Effects of topdressing established Kentucky bluegrass with composted manure

Johnson, Grant A., author
Qian, Yaling, advisor
Davis, Jessica, advisor
Koski, Anthony J., committee member
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Concerns about water quality issues surrounding nutrient loading into surface and ground water from agricultural manure applications have contributed to the increasing interest in composting manure and topdressing it on turfgrass to alleviate manure pollution. Little information is available regarding the effects of composted dairy manure topdressings on established turfgrass. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the effects that topdressing composted manure has on: (i) turfgrass growth and quality, (ii) soil physical and chemical properties, (iii) turfgrass quality and soil moisture content during periods of dry down, and (iv) nutrient runoff and leaching during simulated rainfall event. Compost was topdressed onto three cultivars ('Nuglade', 'Livingston', and 'Kenblue') of established Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) at rates of 0, 33, 66, and 99 m3 ha-1, twice in 2003 and once in 2004. A synthetic fertilizer (Urea 46-0-0) was added to help balance inorganic N rates among treatments. Compost treatments had 6-10% higher quality than the control during the growing seasons, produced 18-56% higher clipping yields in late summer months, and helped retain turfgrass color longer into the fall and allowed for faster spring green up. Compost treatment 99 m3 ha-1 reduced surface soil (0-3 cm) bulk density by 5.3% and increased water retention by an average of 14.2% over all tensions tested. Compost treatments increased soil P, K, Fe and Mn in the 0-10cm depth. During 10-day dry down periods, compost treatment increased soil moisture in the 15-30 cm soil depth during the first 2-3 days, which in turn, increased soil moisture in the 0-15 cm depth towards the end of dry down and led to 1.2-3.3 °C lower canopy temperatures compared to the control. Runoff collected revealed no differences in NO3-N or total phosphorus concentrations among treatments, and mean NO3-N concentrations (6.5 mg L-1) were below the EPA standards, while mean TP concentrations (1.1 mg L-1) slightly exceeded EPA standards. No differences in leaching potential occurred among treatments. From these results it is recommended that manure compost be topdressed to Kentucky bluegrass at an optimal rate 66 m3 ha-1, which provided good quality throughout most of the year.
2005 Summer.
Covers not scanned.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Kentucky bluegrass -- Fertilizers
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