Barn Age Impact on Nutrient Leaching for Turkey Barns Built on Clay Loam Soils

J. Zhu, A. Luo, Y. Zhou, P. M. Ndegwa, David R Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This project investigated the age effect of turkey barns built on clay loam soils on the soil properties. Three turkey barns with ages of 10, 20, and 45 years were studied, and soil samples were collected both inside and outside the barns in 30.54 cm intervals to a depth of 152.7 cm. The information obtained indicated that turkey barn litter had little influence on the clay loam soil moisture content, regardless of the barn age. For barns less than 10 years old, only the topsoil layer (30.54 cm) had increased nitrate and ammonium nitrogen concentrations. Therefore, replacing the topsoil layer every 10 years may be an option to reduce potential groundwater pollution by nitrogen leaching. For barns over 20 years old, repairing the barn floor to hinder nitrogen leaching becomes virtually impossible. A linear relationship was observed for soil nitrate concentration with ammonium concentration with a correlation coefficient of 0.9515, indicating that the high nitrate concentration found in the soil was likely caused by the nitrification process. Data also showed that phosphorus leaching into clay loam soils was a relatively slow process, and replacing the topsoil layer of the barn floor every 20 years may be considered as an option to prevent this. Although barn age had a profound impact on soil pH, the correlation of the reduced soil pH with nutrient distribution in soil profiles was not observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1971-1976
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Age effect
  • Clay loam soils
  • Groundwater pollution
  • Nutrient seepage
  • Turkey barns


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