Manure storage operations mitigate nutrient losses and their products can sustain soil fertility and enhance wheat productivity

Ali, B and Shah, G A and Traore, B and Shah, S A A and Shah, S S and Al-Solaimani, S G M and Hussain, Q and Ali, N and Shahzad, K and Shahzad, T and Ahmad, A and Muhammad, S and Shah, G M and Arshad, M and Hussain, R A and Shah, J A and Anwar, A and Amjid, M W and Rashid, M I (2019) Manure storage operations mitigate nutrient losses and their products can sustain soil fertility and enhance wheat productivity. Journal of Environmental Management (TSI), 241. pp. 468-478. ISSN 03014797

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Livestock manure is a valuable source of nutrients for plants. However, poor handling practices during storage resulted in nutrient losses from the manure and decrement in its nitrogen (N) fertilizer value. We explored the influence of divergent storage methods on manure chemical composition, carbon (C) and N losses to the environment as well as fertilizer value of storage products after their application to the wheat. Fresh buffalo manure (FM) was subjected to different storage operations for a period of ∼6 months, (i) fermentation by covering with a plastic sheet (CM) (ii) placed under the roof (RM) (iii) heap was unturned (SM) to remain stacked at an open space and (iv) manure heap turned monthly (TM) to make compost. During storage, 8, 24, 45 and 46% of the initial Ntotal was lost from CM, RM, SM, and TM, respectively. The respective C losses from these treatments were 16, 34, 47 and 44% of the initial C content. After stored manures application to the wheat crop, mineral N in the soil remained 27% higher in CM (14.1 vs. 11.1 kg ha−1) and 3% (10.8 vs. 11.1 kg ha−1) lower in SM compared to FM treatment. In contrast, microbial biomass C and N was 35 (509 vs.782 mg C kg−1 soil) and 25% (278 vs.370 mg N kg−1 soil) lower in CM than FM treatment, respectively indicating lower N immobilization of CM in the soil. These findings could result in the highest grain yield (5166 kg ha−1) and N uptake (117 kg ha−1) in CM and the lowest in SM treatments (3105 and 61 kg ha−1, respectively). Similarly, wheat crop recovered 44, 15 and 13% N from CM, TM and SM, respectively. Hence, management operations play a critical role in conserving N during storage phase and after stored manure application to the field. Among the studied operations, storing animal manure under an impermeable plastic sheet is a much better and cheaper option for decreasing N losses during storage and improving wheat yield when incorporated into the soil. Therefore, by adopting this manure storage technique, farmers can improve the agro-environmental value of animal manure in Pakistan.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anaerobic fermentation, Buffalo manure, Crop morphological attributes, Gaseous losses, Microbial biomass, Nitrogen use efficiency, Triticum aestivum L, Livestock manure, Nitrogen (N) fertilizer, animal manure
Subjects: Others > Soil Fertility
Others > Livestock
Others > Soil Science
Others > Wheat
Others > Asia
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 05:24
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 05:24
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: Authors are thankful to PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan for providing financial support of this study. Department of Agronomy, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan is equally indebted for providing technical support during the execution of the experimental and laboratory work. We also acknowledged the help and support of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Studies, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah and Ministry of Higher Education Commission, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We also acknowledged three anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggesions on previous version.
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