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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #203044

Title: Broiler Litter Application Date on Bermudagrass in Southeastern U.S.

item Sistani, Karamat
item Adeli, Ardeshir
item Tewolde, Haile
item Brink, Geoffrey

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2006
Publication Date: 11/14/2006
Citation: Sistani, K.R., Adeli, A., Tewolde, H., Brink, G.E. 2006. Broiler Litter Application Date on Bermudagrass in Southeastern U.S.. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts CD.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Presently, more than 85% of the boiler (chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus) litter is being applied to pasture lands year-round. This practice results in nutrient losses and potentially unfavorable environmental impacts particularly during the wet winter months. A field plot experiment was initiated in 2000 on a Ruston silt loam in Mize, MS to identify the optimum broiler litter application timing that enhances litter nutrient uptake by crops while minimizing undesirable nutrient buildup in soil. Seven treatments (litter application timings) were employed on previously established “Costal” hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] plots. For each treatment, total broiler litter (a mixture of chicken manure plus bedding materials) needed was calculated based on 400 kg N ha-1 for top bermudagrass yield (18 Mg ha-1), and applied either as a single, two-way split, or three-way split at different dates as follow: May; May/June; April/May/June; May/June/July; June/July/August; July/August/September; and August/September/October. Bermudagrass was harvested 5 times each year for dry matter (DM) and nutrient uptake determination. Significant differences in DM yield were observed in each year among application timings. The greatest DM yield was 17.6 Mg ha-1 for the single application in May and lowest at 16.0 Mg ha-1 for Aug/Sep/Oct application dates in 2001 and followed by the same trend in 2002. The N and P uptake by Coastal bermudagrass ranged from 290 to 378, and 53 to 63 kg ha-1 respectively, in 2001. Similar trend, however lower values for nutrient uptake were observed in 2002. Significant differences were observed among litter application timings in regard to soil residual of TC, TN, M3-P, NO3-N, Cu, and Fe elements at the end of the study. In general, summer and early fall litter applications resulted in greater buildup of most of these elements. Based on the results of this study, there is a wide window of litter application timing on Coastal bermudagrass pasture. However, the data suggest that the best litter application timing should be in early spring when minimum temperatures exceed those required for optimum bermudagrass growth.