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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PLANT VARIATION IN CD, PB, ZN AND AS ACCUMULATION AND BIOAVAILABILITY AND METHODS TO LIMIT RISK Title: Broiler Litter Management Practices: Effects on Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc, Manganese and Arsenic Concentrations in Maryland Coastal Plain Soils

Authors
item Codling, Eton
item Chaney, Rufus
item Mulchi, Charles - UNIV OF MD

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2007
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/17775
Citation: Codling, E.E., Chaney, R.L., Mulchi, C.L. 2008. Broiler Litter Management Practices: Effects on Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc, Manganese and Arsenic Concentrations in Maryland Coastal Plain Soils. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 39(7&8):1193-1205.

Interpretive Summary: The objective of this research was to determine the long-term effects of broiler litter applications on soil phosphorus and metal (copper, zinc, manganese and arsenic) concentrations in Coastal Plain soils of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Soil samples and broiler litter were collected from 10 farms having over 40 years of broiler production. Soils were also collected from wooded sites adjacent to fields. Samples were analyzed for phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese and arsenic. Averaged over farms total phosphorus and metals were: phosphorus = 12.8 g kg-1, copper = 332, zinc = 350, manganese = 334 and arsenic = 2.93 mg kg-1. Soil pH was higher in the litter-amended soils (5.7-6.4) than in the wooded sites (3.5-4.3). Bray-1 phosphorus in the litter amended fields ranged from 149-796 mg kg-1, compared to 4.4-17 mg kg-1 in the wooded sites. In most cases, litter application increased the one normal nitric acid extractable metals concentration compared to the wooded areas. This study demonstrated that long-term broiler litter application have altered the chemical properties of soil on Maryland Eastern Shore. It appears that phosphorus, not metals, is most likely to contribute to the degradation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this research was to assess the long-term effects of broiler litter applications on soil P and metal (Cu, Zn, Mn and As) concentrations in Chesapeake Bay watershed Costal Plain soils. Soil samples were collected from 10 farms having over 40 years of broiler production and from wooded sites adjacent to fields. Broiler litter was also collected from each farm and analyzed for P and metal contents. Averaged over farms, the mean total P and metal concentrations in the litter were 12.8 g kg-1 P, 332, 350, 334 and 2.93 mg kg-1 Cu, Zn, Mn and As, respectively. Surface soil (0-15 cm) pH values were higher (5.7-6.4) in the litter-amended soils than in the wooded sites (3.5-4.3). The field soils showed excessive build up of P in the 0-15 cm depth. Bray-1 P ranges from 149-796 mg kg-1, compared to 4.4-17 mg kg-1 in the wooded sites. One normal nitric acid (1N HNO3) extractable metal concentrations in the litter-amended soils were low and decreased with depth. In most cases, litter application increased the 1N HNO3 extractable metal concentrations in the surface soil compared to the wooded areas. Metal concentrations in the amended soil ranged from 7.7-32, 5.7-26, 12.3-71 and 0.6-3.0, mg kg-1 for Cu, Zn, Mn and As, respectively, compared to 0.76-14, 4.6-22, 1.6-70 and 0.14-0.59, mg kg-1 for the same metals, respectively, in the wooded areas. Results from this study demonstrated that long-term broiler litter applications have altered the chemical properties of these Coastal Plain soils of Maryland Eastern Shore. Phosphorus, not metals, is most likely to contribute to the degradation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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