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Effects of farm manure additions on soil quality and fertility - SP0501

Medium-term effects of addition of farm manure on quality and sustainability of soil will be investigated with particular reference to the impact of repeated farm manure applications on physical, biological and chemical properties of soil. Studies will be conducted at 4 sites of contrasting soil types (ADAS Bridgets (calcareous soil over chalk), ADAS Terrington (medium silt soil), Harper Adams Agricultural College (light loam soil) and ADAS Gleadthorpe (sandy soil)) which have a history of repeated farm manure applications; all sites will be managed as part of a conventional arable crop rotation for the duration of the study. Following addition of farm manure at each of the 4 sites, key indicators of soil quality (e.g. structural stability, soil strength, moisture holding capacity, microbial biomass C and N and microbial respiration) will be determined. Effects of manure additions on organic C and N contents of soil will be evaluated by measuring total organic matter, the light organic matter fraction and total N in soil before and after application of manure. Changes in soil organic matter status will then be compared with those predicted by models of soil organic matter turnover, notably CENTURY. Influence of manure additions on potential soil N mineralization will also be compared with amounts of N taken up by crops at harvest in the absence of N fertiliser. Results of the study will be summarised as a means of providing recommendations on the management of farm manure additions in maintaining soil quality and fertility.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Effects of farm manure additions on soil quality and fertility   (1402k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2002

Cost: £180,489
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Agricultural Land              
Environmental Protection              
Sustainable Production              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Soil Protection