Throughout the southeastern United States, poultry production has become the major source of income for many small family farms. The poultry litter (manure mixed with bedding material) provides an excellent source of crop nutrients, and is used primarily to fertilize perennial pastures and other no-till systems. The common practice of spreading poultry litter on the surface of pastures allows valuable nutrients to evaporate or be carried by storm runoff into nearby streams and lakes.
· Identify management methods that protect water quality and increase production efficiency by retaining litter nutrients in the soil where they are available to crop plants.
· Develop technology to make these methods a practical management option for agricultural producers.
A research team at Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center has shown that applying dry poultry litter in shallow
(3-inch deep) trenches below the soil surface instead of spreading it on the surface can:
To mechanize the subsurface application technique, the ARS research team developed the Poultry Litter Subsurfer, a prototype that can apply five tons of dry poultry litter under the surface of perennial pastures and other no-till systems before reloading. Novel features of the patented ARS Poultry Litter Subsurfer include:
THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN POTENTIALLY IMPROVE AIR QUALITY, WATER QUALITY, AND PRODUCTIVITY ON MILLIONS OF ACRES.
Dr. Dan Pote
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
6883 So. St. Hwy 23
Booneville, AR 72927
P: 479-675-3834 ext. 344