Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Environmental Quality






American Society of Agronomy, Inc.

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Agricultural nutrient management is an issue due to N and P losses from fields and water quality degradation. Better information is needed on the risk of nutrient loss in runoff from dairy manure applied in winter. We investigated the effect of temperature on nutrient release from liquid and semisolid manure to water, and of manure quantity and placement within a snowpack on nutrient release to melting snow. Temperature did not affect manure P and NH4–N release during water extraction. Manure P release, but not NH4–N release, was significantly influenced by the water/manure solids extraction ratio. During snowmelt, manure P release was not significantly affected by manure placement in the snowpack, and the rate of P release decreased as application rate increased. Water extraction data can reliably estimate P release from manure during snowmelt; however, snowmelt water interaction with manure of greater solids content and subsequent P release appears incomplete compared with liquid manures. Manure NH4–N released during snowmelt was statistically the same regardless of application rate. For the semisolid manure, NH4–N released during snowmelt increased with the depth of snow covering it, most likely due to reduced NH3 volatilization. For the liquid manure, there was no effect of manure placement within the snowpack on NH4–N released during snowmelt. Water extraction data can also reliably estimate manure NH4–N release during snowmelt as long as NH3 volatilization is accounted for with liquid manures for all placements in a snowpack and semisolid manures applied on top of snow.