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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF GYPSUM ON CROP YIELD, SOIL CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, AND THE SOLUBILITY OF PHOSPHORUS

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Evaluation of Composted Poultry Litter, Whole Tree, and Clean Chip Residual as Components of Media for Container Grown Nursery Woody Ornamentals

Authors
item Marble, S - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Gilliam, C - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Sibley, J - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Torbert, Henry
item Olive, J - AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Research Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 2008
Publication Date: August 6, 2008
Citation: Marble, S.C., Gilliam, C.H., Sibley, J.L., Torbert III, H.A., Olive, J.W. 2008. Evaluation of Composted Poultry Litter, Whole Tree, and Clean Chip Residual as Components of Media for Container Grown Nursery Woody Ornamentals. In: Proc. Southern Nurs. Assoc. Res. Conf. August 6-7, 2008, Atlanta, GA. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Pine bark and pine bark plus peat are the predominant substrate components for container production in the southeastern United States. However, there are growing concerns over the future availability of pine bark, which has lead researchers to explore alternatives to these two commonly used substrate components. This study evaluated composted poultry litter as an amendment in pine bark, whole tree, and clean chip residual substrates for use in container production of five woody ornamental species. Results indicate that woody ornamentals can be grown in whole tree, and clean chip residual substrates 6:1 (v:v) basis with composted poultry litter. Use of composted poultry litter in whole tree and clean chip residual substrates could provide an alternative to traditional pine bark and peat based combinations in container production while providing poultry producers an environmentally sound means of waste disposal.

Technical Abstract: Pine bark (PB) and pine bark plus peat (P) are the predominant substrate components for container production in the southeastern United States. The growing concerns over the future availability of pine bark and high shipping costs associated with peat has led researchers to explore alternatives to these two commonly used substrate components. A study was conducted to compare nine substrate blends of pine bark, whole tree (WT), clean chip residual (CCR), peat, and composted poultry litter (CPL) that included by volume: 6:1 WT:CPL, 6:1 CCR:CPL, 6:1 PB:CPL, 100:0 WT, 100:0 CCR, 100:0 PB, 6:1 WT:P, 6:1 CCR:P, and 6:1 PB:P. The WT and CCR used in this study were processed to pass a 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch screen, respectively. Similarities amongst substrates in this study amended with peat or composted poultry litter indicate that poultry litter could be an economically viable and sustainable substrate amendment for containerized plant production. Species used in this experiment showed little or no difference compared to control treatments, indicating that composted poultry litter could be a valuable and economical substrate component for container production while providing an environmentally friendly way of waste disposal.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014