Evaluating a rapid on-farm nutrient determination model for use in implementing nutrient management plans

Stephen F. Higgins, Mark S. Coyne, Scott A. Shearer, John P. Fulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Government regulatory agencies recommend nutrient management plans (NMPs) for animal operations to reduce non-point source pollution. These plans require manure analysis for total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP), and use indices to determine nutrient availability. This study evaluated a rapid on-farm method to predict TN and TP concentrations of swine slurries. A field investigation based on this rapid assessment procedure was used to evaluate the effect of a NMP on corn yield and soil fertility. Manure grab samples were collected to validate the rapid on-farm model for predicting TN and TP. A corn crop was raised on two phosphorus (P) soil test levels (medium and excessive) using three randomized complete blocks with two replications of three treatments. Rapid on-farm models were accurate ( P ≤ 0.05) for predicting manure TN and TP. The rapid model manure application rate produced grain yields that were significantly higher than inorganic-N fertilization treatments (13,000 kg ha -1 versus 9,000 kg ha -1) ( P ≤ 0.05). Potassium chloride extractable soil P and ammonium were not significantly different (P ≥ 0.05) in manure treatments compared with the inorganic-N treatment. Analysis of ear leaf N, P, and K and grain yields demonstrated that the rapid model manure application developed by a NMP met crop requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-358
Number of pages26
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors extend their appreciation for the statistical assistance of Marie Gantz, Statistics Department; chemical analysis by Frank Sikora, Danny Reid, and Rick Wells, of Regulatory Services; the assistance of Jim Crutchfield and Tami Smith for conducting lab analysis; and the cooperation of Jim Ellis, co-owner, Worth and Dee Ellis Farms in Shelbyville KY. Without their assistance this study would not have been possible. Funding for this project was provided in part by a grant from the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky – Senate Bill 271.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Animal feeding operation
  • Environment
  • Manure application
  • Nutrient
  • Precision agriculture
  • Site-specific
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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