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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #254994

Title: The uses and management of poultry litter

item BOLAN, NANTHI - University Of South Australia
item Szogi, Ariel
item CHUASAVATHI, THAMMARED - University Of South Australia
item SESHADRI, BALAJI - University Of South Australia

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2008
Publication Date: 10/7/2008
Citation: Bolan, N., Szogi, A.A., Chuasavathi, T., Seshadri, B. 2008. The uses and management of poultry litter. In: Proceedings of New Zealand Poultry Industry Annual Conference, October 7-9, 2008, Palmerson North, New Zealand. p. 47-55.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The poultry industry is one of the largest and fastest growing agro-based industries in the world. There is an increasing demand for poultry meat mainly due to its acceptance by most societies and its relatively low cholesterol content. The poultry industry is currently facing numerous environmental problems. One of the major problems is the accumulation of large amount of wastes, especially manure and litter, generated by intensive production. Large-scale accumulation of these wastes may pose disposal and pollution problems unless environmentally and economically sustainable management technologies are evolved. Most of the manure and litter produced by poultry industry is currently applied to agricultural land. When managed correctly, land application is a viable way to recycle the nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in manure. Land application of poultry litter improves the physical, chemical and biological fertility of soils thereby enhancing the sustainable production of food and fibre. However, pollution and nuisance problems can occur when manure is land applied under environmental conditions that do not favour agronomic utilization of the manure-borne nutrients. The continued productivity, profitability, and sustainability of the poultry industry will likely be dependent on the formulation of best management practices to mitigate environmental consequences associated with air and water quality parameters that are impacted by land application, and the development of cost-effective innovative technologies that provide alternative to land application of poultry wastes. In this paper, the following issues will be discussed: (i) the amount of poultry litter produced in New Zealand and Australia in relation to the chemical composition and the uses of the litter; (ii) the uses of poultry litter as a nutrient source for growing pasture and crops, as a soil conditioner to improve the physical fertility of soils, as an animal feed, and as a fuel source; (iii) various methods used to improve the value of poultry litter as a nutrient source; (vi) the environmental issues of collection, handling and land application of poultry litter in relation to gaseous emission and nutrient leaching; and (v) the best management practices to overcome some of the environmental problems associated with the land application of poultry litter.