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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #202141

Title: Impacts of Long-Term Land Applied Poultry Litter on Soil Properties and Macro Cations Status

item He, Zhongqi

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/2006
Publication Date: 11/12/2006
Citation: He, Z., Tazisong, I.A., Senwo, Z.N., Zhang, D. 2006. Impacts of Long-Term Land Applied Poultry Litter on Soil Properties and Macro Cations Status. Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting. cd-rom

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Poultry litter (PL) is a traditionally inexpensive and effective fertilizer to improve soil quality and agricultural productivity. However, over application to soils has raised concern because excess nutrients in runoff could accelerate eutrophication of fresh water. A long-term field experiment using land applied PL has been maintained for nearly two decades at the Sand Mountain region of north Alabama, USA. We characterized several soil parameters impacted by long-term litter application. PL application did not markedly affect soil electric conductivity, bulk density, Na or K levels in the surface 20 cm. Soil pH, Ca and Mg were profoundly affected at all three soil depths (0-20, 20-40, and 40-60 cm) examined. Most soil parameters analyzed in this study reached peak values with 10 years of litter application, but this did not correspond to the highest rates or cumulative amounts of applied litter. This observation suggests an impact turning point for applied litter around 10 years. Continuous litter application may negatively alter a soil’s capacity to retain cations, leading to less impact observed in this study. This means similar soils receiving more than 10 years of applied litter would have higher potential for leaching and runoff. Our observations indicate that best management practices for PL land application consider application history.