Title: Chemical, physical and biological properties of a marginal soil as influenced by tillage and broiler litter application Authors
Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 26, 2008
Publication Date: November 6, 2008
Citation: Adeli, A., Dabney, S.M., Brooks, J.P., Jenkins, J.N. 2008. Chemical, physical and biological properties of a marginal soil as influenced by tillage and broiler litter application [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. 693-16. Technical Abstract: Erosion changes the soil properties, mainly because it removes surface soil rich in organic matter and exposes lower soil layers. Many soils in Mississippi were degraded by erosion and nutrient depletion when these were row-cropped years ago. A study was initiated in 2005 in an eroded Loring silt loam (fine silty, mixed, thermic, Glossic Fragiudalf) soil to determine how tillage and manure application affects the soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The soil has a fragipan in the subsoil that is restrictive to root growth and water infiltration. We hypothesized that the combination of deep tillage to loosen the subsoil and long-term poultry manure application to provide nutrients and organic matter and surface tillage to incorporate poultry manure into the soil has the greatest potential of improving soil properties and restoring marginal land. The results of initial soil analysis taken at 0-15 cm depth indicated that the eroded soil was low in pH (4.2 - 4.5), N (0.04-0.06%), C (0.4-0.6%), P (7-8 mg kg-1) and high in bulk density (1.38 g cm-3). Biennial broiler litter application to corn under a tillage system resulted in increasing soil pH by 0.71 unit, soil total C by 20%, total N by 8%, soil test P levels by 55% (from 6.7 to 14.9 mg kg-1), soil Cu content by 51% (from 0.94 to 1.93 mg kg-1) and soil Zn levels by 60% (from 0.86 to 2.14 mg kg-1). Soil bulk density decreased by 3% (from 1.38 to 1.34 g cm-3). This indicates combination of poultry manure and soil and crop management practices has the potential on sequestering C and nutrients in the soil resulting in restoring degraded areas to productive croplands.