Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Plant and Soil Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Mark S. Coyne

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph L. Taraba


Increased adoption of compost bedded pack dairy barns (CBP), a relatively new housing and manure handling strategy, warrants study to facilitate proper use of CBP waste as a soil amendment. This study: 1) characterized in situ nutrient content and availability of CBP waste in terms of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P); 2) examined the decomposition of surface-applied CBP waste compared to an alternative processed solid waste amendment; 3) examined nutrient dynamics of incorporated CBP waste in high and low soil test phosphorus (STP) environments. Quick anaerobic mineralization assays revealed that bed management affects nutrient content and availability of CBP waste. A Fall surface-applied litter bag study showed that different particle sizes of CBP waste and a biosolid decomposed at similar rates. The biosolid had greater nutrient density and availability, but the decomposition was similar to CBP waste in terms of mineralization dynamics. Aerobic mineralization of CBP waste in high and low STP soils amended on a uniform P basis was compared with fresh manure. In general, CBP increased STP more and yielded more plant available P than fresh manure. These studies provide recommendations for CBP management and further study to ensure the proper land application of CBP waste.