Co-amelioration of red soil acidity and fertility with pig manure rather than liming

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Cai, Z., Yang, C., Carswell, A. M., Zhang, L., Wen, S. and Xu, M. 2022. Co-amelioration of red soil acidity and fertility with pig manure rather than liming. Soil Use and Management. 39 (1), pp. 441-455.

AuthorsCai, Z., Yang, C., Carswell, A. M., Zhang, L., Wen, S. and Xu, M.

Lime (calcium oxide), animal manure and crop straw soil treatments have been shown to ameliorate soil acidity, yet their effectiveness at concurrently enhancing soil fertility status and improving crop yields is less well understood. In this study, an acidic nutrient deficient red soil (Ferralic Cambisol) received these treatments at various dosage rates (% of DW soil) in pot experiments with maize plants. Lime was applied at four dosage rates (0.05%, 0.10%, 0.15% and 0.20%), pig manure at three rates (0.50%, 1.00% and 1.50%), maize straw or milk vetch at two rates (0.50% and 1.00%) and combinations of lime (0.10% or 0.15%) with maize straw (0.50%) and/or pig manure (0.50%). Soils treated with and without chemical fertilizers were also included as controls. Measurements of soil pH, exchangeable acidity, plant available nutrients and maize shoot biomass were recorded. Maize shoot biomass increased by 4.7–7.6 times under pig manure treatments, 1.1–1.6 times under milk vetch, 0.4–1.5 times under lime and 1.1–6.2 times under combination treatments, compared with the control. Soil pH increased by 0.5–0.9 units under lime, by 0.2–0.4 units under pig manure and by 0.7 pH units under the combination treatment relative to the control. Variance partitioning analysis showed that on an individual basis, soil acidity amelioration (pH, exchangeable H+ and Al3+) or nutrient input (C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn) explained only 4.3% and 5.6% of improved maize growth, respectively. Whereas, their interaction explained 85.9% of the variation. We also report that the over-application of pig manure could lead to P saturation and negative impacts on aquatic systems in the wider environment. Therefore, we recommend a combination of lime, pig manure and straw provides an optimal solution for addressing soil acidity and limiting P saturation in acid soils.

KeywordsManure management; Organic fertilizer; Soil acidification; Soil pH
Year of Publication2022
JournalSoil Use and Management
Journal citation39 (1), pp. 441-455
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
National Natural Science Foundation of China
UK-China Joint Centre for Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition [ISPG]
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Sep 2022
PublisherBritish Society of Soil Science (BSSS)

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