Organic Agriculture

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 113–122 | Cite as

Potential traceable markers of organic matter in organic and conventional dairy manure using ultraviolet–visible and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

  • Zhongqi HeEmail author
  • Mingchu Zhang
  • Xiaoyan Cao
  • Yuan Li
  • Jingdong Mao
  • Heidi M. Waldrip


Very limited information is available on the impacts of organic farming practices on the chemical composition and properties of dairy manure. In this study, we found the differences in the absorptivities of dissolved organic matter between conventional and organic dairy manure samples at 254 and 280 nm, reflecting the difference in aromaticities of dissolved organic matter of the manures. The 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) characteristics of triple peaks around 30 ppm were more evident in organic samples than in conventional dairy manure samples. This observation was presumably due to more forage feedstuff used in organic dairy farms as this spectral feature was assigned to cutin and cutan from the outer cuticle of herbaceous plants. Thus, the distinct NMR feature of manure around 30 ppm, if further confirmed, can serve as a traceable forage marker to evaluate the authenticity of organic dairy farming programs.


Organic farming Dairy manure Traceable marker Organic matter NMR 


  1. Chefetz B, Salloum MJ, Deshmukh AP, Hatcher PG (2002) Structural components of humic acids as determined by chemical modifications and carbon-13 NMR, pyrolysis-, thermochemolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:1159–1171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dixon WT (1982) Spinning-sideband-free and spinning-sideband-only NMR spectra in spinning samples. J Chem Phys 77:1800–1809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. He Z (Ed.) (2011) Environmental chemistry of animal manure. Nova Science Publishers, NY. 459 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. He Z, Mao J (2011) Functional groups identified by solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy. In: He Z (ed) Environmental chemistry of animal manure. Nova, NY, pp 41–59Google Scholar
  5. He Z, Ohno T (2012) Fourier transform infrared and fluorescence spectral features of organic matter in conventional and organic dairy manure. J Environ Qual 41:911–919CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. He Z, Wang JJ (2012) Characterization of plant nutrients and traceable marker components in dairy manure for organic dairy farming management evaluation. In: He Z (ed) Applied research of animal manure: challenges and opportunities beyond the adverse environmental concerns. Nova, New York, pp 3–19Google Scholar
  7. He Z, Honeycutt CW, Griffin TS (2003) Comparative investigation of sequentially extracted P fractions in a sandy loam soil and a swine manure. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 34:1729–1742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. He Z, Mao J, Honeycutt CW, Ohno T, Hunt JF, Cade-Menun BJ (2009) Characterization of plant-derived water extractable organic matter by multiple spectroscopic techniques. Biol Fertil Soil 45:609–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. He Z, Cao X, Mao J, Ohno T, Waldrip HM (2013) Analysis of carbon functional groups in mobile humic acid and recalcitrant humate extracted from eight US soils. Pedosphere 23:705–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hunt JF, Ohno T, He Z, Honeycutt CW, Dail DB (2007a) Influence of decomposition on chemical properties of plant- and manure-derived dissolved organic matter and sorption to goethite. J Environ Qual 36:135–143CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hunt JF, Ohno T, He Z, Honeycutt CW, Dail DB (2007b) Inhibition of phosphorus sorption to goethite, gibbsite, kaolin by fresh and decomposed organic matter. Biol Fertil Soil 44:277–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Luo Y, Zhang D, Yu G, Shen Q (2013) Aromatic moieties from matured chicken manure and agriculture residues compost suppress growth of Lepidium sativum L. and Trichoderma harzianum. Pedosphere 23:826–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mao J, Olk DC, Fang X, He Z, Bass J, Schmidt-Rohr K (2008) Influence of animal manure application on the chemical structures of soil organic matter as investigated by advanced solid-state NMR and FT-IR. Geochemistry 146:353–362Google Scholar
  14. Novak SM, Fiorelli JL (2010) Greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions from organic mixed crop-dairy systems: a critical review of mitigation options. Agron Sustain Dev 30:215–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Patel M, Wredle E, Sporndly E, Bertilsson J, Kumm K-I (2013) Profitability of organic and conventional dairy production with different dietary proportions of high-quality grass silage. Org Agr 3:31–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sato K, Bartlett PC, Erskine RJ, Kaneene JB (2005) A comparison of production and management between Wisconsin organic and conventional dairy herds. Livest Prod Sci 93:105–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schnitzer MI, Monreal CM, Facey GA, Fransham PB (2007) The conversion of chicken manure to biooil by fast pyrolysis I. Analyses of chicken manure, biooils and char by 13C and 1H NMR and FTIR spectrophotometry. J Environ Sci Health, Part B 42:71–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schori F, Munger A (2014) Intake, feed conversion efficiency and grazing behaviour of two Holstein cow strains in a pasture-based production system under organic farming in Switzerland. Org Agr. doi: 10.1007/s13165-014-0066-2 Google Scholar
  19. Shao ZH, He PJ, Zhang DQ, Shao LM (2009) Characterization of water-extractable organic matter during the biostabilization of municipal solid waste. J Hazard Mater 164:1191–1197CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Shechter M, Xing B, Chefetz B (2010) Cutin and cutan biopolymers: their role as natural sorbents. Soil Sci Soc Am J 74:1139–1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. USDA (2011) Organic production and handling standards. United States Department of Agriculture. Washington D.C. Available at: Accessed: 02 Dec (2013)
  22. Weishaar JL, Aiken GR, Bergamaschi BA, Fram MS, Fujii R, Mopper K (2003) Evaluation of specific ultraviolet absorbance as an indicator of the chemical composition and reactivity of dissolved organic carbon. Environ Sci Technol 37:4702–4708CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Zhang M, He Z, Zhao A (2011) Ultraviolet-visible absorptive features of water extractable and humic fractions of animal manure and relevant compost. In: He Z (ed) Environmental chemistry of animal manure. Nova, NY, pp 61–81Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhongqi He
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mingchu Zhang
    • 2
  • Xiaoyan Cao
    • 3
  • Yuan Li
    • 3
  • Jingdong Mao
    • 3
  • Heidi M. Waldrip
    • 4
  1. 1.USDA-ARSSouthern Regional Research CenterNew OrleansUSA
  2. 2.Department of High Latitude Agriculture, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of AlaskaFairbanksUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  4. 4.USDA-ARSConservation and Production Research LaboratoryBushlandUSA

Personalised recommendations