Submitted to: Southern Conservation Tillage for Sustainable Agriculture Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Gascho, G.J., Baldree, B.H., Brenneman, T.B., Harris, G.H., Sumner, D.R., Hubbard, R.K., Johnson, A.W., Hanna, W.W. 1999. Irrigated multiple-cropping using broiler litter in conservation tillage. Southern Conservation Tillage for Sustainable Agriculture Proceedings.
Interpretive Summary: Utilization and/or disposal of poultry litter is a major environmental concern. With increasing population and increased demand for meat and eggs the number of confined animal feeding operations has increased dramatical- ly. Research was conducted to determine the feasibility of using broiler litter as fertilizer in a conservation tillage system. A double-cropped, irrigated, conservation-tilled, 3-year rotation was initiated at the Coastal Plain Experiment Stn., Tifton, GA in 1996. Research objective was to determine the fertilization needed to balance nutrition supplied as surface-applied broiler litter and to determine the ability to produce high yield crops in conservation tillage. Cotton, peanut and pearl millet for grain were planted in the summer and wheat and canol were planted in winter. Following cotton the plots were fallowed. All summer and all winter crops were grown each year. Plots were arranged in split-plots with broiler rlitter rates of 0, 2, 4 and 6 ton/acre applied on the surface before each crop as the main plots and fluid fertilizer treatments as the split plots. Results showed that high rates of broiler litter rapidly increased soil test P in the surface soil. The litter application provide yield and value/acre increases for cotton, grain pearl millet, wheat and canola. Any litter application was detrimental to peanut yield and grade. Research is is important because it provides useful data for making recommendations for litter rates and economically efficient applications of fluid fertilizers following litter application in conservation tillage.
Technical Abstract: A double-cropped, irrigated, conservation-tilled, 3-yr rotation was begun at the Coastal Plain Experiment Stn., Tifton, GA in 1996 and continues to determine fertilization needed to balance nutrietion supplied as surface- applied broiler litter and to determine the ability to produce high yield crops in conservation tillage. Cotton, peanut and pearl millet for grain are planted in summer and wheat and canola are planted in winter. Followin cotton, plots are fallowed. All summer and winter crops are grown each year. Plots are arranged in split-plots with broiler litter rates of 0,2,4 and 6 ton/acre applied on the surface before each crop as the main plots and fluid fertilizer treatments as the split plots. High rates of broiler litter are rapidly increasing soil test P in surface soil test P in the surface soil, signaling potential problems in the future. Litter applica- tion provided yield and value/acre increases for cotton, grain pearl millet, wheat and canola. Any litter applicatin was detrimental to peanut yield and grade. At a suggested rate of 2 tons litter/acre, gross returns of cotton increased by $66 or $35/acre/year due to 10 gal of 10-34-0 or 12- 22-5 (2S) as starter fertilizaers, respectively, but not consistently to 3 foliar KNO**3 applications: millet value increased only slightly due to starter application, but by $19-$28 due to 40 lb N as side dressed UAN; wheat value increased by $57/acre due to 40 N dribbled on 15 Feb and canola value increased as much as $84/acre from two dribble applications of 40 lb N as UAN spaced at 45 & 90 days after emergence. Peanut responded only to application of a fungicide in all 3 years of this rotation. Data should be useful in making recommendations for litter rates and economically efficient application of fluid fertilizer following litter application.