Dairy Manure Compost Application Rate and Timing Influence Bermudagrass Yield and Nutrient Concentration Academic Article uri icon


  • Management strategies for applying composted dairy manures on perennial forages are not well defined. We researched compost application timing and rate with and without supplemental inorganic nitrogen on 'Coastal' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Treatments were 18, 36, and 72 Mg ha-1 dry dairy compost rates (supplying 112, 224, and 448 kg N ha-1) applied in November, January, or March and supplemented with 0 or 112 kg ha-1 inorganic N fertilizer as ammonium nitrate after each harvest. The addition of compost increased (P < 0.05) yield compared with no-compost plots the first year, but the benefits were only measureable at the 72 Mg rate by the second year. Waiting to apply compost until March resulted in 26% greater (P < 0.05) yields the first year at the 72 Mg compost rate, 15% at the 36 Mg rate, and 17% at the 18 Mg rate compared with the January applications at the same rates. November compost application resulted in greater uptake of compost-phosphorus by plants, March dates improved compostpotassium uptake, while grass N uptake was independent of application date. On composted plots, plant N and K concentration increases were discernable in early harvests, while P increases were apparent in subsequent harvests compared with no compost. Supplemental N increased dry matter (DM) and P yields. Results indicated that compost application dates and amounts change P uptake rates or inorganic fertilizer N efficiency. Crop Science Society of America.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Muir, J. P., Butler, T., Helton, T. J., & McFarland, M. L.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Muir, James P||Butler, Twain||Helton, Thomas J||McFarland, Mark L

publication date

  • September 2010