Long-term land application of animal manures, even at agronomic rates, can promote accumulation of soil phosphorus (P) which can, in turn, contribute to increased P loadings to downstream waters. The objective of this study was to assess the soil and runoff effects of replacing animal manure as a soil amendment with inorganic fertilizer (ammonium nitrate, NH4NO3) on fields that had been treated previously with animal manures. Runoff from two pairs of small fields (0.57 to 1.46 ha) was sampled from September 1991 to April 1994. All fields had been treated previously with animal manures; after runoff monitoring began, one field of each pair received only NH4NO3, while the other of each pair continued to receive animal manure. Both soil and runoff P concentrations exhibited statistically significant decreasing trends over the monitoring period. The results demonstrate the potential for positively influencing runoff quality in a relatively short duration by replacing animal manures with ammonium nitrate for fields already having sufficient soil P.

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Published in Transactions of the ASAE, v. 39, issue 5, p. 1689-1696.

© 1996 American Society of Agricultural Engineers

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The investigation reported in this article is in connection with project number RIS95-5 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. The article is published with the approval of the Director of the Station as a contribution to Regional Research Project S-249.