University of Vermont

Soil Nutrient and Manure Research at The University of Vermont The Use of Dairy Compost on Grass Hay

Bill Jokela, Sid Bosworth, Jeff Carter, Paul Pfluke, John Rankin, and John Aleong;

Duration: 1995 - 1997

Composting of dairy manure has not been a common practice, but there has been increasing interest in composting recently as a storage and handling method that requires less capital investment, reduces odor problems, etc. Little or no research has been conducted, at least in the U.S., to evaluate nutrient availability, ammonia emissions, or surface runoff losses from composted dairy manure when applied to perennial forages. The objective of this study was to evaluate the availability of nutrients, especially N, from composted dairy manure for grass hay production.

This study was part of the liquid manure study described in Liquid Manure on Grass Hay to Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency, Yields and Quality. Compost was applied at three rates (10, 20 and 40 tons/acre) for two subsequent years. A fourth treatment was compost applied at the 40 ton rate only in the first year. Preliminary results indicate that yield response to compost was quite low (not much higher than the no treatment control) and inconsistent with application rate. This may be due to the fact that grasses have a high demand for readily available N; whereas, compost primarily has slowly released organic N.

This site is maintained by, Plant & Soil Science Department, University of Vermont.

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Last modified May 26 2004 12:55 PM

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