Swine Manure Application Method Impact on Soil Arthropods

Does Manure Application Impact Soil Arthropods? *

Soil arthropod populations and diversity provide an indication of the biological quality of soil, which can impact soil fertility. Arthropods include insects, crustaceans, arachnids, myriapods, and scorpions and nearly every soil is inhabited by many different arthropod species. Row-crop soils may contain several dozen species. One particular arthropod species, mites, can have a significant impact on nutrient release in soil. For this study, the impact of swine manure slurry applied via broadcast and injection at a rate designed to meet the agronomic nitrogen needs of corn was investigated to determine the manure application method impact on soil arthropod population and diversity.

What did we do?

Treatments include broadcasted swine slurry, injected swine slurry, and non-manured check plots with four replications per treatment. Plots have been monitored following manure application in June 2014 and will continue through June 2015. Soil samples were removed 4 d prior to manure application and at 1, 2, and 4 weeks and monthly thereafter from 0 to 8 inches on each plot. Arthropods were extracted by use of Burlese funnels and collected species are being sorted and characterized.

What have we learned?

Species characterization is on-going and will be summarized for presentation in the poster session at the conference.

Future Plans

Results of this work will allow us to better understand the impact of manure application on soil biological properties, a component in defining the overall fertility or “health” of soil.


Amy Millmier Schmidt, Assistant Professor and Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer, University of Nebraska – Lincoln aschmidt@unl.edu

Nicole R. Schuster, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska – Lincoln; Julie Peterson, Assistant Professor and Entomologist, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Additional information

Dr. Amy Millmier Schmidt; (402) 472-0877; aschmidt@unl.edu


We would like to recognize a number of individuals who assisted with soil sample collection, arthropod extractions, and other laboratory activities over the course of this project, including Keith Miller, Ethan Doyle, Mitch Goedeken, Eric Davis, Lucas Snethan, Kevan Reardon and Kayla Tierramar

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