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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: N and P Uptake by Strawberry Plants Grown with Composted Poultry Litter

Authors
item Tworkoski, Thomas
item Preusch, Peggy - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
item Takeda, Fumiomi

Submitted to: Scientia Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2003
Publication Date: December 15, 2003
Citation: TWORKOSKI, T., PREUSCH, P., TAKEDA, F. N AND P UPTAKE BY STRAWBERRY PLANTS GROWN WITH COMPOSTED POULTRY LITTER. 2003. doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2003.12.005; Scientia Horticulturae 102 (2004) 91-103.

Interpretive Summary: The large number of high density chicken farms near the headwaters of the Potomac River in West Virginia and near rivers along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland have been the focus of attempts to solve water quality problems associated with excess applications of poultry litter to farm land. Animal manure can be a plentiful source of organic soil amendments but proper management is imperative to prevent adverse environmental effects that can result from application of manure to soil. Composting may provide a beneficial alternative method for handling poultry litter due to immobilization of nutrients and a reduction in litter volume. The slow release of nutrients from composted poultry litter (CPL) may lessen adverse environmental effects from leaching of nitrogen in run-off from farmlands. However, applications of CPL to supply nitrogen needs may result in over application of other nutrients. The objective of this experiment was to determine the growth and leaf concentrations of several mineral nutrients in strawberry plants grown in soil amended with CPL to increase soil N. Strawberry plants were grown in three soil types to contrast the effects of CPL amendments. Leaf nitrogen was higher in plants grown with fresh poultry litter than CPL at 6 weeks after planting, but leaf nitrogen was not different by 12 weeks after planting. By 12 weeks after planting, strawberry plants grown in soils amended with CPL had higher leaf phosphorus than those grown in soils amended with FPL. Applying CPL on a plant N-use rate may contribute to over application of phosphorus and higher phosphorus uptake by strawberry plants.

Technical Abstract: Composted poultry litter (CPL) can stabilize N, and composting facilitates waste handling and disposal. Recent studies indicated that P was not stabilized by composting and that excess P could be released into the environment when CPL was applied to land on N-based plant requirements. This experiment determined the effect of CPL and fresh poultry litter (FPL) from two sources on leaf N and P concentrations in strawberry plants grown in three soil types. Leaf N was higher in plants grown with FPL than CPL at 6 weeks after planting (WAP), but leaf N was not different by 12 WAP. By 12 WAP strawberry plants grown in soils amended with CPL had higher leaf P than those grown in soils amended with FPL. Applying CPL on a plant N-use rate may contribute to over application of P and higher P uptake by strawberry plants.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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