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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354686

Research Project: Quantifying Air and Water Quality Benefits of Improved Poultry Manure Management Practices

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Nutrient characteristics of poultry manure and litter

item Ashworth, Amanda
item CHASTAIN, JOHN - Clemson University
item Moore, Philip

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Monograph
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2019
Publication Date: 1/30/2019
Citation: Ashworth, A.J., Chastain, J.P., Moore Jr, P.A. 2020. Nutrient characteristics of poultry manure and litter. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 67-87.

Interpretive Summary: Careful management of animal manure is crucial for sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture. The majority of meat, milk and eggs consumed in the United States are produced in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO). Manure accumulation in and around CAFO may lead to contamination of air, soil and water if improperly managed. To date, no extensive reference exists on potential environmental effects of livestock manure. The goal of this monograph is to address environmental concerns and simultaneously improve understanding of beneficial manure use by producers. This text will cover an array of topics, including physicochemical characteristics of manure and wastes from different livestock systems; emissions of greenhouse gases, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other volatile compounds; and transport of nutrients and contaminants from livestock housing and field-applied manure. Content will include timely information on potential fate and transport of pharmaceutical residues, microbial pathogens and antibiotic resistance from manure. In addition, the work will review management and utilization practices to derive optimal value from manure.

Technical Abstract: Animal manures have been used to supply nutrients for plant growth and production since the inception of agriculture. Concurrent with chemical fertilizer cost increases, farmers are developing a renewed interest in poultry litter for fertilizer, particularly for organic crop production systems. Therefore, given the growing acres of organic or local usage of fertility sources for forage and crop production, and the increased demand for protein-based diets, there is a growing need for improved manure-based nutrient management for sustained water quality and plant and animal productivity. This chapter aims to provide an overview of poultry manure and litter characteristics in U.S. production systems so that producers and scientists can develop nutrient management plans for minimizing excess nutrients in groundwater systems and optimize targeted nutrient applications.