Submitted to: Journal Of Water Air And Soil Pollution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/16/2008
Publication Date: 9/21/2009
Citation: Paramasivam, S., Richards, K.A., Alva, A.K., Sajwan, K.S., Afolabi, J., Richards, A.M. 2009. Evaluation of Poultry Litter Amendment to Agricultural Soils: Leaching Losses and Partitioning of Trace Elements in Collard Greens. Journal Of Water Air And Soil Pollution. 202: 229-243. Interpretive Summary: Use of poultry litter as soil amendment provides a source of plant available nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and other minor elements such as copper, zinc, etc. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal fired power generation plant. This byproduct generally contains potassium, calcium, sulfur, boron, and molybdenum. Combined application of poultry litter and fly ash thus provides benefits of each of amendments by providing multiple macro and micro nutrients for plant uptake. However, application of these amendments at high rates can contribute to leaching of some nutrients depending on the soil and climate conditions. In this study leaching of trace elements as well as their uptake by collard greens was investigated in a fine sand and a loamy sand with application of different rates (0 to 24.7 metric tones per hectare of poultry litter or 1:1 mixture of poultry litter and fly ash. The plant growth as well as trace element uptake responded favorably to applications of up to 12.35 metric tones of either poultry litter or fly ash. At a given rate of amendments, trace element uptake by the plant was greater in those grown in a fine sandy soil as compared to those of the plants grown in a loamy sandy soil. Although the beneficial affects of the above amendments at a moderate rate are shown in this controlled experiment, it is recommended to evaluate the amendments in long-term, multi-location field experiments to confirm the current findings.
Technical Abstract: Leaching of trace metals and greenhouse plant growth (Collard greens; Brassica oleracea var. acephala) response studies were conducted in two types of soils with contrasting characteristics amended with varying rates (0 to 24.70 Mg ha-1) of poultry litter (PL) or 1:1 mixture of PL and fly ash (FA). Leaching of Cr, Zn, Cd, Cu, and Pb from soils amended with PL or PL + FA (1:1) increased with increasing rates of amendment. Leaching losses were greater from coarse-textured soil compared to that from medium-textured soil. Crop performance study indicated that growth as well as trace elements concentrations increased with increasing rates of amendments only up to 12.35 Mg ha-1. Trace element concentrations in plant parts were greater in plants grown in Candler fine sand (CFS) compared to that grown in Ogeechee loamy sand (OLS). Trace element concentrations were greater in the above ground plant parts (leave and stem) than those in roots. This study demonstrated beneficial effects of PL or mixture of PL +FA amendments to soils at rates not exceeding 4.94 Mg ha-1. Further field studies are recommended necessary to evaluate the long-term impact of using poultry litter and fly ash on plant growth and trace metal uptake as well as environmental impacts.