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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Reducing Ammonia Volatilization and Phosphorus Runoff from Composted Poultry Litter Using Chemical Amendments

item Moore, Philip
item Nichols, Doyle - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
item Edwards, Dwayne - UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
item Lemunyon, Jerry - USDA-NRCS

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Ammonia volatilization and phosphorus (P) runoff are two of the biggest environmental problems with animal manures. Research has shown that aluminum sulfate (alum) and phosphoric acid greatly reduce ammonia volatilization and affect P availability in fresh poultry litter; however, no studies have yet reported the effects of these amendments on composting litter. The objectives of this study were to measure ammonia volatilization from composting poultry litter and P runoff from fescue plots fertilized with composted and fresh poultry litter. Studies were conducted in 1997 and 1998. The treatments applied to poultry litter before composting in 1997 were: 1) control (no amendment); 2) phosphoric acid (2% by weight); 3) alum (10% by weight); 4) a microbial treatment; and 5) 5% alum plus the microbial treatment. Treatments for 1998 included: 1) control (no amendment); 2) phosphoric acid (1.5% by weight); 3) alum (7% by weight); and 4) a microbial treatment. Ammonia volatilization was monitored daily throughout the composting process. After composting, each of the above treatments, as well as fresh poultry litter and an unfertilized control, were used for the runoff study. Litter was applied at 8.98 Mg ha**-1 and rainfall simulators were used to produce a 5 cm hr**-1 rainfall event. Ammonia volatilization was significantly lower from alum and phosphoric acid-treated compost. Phosphorus concentrations in the runoff water were lower from alum-treated compost than all other fertilizer treatments.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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