African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6340

Full Length Research Paper

Nitrogen value of stockpiled cattle manure for crop production

Innocent Muhereza
  • Innocent Muhereza
  • Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, Cooperative Building Plot 47/47 Nkrumah Road, Kampala, Uganda.
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Deborah Pritchard
  • Deborah Pritchard
  • School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin University, P.O Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia.
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Roy Murray-Prior
  • Roy Murray-Prior
  • Agribiz RD&E Services, P. O. Box 388, Yungaburra 4884, Queensland, Australia
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David Collins
  • David Collins
  • Greening Australia, P.O. Box 842 Northam 6401, Western Australia.
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  •  Received: 12 January 2020
  •  Accepted: 23 March 2020
  •  Published: 31 May 2020

Abstract

Cattle manure is a common source of fertilizer throughout Sub-Saharan Africa given problems with supply and pricing of inorganic fertilizers. The optimum rate of manure to use is often unknown and further compounded by variable N contents arising from long periods of stockpiling. This study investigated the rates of cattle manure required to optimize plant growth at different N contents arising from different storage times. A field experiment was established using cattle manure stored in the open for 4, 12 and 13 months (N content of 1.31, 1.18and 0.32%, respectively). Plant shoot dry weight and N uptake of canola (Brassica napus L) was compared to equivalent rates of inorganic N (urea) to 200 kg N ha-1at two sampling points over two growing seasons. Linear models of the form y = a + bx were fitted to the data where y is yield (dry matter or N uptake) to enable the N equivalent value (NEV) of cattle manure treatments to be compared to inorganic fertilizer. The NEV of cattle manure stored for 4 months averaged 30% for shoot dry weight and 24% for N uptake and decreased with storage. Impractical volumes of cattle manure are required for plant production in aged stockpiles, thus necessitating better options for N management.

Key words: Sub-Saharan Africa, cattle manure, nitrogen fertilizer, N equivalent value, stockpiled manure.