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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: LABORATORY AND FIELD EVALUATION OF BROILER LITTER NITROGEN MERALIZATION

Authors
item Sistani, Karamat
item Adeli, Ardeshir
item Mcgowen, Steven - NRCS
item Tewolde, Haile
item Brink, Geoffrey

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 19, 2007
Publication Date: May 5, 2008
Repository URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com
Citation: Sistani, K.R., Adeli, A., McGowen, S.L., Tewolde, H., Brink, G.E. 2008. Laboratory and field evaluation of broiler litter nitrogen meralization. Bioresource Technology. 99:2603-2611

Interpretive Summary: Broiler litter, a mixture of manure and bedding materials, is used widely as fertilizer on pasture and row crop lands in poultry producing regions. Most of the land applied litter is broadcasted on the pasture lands or incorporated for some row crops. Accurate estimation of litter nutrients is required for efficient utilization of this resource in agriculture. It is difficult to predict the availability of litter nitrogen (N) to plants since both N transformation (conversion of organic N to inorganic N) and losses of N influence availability. Limited evidence suggests that soil properties may affect the amount of net N availability from broiler litter. Two studies were conducted; First, a laboratory incubation study to quantify poultry litter N availability at two temperatures (18o and 25o C), two soil moisture regimes, constant and fluctuating, and three soil types, Brooksville silty clay loam and Ruston sandy loam from Mississippi, and Catlin silt loam from Illinois. Second, a field study using only Brooksville and Ruston soil to validate the laboratory results, using similar soils in microplot cylinders and anion exchange resin to capture available N. The impact of temperature was significant, while soil moisture regimes had no significant impact on litter-derived inorganic N. Field results followed the same trend as the laboratory study but with much lower rate.

Technical Abstract: Nitrogen (N) availability from animal manure is dependent on the rate and quantity of manure organic N conversion to inorganic NO3- and NH4+. Mineralization of organic N varies with factors such as soil temperature, moisture, and other soil properties. Two studies were conducted; First, a laboratory incubation study to quantify poultry litter N mineralization with the following treatments: two temperatures (18o and 25o C), two soil moisture regimes, constant at 60% water fill pore space (WFPS) and fluctuating from 60 to 30% WFPS, and three soil types, Brooksville silty clay loam and Ruston sandy loam from Mississippi, and Catlin silt loam from Illinois. Second, a field study using only Brooksville and Ruston soil to validate the laboratory results, using similar soils in microplot cylinders and anion exchange resin to capture mineralized N. The impact of temperature was significant on litter N mineralization exhibiting rapid increase of inorganic N (NO3- + NH4+). Total litter-derived inorganic N increased from 23 mg Kg-1 at time 0 to159 mg Kg-1 at 93 days after litter application in the laboratory incubation. Soil moisture regimes had no significant impact on litter-derived inorganic N. The impact of soil type was most significant in the field study. Litter mineralization followed the same trend as the laboratory study but with much lower net inorganic N, presumably due to denitrification and immobilization. Litter-derived inorganic N was greater in Ruston than Brooksville with greater part of the inorganic N was in the form of NH4-N. Due to the strong impact of temperature and soil type on poultry litter mineralization, additional studies are warranted in order to develop predictive relationships to quantify manure N availability.

Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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