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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217739

Title: Temporary Storage of Poultry Broiler Litter

item Torbert, Henry - Allen
item Kornecki, Ted

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2007
Publication Date: 11/6/2007
Citation: Mitchell, C.C., Torbert III, H.A., Kornecki, T.S., Tyson, T.W. 2007. Temporary Storage of Poultry Broiler Litter [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. 2007 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Transportation and storage of poultry broiler litter during the winter months is critical to implementing comprehensive nutrient/waste management plans, but acceptable temporary storage near the site of spreading can be difficult to arrange. Alternative, less expensive methods for temporary storage are needed to encourage more use of poultry litter on cropland, but these methods must be environmentally sound. Two separate studies were initiated to examine alternative methods of litter storage. Treatments included: (1) no litter, (2) litter covered with 6-mil polyethylene plastic, (3) litter covered with commercially available HayGard® fabric, (4) an uncovered pile, (5) an uncovered, cone-shaped pile, and (6) an uncovered pile treated with a polyacrylamide (PAM) to prevent water infiltration. Factors studied included litter quality and nutrient runoff. In both studies, the uncovered piles absorbed rainfall but also dried out on the surface rather rapidly in the spring. They also resulted in much higher runoff of ammonium-N, both total and soluble P, and all other measured runoff parameters. Covered litter was wet on the surface from condensation under the cover, but generally resulted in less runoff of nutrients and maintained its fertilizer nutrient concentration. Exposed litter rapidly decomposed due to the wetting and drying effect. All litter apparently lost some mass although this was observed and not measured. Results indicate that dry broiler litter must be covered in order to protect litter quality and to prevent extensive nutrient runoff.