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Journal of soil science and plant nutrition

On-line version ISSN 0718-9516


ANWAR, Zobia et al. Nutrients losses via runoff from soils amended with cow manure composted with leaf litter. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. [online]. 2018, vol.18, n.3, pp.851-864. ISSN 0718-9516.

Application of composted manures has previously been proposed as soil amendments capable of retarding nutrients losses via surface runoff, thereby stimulating infiltration rates. A study was carried out under natural rainfall conditions to assess the effects of cow manure after composting with maple and poplar leaf litter on nutrient runoff from two types of soils, a sandy loam and silt loam. Composted manure without added leaf litter to the soil was considered as a control treatment. Cow manure co-composted with leaf litter at four ratios (1:0, 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3). Soils were packed in the plastic lined wooden trays and the soil surface was mixed with the co-composted manure at rates of 10 and 20 t ha-1. Runoff samples were collected from the sloped trays (5%) during three rainfall events. Inorganic N (NO3 plus NH4), P and K concentrations were measured in the runoff. Application of manure amendments derived from composting with leaf litter to the soil reduced the nutrients losses in the order of 1:3 < 1:2 < 1:1 <1:0 regardless of the kind of leaf litter used. Irrespective of soil and application rates, N losses in the runoff were lowered with manure co-composted with leaf litter. Nutrients losses in the runoff were enhanced with higher manure application rates, depending on the type of the soil treated. It was concluded that application of manure amendments derived from composting with plant leaf litter was a useful option in reducing nutrients losses from soils.

Keywords : Composted manure; leaf litter; plant nutrients; runoff losses; natural rainfall.

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