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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346287

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

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Double-crop wheat and soybean yield response to poultry litter application

item LIN, YARU - Auburn University
item Watts, Dexter
item Torbert, Henry - Allen
item HOWE, JULIE - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2019
Publication Date: 5/16/2019
Publication URL:
Citation: Lin, Y., Watts, D.B., Torbert III, H.A., Howe, J.A. 2019. Double-crop wheat and soybean yield response to poultry litter application. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management. 5:180082.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry litter application and double cropping (growing two crops in the same year) could be potentially used with conservation tillage to increase crop production. Thus, a study was conducted to evaluate the influence of utilizing poultry litter in a wheat-soybean double cropping system. Double-cropped soybeans (summer crop) produced higher yields than mono-cropped soybeans when both were planted at the same time. Fertilizing with poultry litter only resulted in lower winter wheat grain yield than that of using inorganic N alone. Applying both poultry litter and inorganic N produced winter wheat grain yields equivalent to or greater than inorganic N alone, and the residual litter nutrients left over from the winter wheat crop slightly increased soybean productivity.

Technical Abstract: Poultry litter (PL) application and double cropping are management practices that could be used with conservation tillage systems to increase yields compared to conventional monocropping systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield response of PL verses inorganic N fertilizer applications under a double cropping system. The study was conducted from 2014 to 2016 at two locations on a Marvyn loamy sand (fine-loamy, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludult) and a Lucedale fine sandy loam (fine-loamy, siliceous, subactive, thermic Rhodic Paleudult). At each location, the experimental design was a randomized complete block with six treatments replicated four times. Fertility treatments for winter wheat included an unfertilized control (P0N0), inorganic N fertilizer (135 kg ha-1, P0N135), PL at the rate of 45 kg N ha-1 plus 90 kg ha-1 inorganic N (P45N90), PL at the rate of 90 kg N ha-1 plus 45 kg ha-1 inorganic N (P90N45), and PL at the rate of 135 kg N ha-1 (P135N0). All wheat treatments were double cropped with soybeans (no N fertilizer was added) and compared to a winter fallow treatment. Overall, wheat-soybean double cropping increased soybean yield compared to the fallow treatment. A combination of PL and inorganic N produced wheat yields equivalent to or greater than that of inorganic N alone, and the residual PL nutrients in soil slightly enhanced soybean productivity.