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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Poultry Litter Ash a Potential Fertilizer Source for Agricultural Crops

Authors
item Codling, Eton
item Chaney, Rufus
item Sherwell, John - MD DEPT OF NAT RESOURCES

Submitted to: Livestock Producers Environmental Remediation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2001
Publication Date: October 22, 2001

Technical Abstract: Burning poultry litter to generate electricity is one alternative being considered due to the impending restrictions on its application to high phosphorus soils by 2005 in Maryland. The ash generated from burning poultry litter contains high levels of P and K. This study 1) investigated poultry litter ash (PLA) as a potential P source compared to potassium phosphate (KP) and 2) examined the interaction of PLA and calcium carbonate on growth of wheat on acid soils. PLA or KP was mixed with limed and unlimed soils at 0, 39 and 78 kg P ha-1 and planted with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Lime increased wheat yields, but there were no significant differences between the two P sources. Tissue P levels were higher in plants treated with PLA than KP. Tissue Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe concentrations for both PLA, KP and control treatments were similar. At the end of the experiment soil pH, water soluble-P (WSP) and Mehlich3-P levels were higher in the PLA amended soil compared to the control and KP treatments. We concluded from this study that PLA could be used as a P fertilizer for wheat both in limed and unlimed soils. The low levels of WSP and metals in soil and metals in wheat shoots demonstrated that PLA should pose no threat to the environment when used as a fertilizer

Last Modified: 10/24/2014