Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2012
Publication Date: 1/3/2013
Citation: Donald, P.A., Allen, P.B., Tyler, D.D., Sistani, K.R., Tewolde, H., Walker, E.R. 2013. Effect of broiler litter application to soybean crop infested with Soybean Cyst Nematode. Nematropica. 43(1):24-34. Interpretive Summary: Damage from plant diseases caused by plant parasitic nematodes can sometimes be reduced through application of organic material. This research explored the use of two levels of poultry litter from broiler houses as an amendment to soil infested with soybean cyst nematode. The low rate of poultry litter used in the study was typical of the rate allowed for field crops to comply with nitrogen management on a farm in Tennessee and was slightly higher than typical use rates by west Tennessee soybean producers. The plants receiving the poultry litter were taller and had more seed than those which did not have the poultry litter. No differences were seen in yield or height in no till plots where the poultry litter was applied to the soil surface or in tilled plots where half of the plots had poultry litter left on the soil surface and half had the poultry litter incorporated. No reduction in soybean cyst nematode reproduction was seen with any poultry litter treatment.
Technical Abstract: Manipulation of the plant root zone to reduce the impact of plant parasitic nematodes has been a goal of researchers. Addition of animal manure has a long history to improve soil qualities and reduce soil borne diseases. Greenhouse studies indicated a reduction in the number of soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines Ichinohe) cysts when dried poultry litter or bovine manure was added to pots. Field treatments included two levels of poultry litter (6.7 Mg ha-1 and 13.4 Mg ha-1). The main treatment effects were tillage with surface applied poultry litter in the no-tillage plots and surface applied and incorporation of poultry litter in the disk tilled plots. Plots without poultry litter in the tillage treatments were monitored for fertility level and served as control. Application of poultry litter significantly increased plant height and biomass in 2008 and 2009 regardless of rate or tillage regime. Significant grain yield differences were observed in 2008. Spectral measurements were highly correlated with plant height, grain yield, and H. glycines egg population density at harvest in 2008. Increased levels of P, Mg, and Zn were present where poultry litter was applied. Despite preliminary positive greenhouse research results, there was no significant effect of poultry litter application on H. glycines in field studies. One consequence of poultry litter application was increased above ground plant growth; however, if this was due to increased root growth, this was not seen in increased nematode feeding as measured by an expected increased in H glycines reproductive rate.