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Influence of long-term feedlot manure amendments on soil hydraulic conductivity, water-stable aggregates, and soil thermal properties during the growing season

Miller, J.J., Beasley, B.W., Drury, C.F., Larney, F.J., Hao, X., Chanasyk, D.S.
Canadian journal of soil science 2018 v.98 no.3 pp. 421-435
aggregate stability, animal manures, bulk density, carbon, clay loam soils, cropland, feedlots, growing season, hydraulic conductivity, manure amendments, soil temperature, soil thermal properties, straw, thermal conductivity, volumetric water content, water stable soil aggregates
Long-term application of feedlot manure to cropland may change the physical properties of soils. We measured selected soil (surface) physical properties of a Dark Brown Chernozemic clay loam where different amendments were annually applied for 15 (2013), 16 (2014), and 17 (2015) yr. The treatments were stockpiled (SM) or composted (CM) manure with either straw (ST) or wood-chip (WD) bedding applied at three rates (13, 39, and 77 Mg ha⁻¹) and an unamended control. The effect of selected or all treatments on selected properties was determined in 2013–2015. These properties included field-saturated (Kfₛ) and near-saturated hydraulic conductivity or K(ψ), bulk density (BD), volumetric water content, soil temperature, soil thermal properties, and wet aggregate stability. The hypotheses that selected soil physical properties would improve more for treatments with greater total carbon in the amendments (SM > CM, WD > ST) was rejected. The exceptions were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower soil BD for SM than CM and WD than ST for certain dates, and lower soil thermal conductivity for WD than ST. Most soil physical properties generally had no response to 15–17 yr of annual applications of these feedlot amendments, but a few showed a positive response.