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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334686

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Effects of poultry litter placement on seedling and early-stage growth of corn and cotton

item LIN, YARU - Auburn University
item Watts, Dexter
item Way, Thomas - Tom

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2016
Publication Date: 2/8/2016
Citation: Lin, Y., Watts, D.B., Way, T.R. 2016. Effects of poultry litter placement on seedling and early-stage growth of corn and cotton [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Meetings, February 7-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Interest in using poultry litter (PL) as a nutrient source for row crop production within the Southeastern U.S. has increased. Poultry litter is generally broadcast on the soil surface. This practice exposes the litter’s N to volatilization and P to surface water runoff, potentially negatively impacting the environment. Placing PL in narrow bands below the soil surface has been shown to reduce such losses and improve crop yield, but the influence of band placement on seed germination and plant growth is not well understood. Thus, a greenhouse experiment was conducted on a Marvyn sandy loam to determine the effects of PL placement on emergence and early-stage growth of corn (Zea mays L.) and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Poultry litter placement was compared with ammonium sulfate (AS). The PL and AS treatments consisted of surface broadcasting, banding 2 inches below or to the side of the seed, seeding directly in the band, and an unfertilized control. Banding 2 inches to the side of the seed produced similar seed germination ratios, plant biomass, root morphological parameters, leaf area, and chlorophyll content to that of the control and surface broadcast treatments for both corn and cotton fertilized with AS and PL. However, seeds placed directly in PL or AS bands showed the lowest seed germination ratio and growth parameters. Poultry litter and AS placement to the side of the seed also resulted in root morphological growth parameters similar to those of the surface broadcast and control treatments. Therefore, banding PL to the side of the seed may be an effective fertilizer management strategy for corn or cotton production, but placing seeds in direct contact with PL bands can inhibit germination and the early-stage growth of plants.