ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 104, No. 4 (2017), p. 321–328
DOI  10.13080/z-a.2017.104.041

The importance and profitability of farmyard manure application to an organically managed crop rotation

Malle JÄRVAN, Raivo VETTIK, Kalvi TAMM


The benefit from organically cultivated crops is strongly related to the maintenance of soil fertility based to a great extent on the soil organic matter content. Farmyard manure (FYM) is one of the more valuable organic fertilizers maintaining soil fertility in the systems of alternative agriculture. To investigate the influence of FYM from several aspects, a field experiment was carried out on a sandy loam Albic Stagnic Luvisol (LVab-st). A five-year crop rotation (potato → oats → barley → clover → rye) was organically managed without manure (ORG) and with manure (ORGFYM) treatments. 8.3 t ha-1 of organic dry matter as solid cattle farmyard manure was spread prior to the rye stubble ploughing for potato grown the next year. For the both treatments, the whole mass of clover and straw was ploughed into the soil. During a seven-year experimental period, no significant changes were found in the soil organic carbon (Corg) content. For the ORG treatment, a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in potassium, copper and boron contents in the soil occurred. The application of FYM significantly increased the contents of phosphorus and magnesium in the soil. Under the influence of FYM, the yields of potato, oats and barley increased by 52, 23 and 10 %, respectively; this allowed us to gain an extra 30 GJ metabolizable energy during the crop rotation. The economic calculations showed that the application of farm own manure was profitable even if the yield was sold as a non-organic product. If the yield is sold as an organic product, it would be profitable if the transportation distance of purchased manure to the fields is up to 15 km.

Key words: crop yields, organic carbon, profit, soil nutrients, solid cattle manure.

Full text: 104_4_str41.pdf