Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2009
Publication Date: 1/3/2010
Citation: Sistani, K.R., Adeli, A., Tewolde, H. 2010. Apparent use efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorus from broiler litter applied to bermudagrass. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 41(15):1873-1884. Interpretive Summary: Nitrogen (N) availability to plants from animal manures depends on the conversion of manure organic N to inorganic N. Therefore, the quantity of any organic waste including animal manure application is generally based on N availability during growing season and the crop yield goals. It is difficult to predict the availability of manure N to plants since both N mineralization processes and losses of N influence availability and use efficiency. Management practices that optimize transformation of manure-derived N for plant uptake are critical for greater N use efficiency in many cropping systems. Significant quantity of the broiler chicken litter generated by the US poultry industry is land-applied on pasture and hay fields in order to provide plant nutrients or as a way of disposing it. Therefore, quantity of litter N and phosphorus (P) that mineralized and potentially become available under field conditions needs to be accurately estimated in order to apply the proper amount that supply adequate amount of N and P for crop without adverse environmental impacts. The objective of this study was to investigate the availability and N and P use efficiency of broiler litter applied to bermudagrass during the first year after application. Results showed bermudagrass dry matter yield increased significantly with increase in litter rate. The overall average of N use efficiency from litter was 39% compared to the 59% from fertilizer (ammonium nitrate). The mean litter N availability to bermudagrass during the first year after litter application was 48.5, 112.5, and 222 kg ha-1 corresponding to the 3.3, 6.6, and 13.2 metric ton ha-1 litter rates, respectively. The P use efficiency averaged across the rate and locations was 13.6%, which was quite smaller than N use efficiency of 39%.
Technical Abstract: Great quantity of broiler (chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus) litter produced annually is being utilized as a plant nutrient source particularly for N and P. However, the estimates of these nutrients availability to plants are highly variable. The accurate quantities of the litter nutrients in an actual field conditions that become available for plant uptake are needed to manage litter application properly. This research determined under field conditions the availability and apparent N and P use efficiency (ANUE or APUE) of broiler litter surface broadcasted to bermudagrass during the first year after litter application. Three experiments were conducted on a Marietta silt loam and Grenada silt loam soils in Mississippi during the 2001 and 2002 growing seasons. Experimental plots were 2 x 5 m, which were previously established with Common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Treatments consisted of three litter rates (3.3, 6.6, and 13.2 Mg ha-1), a N fertilizer rate that provided 358 kg N ha-1 as ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), and an untreated control, arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Results showed bermudagrass dry matter (DM) yield increased significantly with increase in litter rate. Fertilizer treatment produced significantly greater bermudagrass DM yield than 3.3 and 6.6 Mg ha-1 litter rate, but produced less DM yield than 13.2 Mg ha-1 litter rate. The overall average of apparent N use efficiency from litter was 39% compared to the 59% from fertilizer (NH4NO3). The mean litter N availability to bermudagrass during the first year after litter application was 48.5, 112.5, and 222 kg ha-1 corresponding to the 3.3, 6.6, and 13.2 Mg ha-1 litter rates, respectively. The overall mean of litter N mineralization, which was surface, broadcasted to bermudagrass plots for the first year was 59.5% of the total litter N applied. The apparent P use efficiency averaged across the rate and locations was 13.6%, which was quite smaller than ANUE of 39%. This finding of small APUE also validates the potential for P accumulation in soil after longterm animal manure application. (11.2 Mg ha-1 in this study) broiler litter as a primary fertilizer will produce optimum corn grain yield compare to chemical fertilizer under either no-till or conventional tillage systems.