Effects of beef cattle manure on water stability of soil aggregates

Mazurak, A.P.; Chesnin, L.; Thijeel, A.A.

Soil Science Society of America Journal 41(3): 613-615


ISSN/ISBN: 0361-5995
DOI: 10.2136/sssaj1977.03615995004100030038x
Accession: 005292072

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A field experiment studied the effect of applying varying large amounts of manure on the size distribution of water-stable aggregates, and their resistance to dispersion during prolonged periods of shaking in water. It was hypothesized that the formation of highly water-stable aggregates as a result oforganic matter amendments to the soil took a relatively long period of time to occur. Beef cattle manure was applied at rates of 0, 180 and 360 metric tons/ha for 3 consecutive yr to a Sharpsburg silty clay loam soil in eastern Nebraska, [USA]. One yr after the 3rd manure application, soil samples were collected from the 0-10 cm depth of soil and air dried. Aggregates of 4760-9440 .mu.m in diameter were wetted under vacuum and then shaken in water for 2, 20 and 200 min. The size distribution of aggregates in water was measured using pipette, elutriators and sieves. Increased rates of manure application increased the percentage of water-stable aggregates > 295 .mu.m in diameter, and decreased the percentage in size groups 18.5-295 .mu.m and < 18.5 .mu.m in diameter after 2 and 20 min shaking periods. Distribution of aggregates present after 200 min of shaking was not affected by levels of manure application to the field plots.