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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350096

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

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Evaluation of flue-gas desulfurization gypsum in poultry litter as a substrate component for greenhouse horticultural crops

Author
item Paul, C - Auburn University
item Robinson, C - Auburn University
item Kessler, J - Auburn University
item Wells, D - Auburn University
item Sibley, J - Auburn University
item Torbert, Henry - Allen
item Watts, Dexter

Submitted to: Agricultural Research & Technology Open Access Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2017
Publication Date: 1/22/2018
Citation: Paul, C.J., Robinson, C.W., Kessler, J.R., Wells, D.E., Sibley, J.L., Torbert III, H.A., Watts, D.B. 2018. Evaluation of flue-gas desulfurization gypsum in poultry litter as a substrate component for greenhouse horticultural crops. Agricultural Research & Technology Open Access Journal. 13(3)555886. https://doi.10.19080/ARTOAJ.2018.13.555886.

Interpretive Summary: Recently, there has been interest in using flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) as a bedding material in poultry production houses. Litter (bedding and manure) removed from poultry houses is commonly used as a fertilizer source, however, research has not been conducted to examine if FGDG litter can be used. A study was conducted to evaluate the growth response and consumer preference of three plant species to five substrate blends containing this FGDG litter and pine bark, which is normally used for substrate. There were differences in consumer preference, plant growth, foliar greenness (SPAD values), and drainage rates among substrates and their suitability for growing plants. In the substrate based on poultry litter from 100% FGDG bedding, flocculation created good drainage, higher CEC, and greater pore space. This 1: 1 FGDG: CPB substrate had a lower, more desirable pH level, a higher calcium level, and less phosphorus leached from the substrate after watering suggesting the possibility of calcium binding excess phosphorus in the leachate water.

Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to evaluate the growth response and consumer preference of three plant species to substrate blends containing flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG). Substrate blends used in this study were derived from a previous experiment that evaluated the use of FGD Gas a bedding material for broiler chicken production. Five litter treatments chosen from the broiler study were mixed at a 50:50 ratio with crushed pine bark (CPB) giving rise to the following treatments: Pine shavings (PS)+CPB (50:50 v/v); FGDG + PS + CPB(25:25:50 v/v/v); FGDG +CPB(50:50 v/v), Pine bark (PB)+ CPB (50:50 v/v); and FGDG + PB + CPB (25:25:50v/v/v). These treatments were compared to CPB + Farfard 3B (50:50 v/v) as the control (industry stand and).The five broiler litter based substrates (treatments) contained poultry manure while the control did not. There were differences in consumer preference, plant growth, foliar greenness (SPAD values), and drainage rates among substrates (treatments) and their suitability for growing plants. In the substrate based on poultry litter from 100% FGDG bedding, flocculation created good drainage, higher CEC, and greater pore space. This 1: 1 FGDG: CPB substrate had a lower, more desirable pH level, a higher calcium level, and less phosphorus leached from the substrate after watering suggesting the possibility of calcium binding excess phosphorus in the leachate water.