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Soil and Tissue Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and Sulfur as Affected by Dairy Manure Application in a No-Till Corn, Wheat, and Soybean Rotation

Parsons, K.J., Zheljazkov, V.D., MacLeod, J., Caldwell, C.D.
Agronomy journal 2007 v.99 no.5 pp. 1306-1316
Zea mays, corn silage, Triticum aestivum, spring wheat, Glycine max, soybeans, plant nutrition, soil fertility, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, dairy manure, no-tillage, crop rotation, liquid manure, nutrient availability, fertilizer rates, NPK fertilizers, nutrient uptake, Nova Scotia
The hypothesis of this study was that surface applied liquid manure may provide sufficient nutrients to silage corn (Zea mays L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] under a no-till system in the cool wet climate of Atlantic Canada. A 2-yr field study was conducted investigating the effect of crop rotation and fertility on P, K, Ca, and S availability to corn silage, spring milling wheat, and soybean in Nova Scotia, Canada. The rotations consisted of all six possible combinations of corn, wheat, and soybean, and the fertility treatments consisted of three rates of liquid dairy manure (LDM1-3) at 32.1, 48.1, and 64.3 Mg ha-1, a mineral fertilizer treatment, and a control (no fertility applied). In general, nutrient availability as measured by Mehlich 3 (M3) was not well correlated with tissue concentration. Tissue S in corn was lower when it was grown after soybean than when grown after wheat, and was highest in the LDM1 and in the control treatments. Rotation x fertility effects observed in the wheat nutrient removals were accountable to similar differences in yield. Wheat uptake of P was significantly affected by fertility, with the highest removal of P occurring in the NPK treatment, which also provided the highest yield. Results indicate that Ca uptake by wheat may be hindered by competition with K, and that K applied in manure at higher rates could build up over time. Potassium recovery in wheat was higher from the inorganic NPK treatment (37%) than from manure (from 16 to 4%). There were few differences in M3 available nutrients in 2001. However in 2002, LDM application resulted in higher M3 concentrations of K and Ca; there was a drop in P availability with the LDM3 (at 64.3 Mg ha-1) application; and S availability was highest at LDM1 and LDM3 (32.1 and 64.3 Mg ha-1, respectively). Further long-term studies may be needed to determine if surface applied LDM with no incorporation can sustain silage corn, soybean, and wheat nutrient requirements for P, Ca, K, and S, and maintain efficient nutrient use overtime under no-till conditions.