ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0417.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: nutrient use efficiency; plant uptake; N-mineralization; carbon sequestration; manure management; animal-crop production systems; sustainability
Online: 3 March 2021 (09:49:16 CET)
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 (biochar wt/manure 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. There was a significant decrease in soil M3-P and soil NO3- for all manure-biochar treatments compared to the conventional M. However, the plant biomass nutrient concentrations were not significantly different from control manure. Moreover, an increasing trend of N and decreasing trend of P in the plant under all biochar-manure treatments than the controls were noted. This observation suggests that the presence of biochar is capable of influencing the soil N and P in such a way as not to lose those nutrients at the early growth stages of the plant. In general, no statistical difference in corn or soybean biomass yield and plant nutrient uptake for N, P, and K was observed. 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0551.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: C-mineralization; carbon sequestration; nutrient cycling; sustainability; waste management; animal agriculture; N-immobilization; N-mineralization
Online: 24 September 2020 (09:02:34 CEST)
Biochar application to the soil can improve soil quality and nutrient leaching loss. Recent studies have reported that surficial application of biochar to stored swine manure can reduce emissions of odorous compounds and reduce the volatilization loss of ammonia. Our working hypothesis was that the biochar-treated manure application to the soil would decrease nutrient leaching from manure and increase plant-available nutrients. The study objectives were to evaluate the impact of biochar-treated swine manure on soil total C, N, and other major and minor nutrients. Three biochars (i) neutral pH red-oak (RO), (ii) highly alkaline autothermal corn (Zea mays) stover (HAP), and (iii) mild acidic Fe-treated autothermal corn stover (HAPE) were incubated with swine manure for a month. The biochar-manure mixture was applied in triplicate to soil columns with application rate determined by the P2O5-P content in manure or manure-biochar mixtures after the incubation. The ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3-), and reactive P concentrations in soil column leachates were recorded for eight leaching events. Soil properties and plant-available nutrients were compared between treatments and control manure & soil. Manure-(HAP&HAPE) biochar treatments significantly increased soil organic matter (OM) and increased soil total C, N, and improved soil bulk density. Concentrations of KCl-extractable NH4+ and NO3- significantly increased in HAPE column leachates during this 4-week study and in the soil after the experiment. A significant reduction in soil Mehlich3 Cu was also observed for the manure-HAPE mixture compared with the control. Overall, the manure-biochar incubation enabled biochar to sorb nutrients from manure, and the subsequent manure-biochar mixture application to soil improved soil quality and plant nutrient availability in comparison to conventional manure application to soil. This proof-of-the-concept study suggests that biochars could be used to solve both environmental and agronomic challenges and further improve the sustainability of animal and crop production agriculture.