Swine manure application enriches the soil food web in corn and soybean production

Zane J. Grabau, Yong Bao, Jeffrey A. Vetsch, Senyu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strategies for managing plant-parasitic nematodes while promoting soil quality are needed in corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max) cropping systems. Therefore, a series of two-year experiments were conducted in Minnesota to determine the simple and interactive effects of manure or conventional fertilizer and short-term crop rotation on the nematode community, a sensitive indicator of soil ecology. The two-year crop sequences were Sus-Sus, Res-Sus, and Corn-Sus, where Sus and Res are soybean susceptible and resistant to Heterodera glycines (soybean cyst nematode: SCN), respectively. The fertilizer treatments were liquid swine manure, conventional phosphorus (P)potassium (K) fertilizer, and no fertilizer. Crop sequence and fertilizer choice had individual main effects, but did not have an interactive effect on the nematode community. Swine manure affected the nematode community in ways that conventional PK fertilizer or no fertilizer did not, substantially enhancing populations of bacterivores in colonizer-persister group 1, which are extreme enrichment opportunists. Manure application did not affect other groups of free-living nematodes and decreased nematode community diversity. Conventional PK fertilizer did not influence the nematode community compared with untreated control. The effects of short-term crop sequences were much less pronounced and consistent than manure application, but corn altered the environment to favor fungivores while soybean increased bacterivore abundances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank C. Johnson, W. Gottschalk, J. Ball-man, S. Christnagel, N. Hoverstad, and D. Groh for technical assistance. This research was supported by Minnesota Soybean Producers Check-off Funding through Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Society of Nematologists 2019.


  • Corn
  • Fertilizer
  • Manure
  • Nematode community
  • Soybean


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