Corn Response to Composting and Time of Application of Solid Swine Manure

Terrance D. Loecke, Matt Liebman, Cynthia A. Cambardella, Tom L. Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Swine production in hoop structures is a relatively new husbandry system in which a mixture of manure and bedding accumulates. This manure/bedding pack can be applied to crop fields directly from a hoop structure or piled for composting. During 2000 and 2001, field experiments were conducted near Boone, IA, to determine the effects of form of solid swine manure (fresh or composted) and time of manure application (fall or spring) on corn (Zea mays L.) nutrient status and yield. Fresh and composted manure were applied at 340 kg total N ha-1. Urea N fertilizer treatments of 0, 60, 120, and 180 kg N ha-1 were used to determine N fertilizer equivalency values for the manure. In 2000, but not in 2001, fresh manure decreased corn emergence by 9.5% compared with the unamended, nonfertilized control treatment. No corn yield differences due to the form or the time of manure application were detected in 2000, but all treatments receiving manure produced more corn grain than the unamended control. In 2001, fall application of manure increased corn grain yield more than spring application, and composted manure increased yield more than fresh manure, with spring-applied fresh manure providing no yield response beyond the unamended control. Mean N supply efficiency, defined as the N fertilizer equivalency value as a percentage of the total N applied, was greatest for fall-applied composted manure (34.7%), intermediate for fall-applied fresh manure (24.3%) and spring-applied composted manure (25.0%), and least for spring-applied fresh manure (10.9%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-223
Number of pages10
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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