Soil microbial properties after long-term swine slurry application to conventional and no-tillage systems in Brazil

Elcio L. Balota, Oswaldo Machineski, Karima I.A. Hamid, Ines F.U. Yada, Graziela M.C. Barbosa, Andre S. Nakatani, Mark S. Coyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Swine waste can be used as an agricultural fertilizer, but large amounts may accumulate excess nutrients in soil or contaminate the surrounding environment. This study evaluated long-term soil amendment (15years) with different levels of swine slurry to conventional (plow) tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT) soils. Long-term swine slurry application did not affect soil organic carbon. Some chemical properties, such as calcium, base saturation, and aluminum saturation were significantly different within and between tillages for various application rates. Available P and microbial parameters were significantly affected by slurry addition. Depending on tillage, soil microbial biomass and enzyme activity increased up to 120m3ha-1year-1 in all application rates. The NT system had higher microbial biomass and activity than CT at all application levels. There was an inverse relationship between the metabolic quotient (qCO2) and MBC, and the qCO2 was 53% lower in NT than CT. Swine slurry increased overall acid phosphatase activity, but the phosphatase produced per unit of microbial biomass decreased. A comparison of data obtained in the 3rd and 15th years of swine slurry application indicated that despite slurry application the CT system degraded with time while the NT system had improved values of soil quality indicators. For these Brazilian oxisols, swine slurry amendment was insufficient to maintain soil quality parameters in annual crop production without additional changes in tillage management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-404
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Aug 15 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
E.L. Balota acknowledges CNPq — Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development) and the Science without Borders Program , for a Post-Doctorate fellowship to University of Kentucky, United States , process 201930/2012-9 .


  • Microbial biomass
  • No-tillage
  • Polysaccharide
  • Soil enzymes
  • Soil management
  • Swine manure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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