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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Establishment of Rabbiteye Blueberries in Poultry Litter

Authors
item Marshall, Donna
item Spiers, James

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 16, 2008
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Spiers, J.M. 2009. Establishment of Rabbiteye Blueberries in Poultry Litter. Acta Horticulturae. 810:723-728.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry litter is abundant in the Southeast where there is also a growing blueberry production. Poultry litter has been used for fertilization of other crops such as cotton and grass with increased yields and growth. This study was conducted to determine if rabbiteye blueberries ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Premier’ could be established using incorporated chicken or poultry litter. Two-year old potted ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Premier’ rabbiteye blueberries were planted in a Ruston fine sandy loam soil (Typic Paleudult, fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic) utilizing a split plot design with incorporated poultry litter fertilizer rates as the main plot and a 3 (planting dates) X 2 (cultivar) completely randomized factorial design as the sub-plot. Rows were formed with 1.5 m x 3.5 m spacing. Fertilizer was applied at rates of 0, 4.4, 13.2, and 39.6 liters CPL/1.5 m of row). Composted poultry litter rates of 4.4 liters/1.5 m row consistently preformed as well as the control plots that received no fertilization. Plants that were set into higher rates 13.2 and 39.6 L of poultry litter had a significantly lower vigor in 2005. Both ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Premier’ plants were weaker in 2006 than in 2005. We do not recommend growers establish rabbiteye blueberries in poultry litter. This information can be used by growers in establishment of blueberry field and by nurserymen who would be propagating blueberries for production.

Technical Abstract: Poultry litter is abundant in the Southeast where there is also a growing blueberry production. Poultry litter has been used for fertilization of other crops such as cotton and grass with increased yields and growth. This study was conducted to determine if rabbiteye blueberries ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Premier’ could be established using incorporated chicken or poultry litter. Two-year old potted ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Premier’ rabbiteye blueberries were planted in a Ruston fine sandy loam soil (Typic Paleudult, fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic) utilizing a split plot design with incorporated poultry litter fertilizer rates as the main plot and a 3 (planting dates) X 2 (cultivar) completely randomized factorial design as the sub-plot. Rows were formed with 1.5 m x 3.5 m spacing. Fertilizer was applied at rates of 0, 4.4, 13.2, and 39.6 liters CPL/1.5 m of row). Composted poultry litter rates of 4.4 liters/1.5 m row consistently preformed as well as the control plots that received no fertilization. Plants that were set into higher rates 13.2 and 39.6 L of poultry litter had a significantly lower vigor in 2005. Both ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Premier’ plants were weaker in 2006 than in 2005. We do not recommend using CPL as an establishment practice with blueberries.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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