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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Safe Management and Use of Manure, Biosolids, and Industrial Byproducts

Location: Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research

Title: Effects of pelletized and non-pelletized poultry litter and nutrient immobilizing agent on surface runoff water quality from a forage based system)

item Adeli, Ardeshir
item Mclaughlin, Michael - Mike
item Brooks, John
item Read, John
item Jenkins, Johnie

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2012
Publication Date: 10/21/2012
Citation: Adeli, A., McLaughlin, M.R., Brooks, J.P., Read, J.J., Jenkins, J.N. 2012. Effects of pelletized and non-pelletized poultry litter and nutrient immobilizing agent on surface runoff water quality from a forage based system [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts. CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Poultry litter is recognized as a desirable organic fertilizer that improves soil fertility by adding essential plant nutrients and organic matter. Poultry litter is pelletized to improve the economics and handling and transport from production areas to land application sites. Compared to non-pelletized litter, little is known about its impact on crop production and surface runoff water quality. Since the potential impairment of surface water from poultry litter has always been of concern, particularly if litter is not incorporated into the soil, it is critical to investigate whether the application of pelletized litter relative to non-pelletized litter affects the potential export of bacteria, water-soluble nutrients (NH4, NO3, and P) and trace elements (Cu, Zn, and As) in runoff and how the dynamics of derived nutrients in surface runoff water can be controlled by using nutrient immobilizing agents. To address these questions, a greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate and compare the export of bacteria, nutrients and trace elements in surface runoff from pelletized poultry litter relative to non-pelletized litter either alone or in combination with immobilizing agents. In this study, strips of sod 19 cm wide and 9 cm deep were cut with a tractor-mounted sod cutter and packed into pvc runoff troughs (146 cm long, 19 cm wide and 10 cm deep) on benches in a greenhouse. Soil in troughs was watered for 10 days to settle it into position. Pelletized and non-pelletized poultry litter at the rate of 9 Mg ha-1 alone or in combination with FGD (flue-gas desulfurization) gypsum, a by-product received from a coal combustion plant, were surfaced applied to the sod strips in the troughs. Treated sod strips were subjected to simulated rainfall at 3, 14, and 32 days after poultry litter application. Runoff water samples were collected and analyzed. The results will be discussed.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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