Submitted to: Abstract of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2001
Publication Date: 10/1/2001
Citation: POTE, D.H., KINGERY, W.L., HAN, F.X., AIKEN, G.E., MOORE JR, P.A., BUDDINGTON, B. 2001. INCORPORATING BROILER LITTER INTO PERENNIAL GRASSLANDS. ABSTRACT OF AGRONOMY MEETINGS. CDROM.
Technical Abstract: Boiler litter is rich in plant nutrients that increase forage production, but the usual practice of surface spreading litter on pasture allows nutrients and metals to be transported from fields in surface runoff, while much of the ammonia-N volatilizes. Fertilizer incorporation into soil can reduce such problems in tilled systems, but has not been used for perennial forage systems. In this study, we minimized disturbance of soil structure, forage crop, and thatch by using a knifing technique to move litter into the root zone. Our objectives were to determine effects of litter incorporation on (1) water, soil, nutrient, and metal losses in runoff, and (2) forage yield and quality. Field plots were constructed on a silt loam soil with 8-10 percent slopes and well-established bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) and mixed grass forage crop. Each plot had borders and a trough with sampling pit for runoff collection. Broiler litter was applied (5.6 Mg/ha) by one of three methods (surface-applied, incorporated, or surface-applied on soil-aeration cuts), with six treatment replications plus three controls. Litter incorporation significantly decreased nutrient and metal losses in runoff from natural and simulated rainstorms, did not affect water and soil losses, and tended to increase both yield and quality (percent protein and digestibility dry matter) of the forage.