time upscaling of plot-based research information: Frost tillage. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 50: 85–90.
Table of Contents
- About the Authors
- Healthy Soils
- Organic Matter: What It Is and Why It's So Important
- Amount of Organic Matter in Soils
- The Living Soil
- Soil Particles, Water, and Air
- Soil Degradation: Erosion, Compaction, and Contamination
- Nutrient Cycles and Flows
- Soil Health, Plant Health, and Pests
- Managing for High Quality Soils: Organic Matter, Soil Physical Condition, Nutrient Availability
- Cover Crops
- Crop Rotations
- Animal Manures for Increasing Organic Matter and Supplying Nutrients
- Making and Using Composts
- Reducing Erosion and Runoff
- Preventing and Lessening Compaction
- Reducing Tillage
- Managing Water: Irrigation and Drainage
- Nutrient Management: An Introduction
- Management of Nitrogen and Phosphorus
- Other Fertility Issues: Nutrients, CEC, Acidity, and Alkalinity
- Getting the Most From Routine Soil Tests
- Taking Soil Samples
- Accuracy of Recommendations Based on Soil Tests
- Sources of Confusion About Soil Tests
- Soil Testing for Nitrogen
- Soil Testing for P
- Testing Soils for Organic Matter
- Interpreting Soil Test Results
- Adjusting a Soil Test Recommendation
- Making Adjustments to Fertilizer Application Rates
- Managing Field Nutrient Variability
- The Basic Cation Saturation Ratio System
- Summary and Sources
- How Good Are Your Soils? Field and Laboratory Evaluation of Soil Health
- Putting It All Together