A.M. Petrovic, J. Gruttadaurio, J. Barlow, E.Z. Harrison, J. Bonhotal, M. Schwarz, D.J. Soldat
Excessive use of athletic fields on non-sand based systems often results in poor turf and soil quality. In many animal producing areas in the USA, farms have excess manure. Compost has been shown to improve soil physical and chemical properties and the establishment of turfgrass. The objective of this study was to determine to what extent site conditions, such as soil texture and amount of use, affect compost’s ability to improve soil properties. There were 4 field sites in New York that varied in soil texture and the amount of use. Composts (dairy and poultry) were applied at 2 rates (6 and 12 mm thick) once the first year and twice a year for years 2 and 3. Soil samples and infiltration rates were collected at the initiation and at the end of the study. All sites had higher organic matter with compost applications. Compost that contained more organic matter (poultry) resulted in significantly higher soil organic matter on two of four sites when applied at the higher rate. Surprisingly the soil organic matter content did not always reflect the amount of organic matter applied based on rate and organic matter content of the composts. On one site that had a lower soil pH initially, compost application slightly increased soil pH, while on all sites, applying compost raised soil phosphorus to an excessive level. On the site with the least traffic, compost application increased infiltration rates, whereas, on two other sites with more traffic compost had no effect on infiltration rates. It is apparent that site conditions can affect the soil responses to animal-based compost applications to athletic fields.
Petrovic, A.M., Gruttadaurio, J., Barlow, J., Harrison, E.Z., Bonhotal, J., Schwarz, M. and Soldat, D.J. 2008. INFLUENCE OF SITE CONDITIONS ON SOIL RESPONSES TO MANURE-BASED COMPOST APPLICATIONS ON ATHLETIC FIELDS . Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:415-424
poultry compost, dairy composts, athletic fields, infiltration rate, pH, soil organic matter

Acta Horticulturae