Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Comparing Biochar-Swine Manure Mixture to Conventional Manure Impact on Soil Nutrient Availability and Plant Uptake – A Greenhouse Study

Version 1 : Received: 18 February 2021 / Approved: 18 February 2021 / Online: 18 February 2021 (12:17:18 CET)

How to cite: Banik, C.; Koziel, J.; Bonds, D.; Singh, A.; Licht, M. Comparing Biochar-Swine Manure Mixture to Conventional Manure Impact on Soil Nutrient Availability and Plant Uptake – A Greenhouse Study. Preprints 2021, 2021020417 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0417.v1). Banik, C.; Koziel, J.; Bonds, D.; Singh, A.; Licht, M. Comparing Biochar-Swine Manure Mixture to Conventional Manure Impact on Soil Nutrient Availability and Plant Uptake – A Greenhouse Study. Preprints 2021, 2021020417 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202102.0417.v1).

Abstract

The use of swine manure as a source of plant nutrients is one alternative to synthetic fertilizers. However, conventional manure application with >90% water and a low C:N ratio results in soil C loss to the atmosphere. Our hypothesis was to use biochar as a manure nutrient stabilizer that would slowly release nutrients to plants upon biochar-swine manure mixture application to soil. The objectives were to evaluate the impact of biochar-treated swine manure on soil total C, N, and plant-available macro and micronutrients in greenhouse-cultivated corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.). Neutral pH red oak (RO), highly alkaline autothermal corn stover (HAP), and mild acidic Fe-treated autothermal corn stover (HAPE) biomass were pyrolyzed to prepare biochars. Each biochar was surface-applied to swine manure at a 1:4 (wt/wt) ratio to generate mixtures of manure and respective biochars (MRO, MHAP, and MHAPE). Conventional manure (M) control and manure-biochar mixtures were then applied to the soil at a recommended rate. Corn and soybean were grown under these controls and treatments (S, M, MRO, MHAP, and MHAPE) to evaluate the manure-biochar impact on soil quality, plant biomass yield, and nutrient uptake. Soil OM significantly (<0.05) increased in all manure-biochar treatments; however, no change in soil pH or N was observed under any treatment. No difference in soil ammonium between treatments was identified. An increase (p<0.05) in soil nitrate under corn was observed for conventional manure (M) treatment. There was a significant decrease in soil M3-P for all manure-biochar treatments compared to the conventional M, but that did not impact plant nutrient uptake. No statistical difference in corn or soybean biomass yield or plant nutrient uptake was observed in the short, two-month experiment. Interestingly, manure-biochar application to soil significantly diluted the M3-extractable soil Cu and Zn concentrations. The results attribute that manure-biochar has the potential to be a better soil amendment than conventional manure application to the soil.

Subject Areas

nutrient use efficiency; plant uptake; N-mineralization; carbon sequestration; manure management; animal-crop production systems; sustainability

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