Dynamics of soil nitrogen availability indices in a sandy clay loam soil amended with animal manures

  • Habeebah Adewunmi Saka
  • Jamiu Oladipupo Azeez
  • Joy Nwakaego Odedina
  • Shade John Akinsete
Open Access
Original Research
  • 347 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

Transformation of nitrogen (N) from different manure sources to available forms to promote food security in context of rising climate change is vital. Effect of manure (types, nutrients, high rates and application time) on soil N transformation requires further investigation. This study evaluated effects of three animal manures on soil N mineralization of sandy clay loam.

Methods

A 22-week field study in a Randomized Complete Block Design (three replicates) was conducted using dried Cattle, Goat and Poultry Manures (CGPM), applied at 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 120 and 150 t ha−1 once at onset of the study. Also, N15P15K15 (0.4 t ha−1) was incorporated in three splits of 2, 8 and 14 weeks after incorporation (WAI) of manures as reference. Soil NH4+–N and NO3–N were determined bi-weekly.

Results

The results showed N release peaked at 10 WAI with highest NH4+–N (830, 400, 253 mg kg−1) and NO3–N (316, 398, 250 mg kg−1) at 150, 60 and 60 t ha−1 for CGPM, respectively. Initial rapid N release phase occurred at 0–4 WAI, NH4+–N and NO3–N increased averagely by 182, 183, 139% and 131, 175, 144% for CGPM, respectively. Declines occurred at 8, 14 and 22 WAI but reduction observed at 22 WAI tripled 8 and 14 WAI.

Conclusions

Application of NPK and all the manures provided highest soil NH4+–N and NO3–N at 12 WAI. High rates of CGPM were not injurious to these soil properties; hence this has implication for N to maximize plants uptake as well as decrease losses to environment.

Keywords

Animal manures Rates NPK fertilizer and nitrogen mineralization 

Introduction

Agricultural growth as a result of population increase had contributed to intensification of land cultivation; this causes severe soil fertility depletion. However, losses of nutrients in the soil have been replenished through the use of animal manures (Ramsasa 2010). Hence, the potential of animal manure use in soil replenishment has received the global attention. Currently, to many soil fertility difficulties, animal manures offer an affordable and readily available solution (Spore 2006) and are important source of Ca, Mg, S and micronutrients (Gomez-Brandon et al. 2013); they contain low and highly variable amounts of N, P and K. Aside from being source of plant nutrients, the physical properties of soil are also improved (Akanni and Ojeniyi 2008). However, the use of animal manures can pose a major problem of excess nitrate in soil (Azeez and Van Averbeke 2010b; Navarro Pedreno et al. 1996). The difficulty in the prediction of manure nutrients to plants is due to turnover processes and losses in manures (Azeez and Van Averbeke 2010a; Sorenson 2001). Therefore, incorporation of animal manures to supply nitrogen in proper dose at the proper time without posing any injury to soil and plants is very important in soil replenishment to support crop productivity. Hence, in order to predict the net mineralization of nitrogen in animal manures, transformation of nitrogen from organic into inorganic form and immobilization processes need to be understood. These processes are mediated through microbial activities and naturally, they are biochemical (Vel and Swamam 2013; Bartholomow 1965). Large variability in manure qualities (Chadwick et al. 2000) or types had posed difficulties for researchers in concluding on a specific rate of manure to support development of different crops. The consequence of these led to differences in the recommendations of 60 t ha−1 of cattle kraal manure for Corchorus olitorius L. (Masarirambi et al. 2012b), goat manure rate of 20 t ha−1 for sweet maize (Uwah and Eyo 2014); and poultry manure at the levels of 60 t ha−1 (Masarirambi et al. 2012a) and 30 t ha−1 (Enujeke et al. 2013) for lettuce and maize yield, respectively.

Animal manures at proper application time, adequate rates and proper nutrient contents when expanding the uses of organic matter in place of inorganic fertilizers for nitrogen mineralization to meet crop N requirement without adverse problem on soil, crop and the environment need to be investigated. This necessitated the study to (1) examine the release patterns of NH4+–N and NO3–N from different rates of three animal manures and recommended inorganic fertilizer rate to soil, (2) evaluate the potential rates of mineralization of the three animal manures on soil and (3) determine the influence of high application rates of the three animal manures on soil.

Materials and methods

Location of the experiment

This research was conducted at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, located between latitude 7°12′ N and longitude 3°20′ E (FUNAAB 2013). Irregularities of rainfall occurred during the period of the study (Table 1).
Table 1

Agrometeorological data for the period of the experiment

 

2 WAI

4 WAI

6 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

16 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

Agrometeorological data for the period of the experiment

 Rainfall (mm)

119.4

33.3

8.8

15.1

62.5

147.8

3.5

NA

87.3

35.6

43.1

 Mean Temp./day (°C)

27.9

28.1

26.9

27.5

47.3

54.6

39.1

24.9

26.1

26

26.9

 Soil Temp./day  (°C) (20 cm)

28.7

28.9

28.1

29.9

27.3

26.8

36.3

27.4

26.2

27.9

27.4

 Average RH/day (%)

79.8

77.6

73.6

73.1

81.1

89.1

80.6

80.6

80.9

84.1

77.5

 Mean sunshine (h/day)

5.5

6.7

5.2

5.4

3.7

2.7

2.9

3.4

3.1

4.1

5.2

 Evaporation/day (mm)

3.1

4

3

2.9

1.5

NA

0.8

3.2

2.5

2.8

3.4

Source: Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta AGROMET STATION, May–October, 2013

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures, Soil temperature at the depth of 20 cm, NA not available, Temp. temperature, mm millimeter, RH relative humidity

Experimental design

The experiment was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. Cattle, goat and poultry manures were applied at the rates of 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 120 and 150 t ha−1 separately; these were used to test the pattern of manure mineralization irrespective of the rates, to test the manure-induced soil factors that affect plant growth and also evaluate the residual effect of manure rates on soil properties. NPK 15–15–15 fertilizer was used as check for each manure treatment and applied at the rate of 400 kg ha−1 (Schippers 2000). Starting from 2 weeks after incorporation of manures but a day after application of NPK fertilizer, soil samples were collected at every 2-week intervals from the net portion of each bed at a depth of 0–15 cm with the exception of 6 and 16 WAI due to rainfall failure. The samples were air dried, prepared for laboratory analysis and analyzed for NH4+–N and NO3–N.

Soil and manures analyses

Initial soil sample and those collected bi-weekly were analyzed using the following methods. Soil EC and pH were extracted with 1:2 soil:water ratio and measured potentiometrically using HANNA 215 electrical conductivity meter (Richards 1954) and glass pH meter electrodes (HANNA pHep), respectively, (Van Reeuwijk 1993). The NH4+–N and NO3–N were extracted in 2 Molar K2SO4 and determined colorimetrically using the method of Okalebo et al. (1993). Available P was extracted by Bray P-1 extraction (Bray and Kurtz 1965), obtained colorimetrically (Murphy and Riley 1962). Exchangeable bases were extracted with 1 N Ammonium-acetate solution in 1:10 soil solution ratio, K+ and Na+ were analyzed with flame photometer, while Ca2+ and Mg2+ with Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) (Anderson and Ingram 1993). Organic carbon (OC) content was determined by Walkley–Black method (Nelson and Sommers 1990) and particle size by hydrometer method (Bouyoucos 1965).

The cattle, goat and poultry manures used were digested with nitric per chloric acid (2:1) (Watanabe et al. 2013; Silva and QueirÓz 2002). The digests were analyzed for macronutrients and micronutrients using standard procedures (Kaira and Maynard 1991; Cater 1993). Distilled water was used for extraction to determine the electrical conductivity and pH of the manures.

Statistical analysis

Data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using SAS (1999). Duncan Multiple Range Test at 5% level of probability was used to determine differences in the treatment rates means and also to show the significance effects on parameters measured in relation to the control.

Results

Agrometeorological data for the experimental period

Agrometeorological average data for rainfall, relative humidity, mean temperature, soil temperature, mean sunshine hour and evaporation at 2-week intervals during the experiment were presented in Table 1.

Soil characteristics

The result revealed that the soil used for the research had EC value of 0.69 dS m−1, pH of 7.6 and total N value of 0.8 g kg−1. The NH4+–N, NO3–N, OC and available P values were 0.013, 0.014, 14.2 g kg−1 and 7.5 mg kg−1, respectively. Exchangeable bases; K+, Na+, Ca2+ and Mg2+ had the values of (0.42, 0.82, 10.96 and 1.34) cmol+ kg−1, respectively. The carbon to nitrogen ratio (C: N) was 11.83. The micro-nutrients; Mn2+, Fe2+, Cu2+ and Zn2+ had the values of (55.1, 9.85, 1.2 and 5.1) mg kg−1, respectively. The percentages of sand, silt and clay were 770, 68 and 162 g kg−1, respectively.

Manures characteristics

The EC values of the cattle, goat and poultry manures were 12.4, 8.8 and 16.4 dS m−1, respectively, while the pH values of the cattle, goat and poultry manures were 7.9, 7.7 and 7.8, respectively. The equivalent amount of total N, NH4+–N, NO3–N, P, K, Na, Ca, Mg and OC in cattle manure added to the soil between the rates of 5–150 t ha−1 were 225.5–6765, 2.1–63, 2.2–66, 16–480, 37–1110, 46.5–1395, 148–4440, 47.5–1425 and 894–26,820 kg, respectively. However, addition of goat manure between the rates of 5 and 150 t ha−1 is equivalent to adding total N, NH4+–N, NO3–N, P, K, Na, Ca, Mg and OC of 241–7230, 1.6–48, 1.8–54, 3.5–105, 18.5–555, 23–690, 90.5–2715, 50–1500 and 1115–33,450 kg, respectively, to the soil. Hence, the equivalent amount of total N, NH4+–N, NO3–N, P, K, Na, Ca, Mg and OC in the poultry manure applied to the soil at the rates ranged from 5 to 150 t ha−1 estimated to the amount of 139–4170, 7.4–220.5, 7.5–223.5, 81–2430, 19.5–585, 24.5–735, 88.5–2655, 26.5–795 and 296.5–8895.0 kg, respectively (Tables 2, 3, 4).
Table 2

Equivalent amount of nutrients present in cattle manure rates added to the soil

Rates (t ha−1)

Total N

NH4+–N

NO3–N

P

K

Na

Ca

Mg

OC

Cattle manure nutrients (kg)

 5

225.5

2.1

2.2

16.0

37.0

46.5

148.0

47.5

894.0

 10

451.0

4.2

4.4

32.0

74.0

93.0

296.0

95.0

1788.0

 20

902.0

8.4

8.8

64.0

148.0

186.0

592.0

190.0

3576.0

 40

1804.0

16.8

17.6

128.0

296.0

372.0

1184.0

380.0

7152.0

 60

2706.0

25.2

26.4

192.0

444.0

558.0

1776.0

570.0

10,728.0

 80

3608.0

33.6

35.2

256.0

592.0

744.0

2368.0

760.0

14,304.0

 120

5412.0

50.4

52.8

384.0

888.0

1116.0

3552.0

1140.0

21,456.0

 150

6765.0

63.0

66.0

480.0

1110.0

1395.0

4440.0

1425.0

26,820.0

Total N total nitrogen, K total potassium, NH4+–N ammonium–nitrogen, Na total sodium, NO3N nitrate–nitrogen, Ca total calcium, P total phosphorus, Mg total magnesium, OC organic carbon

Table 3

Equivalent amount of nutrients present in goat manure rates added to the soil

Rates (t ha−1)

Total N

NH4+–N

NO3–N

P

K

Na

Ca

Mg

OC

Goat manure nutrients (kg)

 5

241.0

1.6

1.8

3.5

18.5

23.0

90.5

50.0

1115.0

 10

482.0

3.2

3.6

7.0

37.0

46.0

181.0

100.0

2230.0

 20

964.0

6.4

7.2

14.0

74.0

92.0

362.0

200.0

4460.0

 40

1928.0

12.6

14.4

28.0

148.0

184.0

724.0

400.0

8920.0

 60

2892.0

19.2

21.6

42.0

222.0

276.0

1086.0

600.0

13,380.0

 80

3856.0

25.1

28.8

56.0

296.0

368.0

1448.0

800.0

17,840.0

 120

5784.0

38.4

43.2

84.0

444.0

552.0

2172.0

1200.0

26,760.0

 150

7230.0

48.0

54.0

105.0

555.0

690.0

2715.0

1500.0

33,450.0

Total N total nitrogen, K total potassium, NH4+–N ammonium–nitrogen, Na total sodium, NO3N nitrate–nitrogen, Ca total calcium, P total phosphorus, Mg total magnesium, OC organic carbon

Table 4

Equivalent amount of nutrients present in poultry manure rates added to the soil

Rates (t ha−1)

Total N

NH4+–N

NO3–N

P

K

Na

Ca

Mg

OC

Poultry manure nutrients (kg)

 5

139.0

7.4

7.5

81.0

19.5

24.5

88.5

26.5

296.5

 10

278.0

14.7

14.9

162.0

39.0

49.0

177.0

53.0

593.0

 20

556.0

29.4

29.8

324.0

78.0

98.0

354.0

106.0

1186.0

 40

1112.0

58.9

59.6

648.0

156.0

196.0

708.0

212.0

2372.0

 60

1668.0

88.2

89.4

972.0

234.0

294.0

1062.0

318.0

3558.0

 80

2224.0

117.6

119.2

1296.0

312.0

392.0

1416.0

424.0

4744.0

 120

3336.0

176.4

178.8

1944.0

468.0

588.0

2124.0

636.0

7116.0

 150

4170.0

220.5

223.5

2430.0

585.0

735.0

2655.0

795.0

8895.0

Total N total nitrogen, K total potassium, NH4+–N ammonium–nitrogen, Na total sodium, NO3N nitrate–nitrogen, Ca total calcium, P total phosphorus, Mg total magnesium, OC organic carbon

Effect of cattle, goat and poultry manures on soil NH4+–N and NO3–N (mg kg−1)

Effect of cattle manure on soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1)

Table 5 reveals that at 2 WAI, soil applied with cattle manure rate of 60 t ha−1 gave highest value of 62.06 mg kg−1 in NH4+–N and lowest of 27.69 mg kg−1 at 80 t ha−1 by 171 and 21%, respectively, above the control, whereas percentage decreases of 13, 9 and 0.04% were recorded in soil with cattle manure rates of 120, 150 t ha−1 and NPK, respectively. But there were no significant differences in control and the amendment rates at 4 WAI. While at 8 WAI, soil with cattle manure rate of 120 t ha−1 had NH4+–N of 51.66 mg kg−1 with the highest increase of 98%, soil applied with 20 t ha−1 of cattle manure had 36.50 mg kg−1 of NH4+–N with the lowest increase of 40% in relation to control. The soil with cattle manure rate of 150 t ha−1gave highest NH4+–N value of 830.4 mg kg−1 by 636% but 5 t ha−1 resulted in the least value of 221.4 mg kg−1 by 96% relative to control at 10 WAI. However, the amendment rates were not significantly different from control soil at 12 WAI. At 14 WAI, highest increase of 61% and lowest increase of 14% above the control were obtained from soil applied with cattle manure rates of 150 and 40 t ha−1 with NH4+–N values of 29.32 and 20.88 mg kg−1, respectively. While 5, 10, 20 t ha−1 and NPK decreased by 38, 29, 31 and 72%, respectively relative to control. At 18 WAI, soil with cattle manure rate of 150 t ha−1 with NH4+–N value of 86.55 mg kg−1 recorded the highest increase of 290%, but 10 t ha−1 had 23.33 mg kg−1 and recorded the least increase of 5% over the control, while 5 t ha−1 with 21.11 mg kg−1 of NH4+–N decreased by 5%. At 20 WAI, soil with cattle manure rate of 150 t ha−1 gave 49.53 mg kg−1 of NH4+–N and had the highest increase of 111% while the rate of 5 t ha−1 had 25.03 mg kg−1 of NH4+–N and recorded the lowest increase of 7% relative to control. But the rate of 60 t ha−1 with NH4+–N value of 5.26 mg kg−1 recorded the highest increase of 149%, while 20 t ha−1 and 120 t ha−1 with NH4+–N value of 2.99 mg kg−1 each had the least increase of 42% compared to control at 22 WAI. However, the level of soil NH4+–N decreased in relation to the corresponding rates at 20 WAI.
Table 5

Influence of cattle manure rates and NPK fertilizer (t ha−1) on mean soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1) at 2 weeks intervals

Rates (t ha−1)

Means of bi-weekly analyses of soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1) with applied cattle manure

2 WAI

4 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

0

22.88b

68.11a

26.10c

112.90f

79.90a

18.245bc

22.19g

23.50f

2.11e

5

21.60b

69.31a

38.30b

221.40d

93.50a

11.315de

21.11g

25.03e

3.81c

10

31.96b

74.26a

47.40bc

270.30c

118.80a

14.43cd

23.33f

26.69d

4.81b

20

29.61b

78.80a

36.50bc

246.80d

133.60a

12.63cde

24.44f

25.06d

2.99d

40

37.45ab

75.52a

38.29bc

246.90d

121.00a

20.88b

26.61f

38.14c

3.53c

60

62.06a

71.32a

49.10bc

219.20e

107.90a

23.94b

36.66e

39.53c

5.26a

80

27.69b

73.13a

49.10bc

202.30d

122.60a

22.67b

42.16d

40.00c

3.49c

120

20.03b

88.39a

51.66a

408.60b

142.40a

25.20ab

66.58b

40.59c

2.99d

150

20.79b

75.35a

40.50bc

830.40a

149.90a

29.32a

86.55a

49.53a

3.39c

0.4

22.87b

73.25a

37.90bc

270.40c

149.40a

5.2e

50.30c

46.52b

3.59c

Means followed by the same letter(s) within the same columns do not differ significantly at P < 0.05 according to Duncan multiple range test

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures

Effect of goat manure on soil NH4+–N

Table 6 showed that aside the soil applied with goat manure rate of 150 t ha−1 that was significantly higher by 114% with NH4+–N of 48.27 mg kg−1 at 2 WAI, soil with other amendment rates were not statistically different from control. The soil with goat amendment rates followed similar trend as cattle treatment at 4 WAI. The soil NH4+–N increased in comparison with the corresponding rates at 2 WAI. At 8 WAI, soil with goat manure rate of 150 t ha−1 gave NH4+–N value of 44.17 mg kg−1 and recorded the highest increase of 53% while 20 t ha−1 had NH4+–N value of 34.60 mg kg−1 and with the least increase of 20% above the control. But reductions of 18 and 28% were obtained from 5 to 10 t ha−1, respectively. The level of NH4+–N increased relative to corresponding rates at 4 WAI. The soil applied with goat manure rate of 60 t ha−1 resulted in NH4+–N value of 400.3 mg kg−1 with highest increase of 300% while 10 t ha−1 had 225 mg kg−1 and recorded the least increase of 126% relative to control at 10 WAI. But 12 WAI followed the same trend as soil applied with cattle amendment. Furthermore, soil NH4+–N decreased in comparison with the corresponding rates at 10 WAI. Highest increase of 24% was recorded from soil with goat manure rate of 150 t ha−1 which had NH4+–N value of 22.88 mg kg−1 at 14 WAI. The soil with rate of 60 t ha−1 resulted in 18.67 mg kg−1 and gave the lowest increase of 1% more than the control. However, 5, 10 t ha−1 and NPK reduced by 29, 13 and 70%, respectively. The level of soil NH4+–N decreased in relation to the corresponding rates at 12 WAI. However, soil applied with goat manure rate of 150 t ha−1 had highest NH4+–N value of 88.77 mg kg−1 by 300% while 5 t ha−1 resulted in 26.63 mg kg−1 and recorded the least increase of 20% at 18 WAI, compared with control. At 20 WAI, soil with goat manure rate of 120 t ha−1 recorded NH4+–N value of 47.76 mg kg−1 and had the highest increase of 105%. But the soil with goat manure rate of 5 and 10 t ha−1 with the NH4+–N value of 24.45 mg kg−1 each recorded the lowest increase of 5%. However, there was a decrease in soil NH4+–N level in relation to the corresponding rates at 18 WAI. Consequently, the soil with goat manure rate of 120 t ha−1 which gave NH4+–N value of 4.99 mg kg−1 recorded the highest increase of 141% at 22 WAI while 5 t ha−1 resulted in 3.04 mg kg−1 with the least increase of 47% relative to control. There were decreases in soil NH4+–N level compared with the corresponding rates at 20 WAI.
Table 6

Influence of goat manure rates and NPK fertilizer (t ha−1) on mean soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1) at 2 weeks intervals

Rates (t ha−1)

Means of bi-weekly analyses of soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1) with applied goat manure

2 WAI

4 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

0

22.54b

66.92a

28.93d

100.10i

76.70a

18.52b

22.19j

23.35f

2.07c

5

20.89b

67.43a

23.85d

232.10g

85.00a

13.09cd

26.63i

24.45e

3.04c

10

21.50b

75.99a

20.75e

225.70h

93.50a

16.12bc

37.73h

24.45e

3.29c

20

25.77b

77.00a

34.60c

234.00f

95.00a

19.57ab

47.71g

29.79d

3.95c

40

27.57ab

70.55a

39.46b

308.70c

111.10a

19.51ab

49.93f

30.89d

3.28c

60

27.75b

77.68a

37.87b

400.30a

112.20a

18.67b

68.80d

30.89d

4.12b

80

27.98b

80.27a

37.58b

298.00d

134.60a

19.42ab

72.12c

40.00c

4.28b

120

30.74b

74.52a

34.80c

374.60b

123.50a

18.94b

79.62b

47.76a

4.99a

150

48.27a

92.08a

44.17a

308.70c

141.30a

22.88a

88.77a

43.35c

3.69c

0.4

23.98b

72.70a

37.14b

241.32e

145.50a

5.49e

54.00e

46.52b

3.78c

Means followed by the same letter(s) within the same columns do not differ significantly at P < 0.05 according to Duncan multiple range test

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures

Effect of poultry manure on soil NH4+–N

At 2 WAI, soil applied with poultry manure rate of 60 t ha−1 gave NH4+–N value of 50.86 mg kg−1 and recorded the highest increase of 153%. The rate of 10 t ha−1 had soil NH4+–N value of 20.18 mg kg−1 and had the least increment of 0.5% more than the control. But the values at 4 WAI followed similar trend with soil on which cattle and goat manures were incorporated. The soil NH4+–N increased compared to the corresponding rates at 2 WAI. Meanwhile, soil applied with poultry manure rate of 150 t ha−1 recorded highest soil NH4+–N value of 47.85 mg kg−1 by 90% at 8 WAI. However, soil on which NPK was added with NH4+–N value of 37.21 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 47% over the control. The level of soil NH4+–N decreased in relation to the corresponding rates at 4 WAI. More so, soil with poultry manure rate of 60 t ha−1 resulted in 253.4 mg kg−1 of NH4+–N and had the highest increase of 138%, while the rate of 5 t ha−1 with soil NH4+–N value of 110.7 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 4% relative to control at 10 WAI. The soil applied with poultry amendment rates were not differerent significantly from control at 12 WAI but soil NH4+–N level decreased relative to corresponding rates at 10 WAI. At 14 WAI, soil with poultry manure rate of 150 t ha−1 had NH4+–N value of 28.06 mg kg−1 and recorded the highest increase of 49% but 40 t ha−1 resulted in 19.86 mg kg−1 of NH4+–N with lowest increase of 6% more than the control. However, at 14 WAI the level of soil NH4+–N decreased in relation to the corresponding rates at 12 WAI. At 18 WAI, soil with poultry manure rate of 150 t ha−1 gave highest NH4+–N value of 73.23 mg kg−1 by 230% increase while 5 t ha−1 had least NH4+–N value of 23.27 mg kg−1 by 5% increase compared with control, whereas, 80 t ha−1 resulted in soil NH4+–N value of 52.44 mg kg−1 and had the highest increase of 127% more than the control at 20 WAI while 20 t ha−1 with soil NH4+–N value of 27.41 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 19%. At 22 WAI, soil with poultry manure at the rate of 150 t ha−1 with NH4+–N value of 4.45 mg kg−1 recorded the highest increase of 119% while 5 t ha−1 gave soil NH4+–N value of 2.08 mg kg−1 and recorded the least increase of 3% above the control. In addition, soil NH4+–N values decreased in comparison with the corresponding rates at 20 WAI, Table 7.
Table 7

Influence of poultry manure rates and NPK fertilizer (t ha−1) on mean soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1) at 2 weeks intervals

Rates (t ha−1)

Means of bi-weekly analyses of soil NH4+–N (mg kg−1) with applied poultry manure

2 WAI

4 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

0

20.08b

67.22a

25.25d

106.50i

71.50b

18.79b

22.19j

23.13g

2.03e

5

19.94b

79.79a

23.50d

110.72h

99.17ab

12.89cd

23.27i

28.60e

2.08e

10

20.18b

77.08a

24.72d

244.86b

120.20ab

15.29bcd

28.82h

28.60e

2.64d

20

29.40ab

76.61a

23.57d

219.16d

127.43ab

16.54bc

32.18g

27.41f

2.89cd

40

34.26ab

74.74a

35.25c

217.03e

121.00ab

19.86b

35.51f

27.44f

3.01c

60

50.86a

71.19a

47.35a

253.37a

144.01a

20.45b

45.59d

33.23d

2.23de

80

41.82ab

80.70a

43.37b

227.75c

156.33a

21.95ab

38.84e

52.44a

2.44d

120

46.06a

87.39a

46.43a

212.78f

140.80a

26.54a

65.55b

48.97b

3.28b

150

43.58ab

75.44a

47.85a

200.07g

153.40a

28.11a

73.23a

47.44c

4.45a

0.4

21.75b

72.98a

37.21c

212.24f

144.50a

5.88e

57.70c

46.52c

3.02c

Means followed by the same letter(s) within the same columns do not differ significantly at P < 0.05 according to Duncan multiple range test

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures

Effect of cattle manure on soil NO3–N

The soil applied with cattle manure rate of 60 t ha−1 resulted in NO3–N value of 54.09 mg kg−1 at 2 WAI by 119% while the soil with NPK had the NO3–N value of 25.98 mg kg−1 and recorded the least increase of 5% more than the control. The 4 WAI was in line with soil NH4+–N but the soil NO3–N values increased compared with the corresponding rates at 2 WAI. However, at 8 WAI, soil with cattle manure at the rate of 120 t ha−1 gave NO3–N value of 50.42 mg kg−1 with highest increase of 117% but 10 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 25.56 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 10% in relation to control. However, the soil NO3–N values reduced in comparison with the corresponding rates at 4 WAI, Table 8. Moreover, soil with cattle manure rate of 150 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N of 316.68 mg kg−1 resulted in highest increase of 201% at 10 WAI while 5 t ha−1 with 133.78 mg kg−1 had the least increase of 27% in relation to control. At 12 WAI, 80 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 139.60 mg kg−1 gave highest increase of 52% but 5 t ha−1 had soil NO3–N value of 97.70 mg kg−1 and had lowest increase of 7% relative to control. However, soil NO3–N decreased relative to the corresponding rates at 10 WAI. The soil with cattle manure rate of 120 t ha−1 gave highest NO3–N value of 26.42 mg kg−1 by 32% at 14 WAI while 80 t ha−1 with the value of 24.28 mg kg−1 resulted in least increase of 21% relative to control. But in comparison with the corresponding rates at 10 WAI, soil NO3–N decreased, Table 8. At 18 WAI, soil applied with cattle manure at the rate of 120 t ha−1 gave NO3–N value of 58.28 mg kg−1 by 106%, but 5 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 31.4 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 11%, relative to control. Consequently, at 20 WAI, soil applied with NPK had NO3–N value of 43.28 mg kg−1 and recorded the greatest increment in soil NO3–N by 116% followed by 80 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 40.00 mg kg−1 that had 100% increases, while 10 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 29.24 mg kg−1 had the lowest increase of 44% more than control. There was a decrease in soil NO3–N for cattle treated soil at 20 WAI compared to the corresponding rates at 18 WAI. However, at 22 WAI, soil appiled with cattle manure rates of 10 and 60 t ha−1 with the same NO3–N value of 6.58 mg kg−1 gave the highest increase of 107% while 150 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 3.31 mg kg−1 gave the least increase of 4% in comparison with control. The soil NO3–N decreased in relation to the corresponding rates at 20 WAI.
Table 8

Influence of cattle manure rates and NPK fertilizer (t ha−1) on mean soil NO3–N (mg kg−1) at 2 weeks intervals

Rates (t ha−1)

Means of bi-weekly analyses of soil NO3–N (mg kg−1) with applied cattle manure

2 WAI

4 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

0

24.75b

68.70a

23.28d

105.07f

91.70b

20.09bc

28.25g

20.00j

3.18d

5

21.81b

75.61a

29.17b

133.78ef

97.70b

12.68d

31.40fg

29.24h

4.50c

10

35.95ab

75.63a

25.56cd

179.56d

99.28b

13.89d

38.51f

28.74i

6.58a

20

31.29b

71.55a

26.00cd

151.61e

133.95a

14.76d

42.41e

30.00g

3.99c

40

40.31ab

73.86a

27.24cd

140.80e

126.00a

18.76cd

45.31d

37.66e

4.64c

60

54.09a

69.75a

48.69ab

148.78e

108.30ab

24.78c

48.39b

38.95d

6.58a

80

30.96b

76.65a

47.09ab

206.51c

139.60a

24.28c

58.26a

40.00b

3.96c

120

22.78b

83.65a

50.42a

208.28c

135.60a

26.42a

58.28a

37.31f

3.31d

150

24.70b

81.01a

45.74ab

316.68a

123.40a

25.74b

54.19ab

39.27c

5.20b

0.4

25.98b

82.56a

26.91cd

267.77b

145.50a

10.76e

46.82fg

43.28a

4.38c

Means followed by the same letter(s) within the same columns do not differ significantly at P < 0.05 according to Duncan multiple range test

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures

Effect of goat manure on soil NO3–N

At 2 WAI, soil applied with goat manure rate of 150 t ha−1 had NO3–N value of 50.29 mg kg−1 which recorded the highest increase of 133% while 5 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 23.13 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 7% relative to control. At 4 WAI, the trend was in line with cattle manure treated soil as NH4+–N. However, there were increases of soil NO3–N compared with the corresponding rates at 2 WAI. At 8 WAI, goat manure rate of 40 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 45.22 mg kg−1 recorded the highest increase of 102% but 10 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 24.95 mg kg−1 recorded the least increase of 11% above the control. In comparison of 8 WAI values with the corresponding rates at 4 WAI, soil NO3–N decreased. The soil with goat manure rate of 60 t ha−1 which had NO3–N value of 398.54 mg kg−1 recorded highest increase of 293%, 5 t ha−1 gave NO3–N value of 227.02 mg kg−1 with the least increase of 124% in relation to control at 10 WAI. However, at 12 WAI, 80 t ha−1 resulted in soil NO3–N value of 137.85 mg kg−1 and had highest increase of 51% but 5 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 100.70 mg kg−1 had lowest increase of 11% more than the control. The result revealed that soil NO3–N decreased compared to the corresponding rates at 10 WAI. More so, at 14 WAI, 150 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 23.22 mg kg−1 was significantly higher while other goat manure treated soil rates decreased in soil NO3–N compared with control. Consequently, the soil NO3–N decreased relative to corresponding rates at 12 WAI. The soil applied with goat manure at the rate of 150 t ha−1 had NO3–N value of 82 mg kg−1 and highest increase of 183%. The least increase of 4% was recorded from 5 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 30 mg kg−1 compared with control, at 18 WAI, while 120 t ha−1 with soil NO3–N value of 44.69 mg kg−1 resulted in highest increment of 111% at 20 WAI. But 5 t ha−1 gave 28.75 mg kg−1 of NO3–N and recorded lowest increase of 36% in relation to control. In comparison with the corresponding rates at 18 WAI, there were decreases in soil NO3–N level. At 22 WAI, soil with goat manure rate of 120 t ha−1 had NO3–N value of 5.79 mg kg−1 and gave highest increase of 78% but 5 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 3.34 mg kg−1 recorded least increase of 3% more than the control. The values also decreased compared to corresponding rates at 20 WAI, Table 9.
Table 9

Influence of goat manure rates and NPK fertilizer (t ha−1) on mean soil NO3–N (mg kg−1) at 2 weeks intervals

Rates (t ha−1)

Means of bi-weekly analyses of soil NO3–N (mg kg−1) with applied goat manure

2 WAI

4 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

0

21.61b

70.33a

22.39d

101.35f

91.10d

19.00ab

29.00i

21.22g

3.26d

5

23.13b

78.52a

25.49bcd

227.02e

100.70d

14.68cde

30.00h

28.75f

3.34d

10

35.21ab

70.40a

24.95cd

232.24e

114.10b

15.92cde

31.00g

30.00e

4.27c

20

30.42ab

81.69a

28.25c

270.24d

112.10bc

18.14bcd

49.00d

30.08e

5.34b

40

27.64b

74.28a

45.22a

309.51b

113.50bc

19.25ab

36.00f

33.55d

5.55b

60

27.11b

83.51a

33.84b

398.54a

115.80b

18.95bc

72.00b

41.76c

5.34b

80

24.49b

83.83a

28.46c

313.51c

137.80a

19.85ab

70.00c

40.00c

5.41b

120

34.26ab

80.55a

31.81bc

317.41c

132.70b

17.56bcd

72.00b

44.69a

5.79a

150

50.29a

84.04a

31.47bc

374.18b

117.80b

23.22a

82.00a

40.77c

5.51b

0.4

26.32b

78.15a

27.59c

261.51d

141.05a

10.82e

46.68e

42.22b

4.53c

Means followed by the same letter(s) within the same columns do not differ significantly at P < 0.05 according to Duncan multiple range test

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures

Effect of poultry manure on soil NO3–N

Table 10 presented that at 2 WAI, soil applied with poultry manure rate of 60 t ha−1 had NO3–N value of 51.22 mg kg−1 and recorded the highest increase of 127%. The rate of 10 t ha−1 gave NO3–N value of 23.54 mg kg−1 and recorded the least increase of 7% more than the control. The 4 WAI was also similar to others above. The soil with poultry manure rate of 120 t ha−1 with the value of 35.42 mg kg−1 recorded the highest increase of 59% in soil NO3–N while 20 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 23.74 mg kg−1 had the least increase of 7% relative to control at 8 WAI. Soil NO3–N decreased in comparison with the corresponding rates at 4 WAI. Furthermore, soil applied with NPK gave highest NO3–N value of 261.76 mg kg−1 with increment of 151% while 5 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 114.46 mg kg−1 presented least increase of 10% compared with control at 10 WAI. However, soil with poultry manure rate of 80 t ha−1 with 153.75 mg kg−1 of NO3–N resulted to highest increment of 68% but 5 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 99.49 mg kg−1 had lowest increase of 9% relative to control at 12 WAI. There were decrements at 12 WAI in relation to the corresponding rates at 10 WAI. More so, soil with poultry manure rate of 150 t ha−1 recorded NO3–N value of 25.87 mg kg−1 and gave the highest increase of 35% at 14 WAI. But soil NO3–N decreased in relation to the corresponding rates at 12 WAI. The rate of 120 t ha−1 recorded highest NO3–N value of 46.55 mg kg−1 by 62% and the least increase of 8% was recorded from 5 t ha−1 with NO3–N value of 30.42 mg kg−1 relative to control, at 18 WAI. Consequently, at 20 WAI, 80 t ha−1 presented soil NO3–N value of 56.38 mg kg−1 and this resulted in highest increment of 178% while 5 t ha−1 had NO3–N value of 30 mg kg−1 by 88% over the control. Increments in relation to 18 WAI were erratic. At 22 WAI, the rates of soil amended with poultry manure were not significantly different from control but NO3–N level reduced when compared to the corresponding rates at 20 WAI.
Table 10

Influence of poultry manure rates and NPK fertilizer (t ha−1) on mean soil NO3–N (mg kg−1) at 2 weeks intervals

Rates (t ha−1)

Mean of bi-weekly analyses of soil NO3–N (mg kg−1) with applied poultry manure

2 WAI

4 WAI

8 WAI

10 WAI

12 WAI

14 WAI

18 WAI

20 WAI

22 WAI

0

22.59d

68.51a

22.46d

104.19f

91.40g

19.11b

28.18j

20.28j

3.19a

5

22.38d

72.95a

24.23cd

114.46f

99.49f

12.08e

30.42i

30.00i

5.59a

10

23.54d

82.25a

24.88cd

239.48b

145.95bc

12.12d

30.96h

30.48h

4.16a

20

28.91bcd

76.99a

23.94c

230.91b

123.60de

13.79d

35.63g

38.77f

4.12a

40

46.00abc

68.69a

25.55c

240.08b

131.15d

17.87cd

37.37f

42.08e

3.55a

60

51.22a

65.63a

24.98cd

250.14a

144.35c

16.50cd

44.12d

49.64c

2.96a

80

43.11abcd

77.76a

28.96b

228.89c

153.75a

16.28cd

40.22e

56.38a

3.18a

120

47.37ab

84.95a

35.42a

217.42d

121.90e

17.19cd

46.55a

54.19b

4.73a

150

37.65abcd

75.35a

28.05b

211.43e

145.95bc

25.87a

45.66b

31.32g

2.37a

0.4

24.76cd

84.32a

28.96b

261.76a

145.40bc

10.34f

45.23c

42.81d

4.35a

Means followed by the same letter(s) within the same columns do not differ significantly at P < 0.05 according to Duncan multiple range test

WAI weeks after incorporation of manures

Discussion

Soil characteristics

The soil used for the research was sandy clay loam (USDA 2010), slightly saline (LAS 2014), and slightly alkaline (Pam and Brian 2007) and these could support plant performances. More so, the soil was deficient in total nitrogen (McBride 2015; USDA-SCS 1974) and had low available P content (ENDMEMO 2015; Mallarino 2000) which could retard crop development. It contained moderate OC (McBride 2015; USDA-SCS 1974), exchangeable K+ and Mg2+ (Pam and Brian 2007); these were optimal for performance of the crop. The high exchangeable Na+ and Ca2+ contents (Pam and Brian 2007) could be attributed to the decomposition of the organic matter content of the soil due to high temperature, evaporation rate, sunshine hours/day and low rainfall during the research. This confirmed the studies of some researchers (Davidson and Jannssens 2006; Friedlingstein et al. 2006). The NH4+–N and NO3–N contents were low and C: N ratio was considered normal (Hill 2001) and could be as a result of low rainfall during this period. The copper, iron and zinc contents were very high (Enwezor et al. 1989).

Manure characteristics

The EC of the three manures applied were very strongly saline (LAS 2014). This could be as a result of high concentration of cationic salts in the manures. More so, the highest EC value of poultry manure compared with the cattle and goat manures support the findings of Azeez and Van Averbeke (2010a, b) and could be attributed to the highest NH4+–N, NO3–N and total P contents in poultry manure compared to others. The pH of the pure goat and poultry manures was considered mildy alkaline, whereas that of cattle manure was moderately alkaline (Pam and Brian 2007). This would allow for nutrients availability in the soil after mineralization. It was observed from the result that cattle manure had the highest total K, Na and Ca over the goat and poultry manures. However, goat manure was higher in total N, Mg and OC in relative to cattle and poultry manures. Very low value of total P in goat manure could be a result of the nutrient concentrations of the feed given to the animals. This is because they were fed with elephant grasses and wheat offal under intensive system although the nutrient contents of the feed were not measured. Equivalent amount of total N contents present in goat manure applied was higher than cattle and poultry manures. High P content in poultry manure could also contribute to the yield quality of crops at lower rates than cattle and goat manures. Cattle manure recorded highest equivalent amount of pH, total K, Na and Ca than goat and poultry manures; this could be attributed to the higher EC value in cattle manure than goat manure and confirmed the report of Monica (2013). Highest contents of total N, Mg and OC in goat manure compared with cattle and poultry manures suggested the reason for lowest value of EC in goat manure applied during the studies. This is because Mg was the only salt forming cation that was highest in goat manure. Highest total N could be a result of N level in the feed given to the goat animals, although the nutrient contents of the feed were not determined.

Manure mineralization processes in the soil

Incorporation of cattle, goat and poultry manures increased the concentration of NH4+–N; this supports the findings of Sajal and Abul Kashem (2014) and NO3–N depending on the rates (Eghball et al. 2002) compared with control. However, the low values of NH4+–N between 0 and 8 WAI of the manures could be attributed to conversion of NH4+–N to NO3–N as supported in the study of (Hoskins 2015) that, between 2 and 4 weeks, NH4+–N converted relatively quickly to NO3–N in a soil applied with broiler manure. However, mineralization of organic N into inorganic form of NH4+–N and NO3–N occurred between 8 and 14 WAI of manures. Consequently, the low NH4+–N between 18 and 22 WAI could be attributed to ammonia volatilization (Meissinger and Jokela 2000) while low NO3–N contents between 18 and 22 WAI could be attributed to leaching (Tom 2002; Marco et al. 2002) and plant root uptake. The low NO3–N contents in soil applied with NPK fertilizer at 18 WAI compared with 8 and 14 WAI could be attributed to acidic properties of NPK fertilizer, since acidity reduces soil microbial activity and this would in turn reduce nutrient mineralization (Xu et al. 2002).

Mineralization of NH4+–N and NO3–N contents occurred in the soil with the maximum values at 10 WAI for cattle, goat and poultry manures but was contrary to the results of Azeez and Van Averbeke (2010b) that sharp increase in N release was at 120 days; and (Ayeni 2011; Ayeni and Adeleye 2011), that release of poultry manure nutrients proportion is between 1 and 2 months of incubation. The variability of mineralization processes could be attributed to microbial activities as suggested by Vinten et al. (2002); and climatic variations. Hence, the turnover processes and losses have influence on availability of nutrients in manures; this is why the prediction of manure nutrients to plants is problematic (Azeez and Van Averbeke 2010b; Sorenson 2001).

Very low N mineralization at 14 WAI compared to 12 WAI could be attributed to very low rainfall during this period. This corroborated the report of Jonathan (2006) that in dry soils, N mineralization is low because soil micro-organism activity is limited by water availability. More so, low NH4+–N suggested to be as a result of volatilization of NH3 as this is favored by warm temperature wet soils under drying conditions (Tom 2002; James 2001). While low NO3–N could be as a result of leaching that might have occurred at 12 WAI due to very high rainfall at this period, this also corroborated the work of Tom (2002) that NO3 in the soil can be lost through percolation of water below the active root zone.

Across weeks after incorporation of the three manures, application rates of 20 t ha−1 for cattle, 40 t ha−1 for goat and poultry manure at the rate of 10 t ha−1 were not widely significantly different when compared to higher rates. Therefore, addition of manures more than these rates to the soil could lead to wastage as these did not increase the amount of NH4+–N and NO3–N in the soil sequentially according to this study. Although the high rates of cattle, goat and poultry manures were significantly higher relative to lower rates in this research, these suggested not to be encouraged as the increments were not regular across the weeks after manure application. The irregularity could be attributed to volatilization (Meissinger and Jokela 2000) and leaching (Tom 2002; Marco et al. 2002) of the NH4+–N and NO3–N in the soil, respectively.

During this work, NPK fertilizer applied was able to supply equal amount of NH4+–N to the soil when compared with 10 t ha−1 of cattle manure treatment between 2 and 12 WAI. But goat manure treated soil at 60 t ha−1 supplied equal amount of NH4+–N compared to NPK fertilizer between 2 and 8 WAI, while 40 t ha−1 of poultry manure was able to supply equal amount of NH4+–N to the soil compared to NPK fertilizer at 0.4 t ha−1 between 2 and 8 WAI. This suggested that cattle, goat and poultry manures incorporated to the soil at 10, 60 and 40 t ha−1, respectively, supplied equal amount of NH4+–N compared to NPK fertilizer at 0.4 t ha−1 within 6 weeks. The low NH4+–N and NO3–N contents of the soils applied with NPK fertilizer at 14 WAI compared with cattle, goat and manure treated soils rates could be attributed to acidic properties of NPK fertilizer. This corroborated the study results of Xu et al. (2002) that acidity reduces soil microbial activity resulting in reduced nutrient mineralization. This could also be attributed to depletion of soil organic matter as a result of synthetic fertilization (Jonathan 2006).

Conclusion and recommendation

Generally, addition of NPK 15–15–15 fertilizer, cattle, goat and poultry manures improved the soil NH4+–N and NO3–N compared with control. The NH4+–N and NO3–N contents of the soil between 2 and 8 WAI increased with the application of cattle, goat and poultry manures. However, between 8 and 14 WAI mineralization of NH4+–N and NO3–N occurred but peak values were obtained at 10 WAI irrespective of the manures types and rates. Finally, the effect of cattle, goat and poultry manures on NH4+–N and NO3–N decreased between 18 and 22 WAI.

To increase soil NH4+–N and NO3–N for optimum production of crops yield, application of cattle, goat and poultry manures is recommended. It is recommended that application rate of 20 t ha−1 for cattle, 40 t ha−1 for goat and poultry manure at the rate of 10 t ha−1 would provide optimum and improve the soil nutrients level which will be retained in the soil for longer period. To improve soil with low N contents, poultry manure is recommended. Meanwhile, addition of cattle, goat and poultry manures to supply NH4+–N and NO3–N to the soil with regard to sowing dates is recommended to be 2 WAI as this would allow equilibration of the manures with the soil prior to planting, while incorporation of these three manures for crop needs is recommended to be 8 WAI.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The assistance of people that contributed to the success of this research is gratefully appreciated while the expressions, views and conclusions attained are for the authors.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Habeebah Adewunmi Saka
    • 1
  • Jamiu Oladipupo Azeez
    • 1
  • Joy Nwakaego Odedina
    • 1
  • Shade John Akinsete
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of Agriculture AbeokutaAbeokutaNigeria

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