An assessment of the variation of manure nitrogen efficiency throughout Europe and an appraisal of means to increase manure-N efficiency

J. Webb, P. Sorensen, G.L. Velthof, B. Amon, M. Pinto, L. Rodhe, E. Salomon, N. Hutchings, J. Burczyk, J.E. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using the nitrogen (N) in organic manures more effectively reduces losses to the environment. A requirement to take allowance of the N conserved by reduced ammonia (NH3)-emission techniques would increase manure-N efficiency by up to 15%. Covering manure stores and land application of slurry by injection beneath the soil surface and by rapid incorporation of both slurries and solid manures into uncropped soil reduce NH3 emissions. Injection of cattle slurry also reduces N immobilization compared with application methods, which mix the slurry with soil and increases manure-N efficiency by ca 10–15%. In growing cereals, NH3 emissions can be reduced by band spreading within the canopy. Anaerobic digestion of slurry may also increase manure-N availability in the season of application by 10–20%, compared with undigested slurry. Slurry acidification may increase manure-N efficiency by 35–65% by reducing total NH3 losses by 70% compared with unacidified slurry stored without cover and not incorporated after spreading. To fully utilize the fertilizer value of manure-N, uptake over more than 1 year needs to be accounted for. This is particularly important for solid manures which provide less-available N in the season after application than slurries but release more N to crops in subsequent years. Using manure-N as a sole N source may limit overall manure-N efficiency. Applying manures at reduced rates over a larger crop area, using N fertilizer at times when crop recovery of manure-N may be limited, may give the greatest overall manure-N efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-442
JournalAdvances in Agronomy
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • fertilizer replacement value
  • reducing ammonia emissions
  • greenhouse-gas emissions
  • treated cattle slurry
  • pig slurry
  • organic nitrogen
  • animal manures
  • short-term
  • mineral fertilizer
  • plant utilization

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