Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 231–242 | Cite as

Effect of treatment and application technique of cattle slurry on its utilization by ley: II. Recovery of nitrogen and composition of herbage yield

  • P.K. Mattila
  • E. Joki-Tokola
  • R. Tanni


The effect of slurry treatment and application technique on theutilization of nitrogen and on the composition of herbage was investigated onley in a 3-year field experiment on clay loam in southwestern Finland and onfine sand and Carex peat in northern Finland. Untreated, aerated or separatedslurry (liquid fraction) was applied on ley after the first cut by broadcastspreading, band spreading or injection into the ground. The application rate ofslurry was 33 to 62 Mg ha−1 and that ofammoniacalnitrogen about 80 kg ha−1. The highest recoveryofapplied nitrogen was achieved with injection. The apparent recovery of theammoniacal nitrogen of injected slurry varied from 23% to 50%, whereas that ofbroadcast and band-spread slurries was from 16% to 33% and 17% to 38%,respectively. However, injection did not result in any higher dry matter yieldthan the other application techniques, because it damaged the grass sward.Separation seemed to somewhat increase the recovery of slurry nitrogen, excepton peat soil, but the effect was significant for the apparent recovery ofapplied total nitrogen on clay loam in one year, only. Supplementing slurrywith 50 kg ha−1 of inorganic fertilizer nitrogenon clay loam increased both dry matter yield and nitrogen recovery by about onethird. Large amounts of potassium applied in cattle slurry raised the potassiumcontent and lowered the contents of magnesium and sodium in herbage on peatsoil. The reduction in calcium content was not significant. On clay loam, whichhad a higher potassium content than the peat, the general effect of potassiumapplied in slurry was weaker, but injection led to a higher potassium contentand lower contents of calcium and magnesium in herbage than surfaceapplications.

Calcium Grassland Magnesium Manure application Manure management Nitrogen Potassium Slurry Sodium 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bussink D.W. and Oenema O. 1998. Ammonia volatilization from dairy farming systems in temperate areas: a review. Nutr. Cycling Agroecosyst. 51: 19–33.Google Scholar
  2. Cameron K.C., Rate A.W., Noonan M.J., Moore S., Smith N.P. and Kerr L.E. 1996. Lysimeter study of the fate of nutrients following subsurface injection and surface application of dairy pond sludge to pasture. Agric. Ecosyst. Environm. 58: 187–197.Google Scholar
  3. Dosch P. and Gutser R. 1996. Reducing N losses (NH3, N2O, N2) and immobilization from slurry through optimized application techniques. Fert. Res. 43: 165–171.Google Scholar
  4. Elmquist H., Malgeryd J., Malm P. and Rammer C. 1996. Flytgödsel till vall. Ammoniakförluster, avkastning, växtnäringutnyttjande och foderkvalitet [Slurry application on ley. Ammonia emissions, yield, plant nutrient utilization and fodder quality]. JTI-rapport, Lantbruk & Industri, Nr 220 (in Swedish, summary in English). Swedish Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Uppsala, Sweden, 87 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Elsaesser M., Kunz H.G. and Briemle G. 1995. Unterschiedliche technische Behandlung von Gülle und deren Auswirkungen auf intensiv genutztes Dauergrünland [Technical treatments of slurry spreadand their effects on intensively managed permanent grassland]. J. Agron. Crop Sci. 174 (in German, abstract in English): 253–264.Google Scholar
  6. Eriksen J., Askegaard M. and Kristensen K. 1999. Nitrate leaching in an organic dairy /crop rotation as affected by organic manure type, livestock density and crop. Soil Use Manag. 15: 503–509.Google Scholar
  7. Esala M. 1991. Split application of nitrogen: Effects on the protein in spring wheat and fate of 15N-labelled nitrogen in the soil-plant system. Ann. Agric. Fennica 30: 219–309.Google Scholar
  8. Fisher L.J., Dinn N., Tait R.M. and Shelford J.A. 1994. Effect of level of dietary potassium on the absorption and excretion of calcium and magnesium by lactating cows. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 74: 503–509.Google Scholar
  9. Frost J.P., Stevens R.J. and Laughlin R.J. 1990. Effect of separation and acidification of cattle slurry on ammonia volatilization and on the efficiency of slurry nitrogen for herbage production. J. Agric. Sci. 115: 49–56.Google Scholar
  10. Hall J.E. 1986. Soil injection research in the UK. In: Dam Kofoed A. et al. (eds), Efficient Land Use of Sludge and Manure. Elsevier, London, pp. 78–89.Google Scholar
  11. Hansen S. 1996. Effects of manure treatment and soil compaction on plant production of a dairy farm system converting to organic farm practice. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 56: 173–186.Google Scholar
  12. Ilmatieteen laitos 1996. Ilmastokatsaus (Climate review) No 11/96, p. 7. Ilmatieteen laitos (in Finnish), Helsinki.Google Scholar
  13. Kähäri J. and Nissinen H. 1978. The mineral element contents of timothy (Phleum pratense L.) in Finland. I. Acta Agric. Scand., Suppl. 20: 26–39.Google Scholar
  14. Kapuinen P. 1998. A light liquid manure injector for grasslands in polar farming. In: Chastain J.P. (ed.), Fourth International Dairy Housing Conference, Conference Proceedings. ASAE publication 01-98, pp. 346–354.Google Scholar
  15. Kemppainen E. 1987. Use of cow slurry in establishing grass swards. Ann. Agric. Fennica 26: 117–129.Google Scholar
  16. Kemppainen E. 1989. Nutrient content and fertilizer value of livestock manure with special reference to cow manure. Ann. Agric. Fennica 28: 163–284.Google Scholar
  17. Kemppainen E. 1995. Leaching and uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus from cow slurry and fox manure in a lysimeter trial. Agric. Sci. Finl. 4: 363–375.Google Scholar
  18. Kirchmann H. 1991. Carbon and nitrogen mineralization of fresh, aerobic and anaerobic animal manures during incubation with soil. Swedish J. Agric. Res. 21: 165–173.Google Scholar
  19. Leinonen P., Heinonen-Tanski H. and Rinne K. 1998. Nitrogen economy of cattle slurry aeration and spreading on to grassland. Acta Agric. Scand., Sect B, Soil Plant. Sci. 48: 65–72.Google Scholar
  20. Long F.N.J. and Gracey H.I. 1990. Effect of fertilizer nitrogen source and cattle slurry on herbage production and nitrogen utilization. Grass Forage Sci. 45: 431–442.Google Scholar
  21. Mattila P.K. and Joki-Tokola E. 2003. Effect of treatment and application technique of cattle slurry on its utilization by ley: I. Slurry properties and ammonia volatilization. Nutr. Cycling Agroecosyst. 65 (this issue): 221–230.Google Scholar
  22. Mattson M., Husted S. and Schjoerring J.K. 1998. Influence of nitrogen nutrition and metabolism on ammonia volatilization in plants. Nutr. Cycling Agroecosyst. 51: 35–40.Google Scholar
  23. McAllister J.S.V. 1977. Spreading slurry on land. Soil Sci. 123: 338–343.Google Scholar
  24. Peltovuori T. and Yli-Halla M. 1997. Influence of sodium and potassium fertilization on the sodium concentration of timothy. Agric. Food Sci. Finl. 6: 259–268.Google Scholar
  25. Persson J. and Kirchmann H. 1994. Carbon and nitrogen in arable soils as affected by supply of N fertilizers and organic manures. Agric. Ecosyst. Environm. 51: 249–255.Google Scholar
  26. Rees Y.J., Pain B.F., PhillipsV.R. and Misselbrook T.H. 1993. The influence of surface and sub-surface application methods for pig slurry on herbage yields and nitrogen recovery. Grass Forage Sci. 48: 38–44.Google Scholar
  27. Rodhe L., Thyselius L., Steineck S., Rammer C., Engdahl L. and Jonsson A. 1988. Spridning av flytgödsel till vall [Spreading of slurry to ley]. JTI-rapport 93 (in Swedish). Swedish Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Uppsala, Sweden, 68 pp.Google Scholar
  28. Rubæk G.H., Henriksen K., Petersen J., Rasmussen B. and Sommer S.G. 1996. Effects of application technique and anaerobic digestion tion on gaseous nitrogen loss from animal slurry applied to ryegrass (Lolium perenne). J. Agric. Sci. 126: 481–492.Google Scholar
  29. SAS Institute Inc. 1990. SAS/STAT user's guide, version 6, 4th edn, Volume 2. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  30. SAS Institute Inc. 1992. SAS Technical Report P-229. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  31. Steel R.G.D. and Torrie J.H. 1981. Principles and Procedures of Statistics. 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, Singapore.Google Scholar
  32. Thompson R.B. 1989. Denitrification in slurry-treated soil: occurrence at low temperatures, relationship with soil nitrate and reduction by nitrification inhibitors. Soil. Biol. Biochem. 21: 875–882.Google Scholar
  33. Tunney H. and Molloy S.P. 1986. Comparison of grass production with soil injected and surface spread cattle slurry. In: Dam Kofoed A. et al. (eds), Efficient Land Use of Sludge and Manure. Elsevier, London, pp. 90–98.Google Scholar
  34. Turtola E. and Kemppainen E. 1998. Nitrogen and phosphorus losses in surface runoff and drainage water after application of slurry and mineral fertilizer to perennial grass ley. Agric. Food Sci. Finl. 7: 569–581.Google Scholar
  35. Tveitnes S. and Håland Å. 1989. Gjødselverknaden av våtkompostert og ubehandla blautgjødsel [The effect of wet composted and untreated cattle slurry on grassland]. Norsk landbruksforskning 3 (in Norwegian, summary in English): 211–216.Google Scholar
  36. Vetter H., Steffens G. and Schröopel R. 1987. The influence of different processing methods for slurry upon its fertiliser value on grassland. In: van der Meer H.G. et al. (eds), Animal Manure on Grassland and Fodder Crops. Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 73–86.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • P.K. Mattila
    • 1
  • E. Joki-Tokola
    • 2
  • R. Tanni
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Applied Chemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.North Ostrobothnia Research StationMTT Agrifood Research FinlandRuukkiFinland
  3. 3.Environmental Research/Soils and EnvironmentMTT Agrifood Research FinlandJokioinenFinland

Personalised recommendations