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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPING BENEFICIAL USES OF AGRICULTURAL, INDUSTRIAL, AND MUNICIPAL BYPRODUCTS

Location: Crop Systems & Global Change

Title: Trace metal enrichment and distribution in a poultry litter-amended soil under different tillage practices

Authors
item Jaja, Ngowari -
item Mbila, Monday -
item Codling, Eton
item Reddy, Seshadri -
item Reddy, Chandra -

Submitted to: Open Agriculture Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 16, 2013
Publication Date: October 3, 2013
Citation: Jaja, N., Mbila, M., Codling, E.E., Reddy, S.S., Reddy, C.K. 2013. Trace metal enrichment and distribution in a poultry litter-amended soil under different tillage practices. Open Agriculture Journal. 7:88-95.

Interpretive Summary: Plant nutrients and minor elements enrichment from poultry litter application under different tillage practices, and crop rotation has long been investigated to determine their impacts on crop yield and their impact on the environment. This study was conducted to determine soil arsenic (As), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) enrichment from accepted agronomic practices of poultry litter application and tillage practices. This study was performed on soil samples collected in 2005 from a long-term study established in 1996 at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Belle Mina, Alabama. Soil samples were collected from plots with three tillage systems, conventional-till (CT), no-till (NT), and mulch-till (MT), at three depths (0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, and 20-30 cm) that received poultry litter based on 100 kg total N ha-1 yearly. Untreated control plots were also included in the study. Copper and Zn concentrations were significantly higher for all tillage systems at the 0-10 cm depth than the 10-20 and 20-30 cm depths and decreased with increasing depth. For example, at 0-10 cm depth, Cu concentrations were 58, 66 and 65 while Zn were 13, 24 and 22 percent higher than the control for the CT, MT and NT tillage practices respectively. These results demonstrated that Cu and Zn did accumulate in the surface soil but not at level that could be toxic to plants while As, Pb and Ni did not accumulate when poultry litter is applied over time regardless of the tillage practices.

Technical Abstract: Plant nutrients and minor elements contamination resulting from enrichment due to agronomic practices such as poultry litter amendment of soils, tillage practices, and crop rotation patterns that have long been investigated to determine their impacts on yield, as well as soil and environmental sustainability. This study was conducted to evaluate soil arsenic (As), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) enrichment that could result from the accepted agronomic practices of poultry litter amendments and tillage practices. This study was performed on soil samples collected in 2005 from a long-term study established in 1996 at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Belle Mina, Alabama. Soil samples were collected from three tillage systems, conventional-till (CT), no-till (NT), and mulch-till (MT), at three depths (0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, and 20-30 cm) that received poultry litter at 100 kg N ha-1 yearly. An untreated control was also included in the study. Soil pH values at the 0-10 cm were greater or equal to the lower depths. Copper and Zn concentrations were significantly higher for all tillage systems at the 0-10 cm depth compared to the 10-20 and 20-30 cm depths and decreased with increasing depth. For example, at 0-10 cm depth Cu concentrations were 58, 66 and 65 and Zn were 13, 24 and 22 percent higher than the control for the CT, MT and NT tillage practices respectively. These results demonstrated that Cu and Zn did accumulate in the surface soil but not at level that could be toxic to plants while As, Pb and Ni did not accumulate when poultry litter is applied over time regardless of the tillage practices.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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