What Is Manure Doing For Your Soil?

Would you like to reduce runoff and soil erosion? Would you benefit from soils that absorb more water, making your pastures more resilient to drought? Do you want to prevent phosphorus contamination of nearby waterways? Then you want stable soil aggregates, and to get there you want manure! Soil aggregates are individual soil particles that are bound together. Stable soil aggregates provide more pore space for water. Instead of breaking apart, they absorb rainfall and precipitation. Soil aggregates are responsible for increasing soil's water holding capacity and making it more resistant to erosion. Good aggregate stability also helps in root development, so plants can take up more water and nutrients.   A variety of studies have demonstrated that manure increases formation of larger (macro) and more stable soil aggregates. But how quickly do aggregates form? What kind of manure works best? And are there residual effects of manure on aggregates? Those are the questions that Charles Wortman and Charles Shapiro asked. To find answers, they conducted studies at three different farms in Nebraska on silty loam or silty clay loam

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