Manure Fertilizer Improves Soil Quality More than Inorganic Fertilizer

Long-term annual application of manure improved most soil-quality properties more than application of inorganic fertilizer, reports the American Society of Agronomy. A research team led by Ekrem Ozlu of the University of Wisconsin-Madison applied low, medium, or high levels of either manure or inorganic fertilizer to corn and soybean fields over the course of 12 years. At the end of the study, soil samples showed that manure helped keep soil pH in a healthy range for crops, increased soil carbon, and increased total nitrogen and increased water-stable aggregates. Increased electrical conductivity was noted as one of the few negative impacts of manure fertilization. The research was published in Soil Science Society of America Journal.