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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364854

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

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Integration of poultry litter and mineral N on growth and yield of winter canola

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

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2020
Publication Date: 7/3/2020
Citation: Lin, Y., Watts, D.B., Torbert III, H.A., Howe, J.A., Feng, Y. 2020. Integration of poultry litter and mineral N on growth and yield of winter canola. Agronomy Journal. 112:2496–2505. https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.20158.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/agj2.20158

Interpretive Summary: Interest in growing canola as a winter crop has increased in the southeastern US. In addition, interest in using poultry litter on row crop fields have also increased in recent years. Presently, there is limited information available on the influence of poultry litter on winter canola production. Thus, a study was conducted to determine if poultry litter could be used alone or in combination with inorganic fertilizer as opposed to just using inorganic fertilizer alone. Fertilizing with poultry litter only resulted in lower winter canola yield than that of using inorganic N alone. Applying both poultry litter and inorganic N produced winter canola yields equivalent to or greater than inorganic N alone. This study suggests that a combination of PL and inorganic N fertilizer could provide sustainable canola yield production in the southeastern US region.

Technical Abstract: Canola (Brassica napins (L.)) has the potential for being used as a winter crop in the southeastern US, but little information is known about its nitrogen management when grown in this region. Increasing fertilizer costs has also resulted in interest of using poultry litter (PL) as an alternative nutrient source for crops in this region. However, evaluation of the use of PL on canola growth and yield is lacking. Thus, a field study was conducted at two locations (Shorter, AL - Compass loamy sand soil, and Prattville, AL - Lucedale fine sandy loam soil) using a randomized complete block with four replications. Fertility treatments consisted of an unfertilized control (P0U0), inorganic N fertilizer (urea, 180 kg N ha-1, P0U180), PL at 68 kg N ha 1 with 112 kg N ha-1 urea (P68U112), PL at 112 kg N ha-1 with 68 kg N ha-1 urea (P112U68), and PL at 180 kg N ha-1 (P180U0). Overall, the combination of PL and urea application significantly increased canola growth (plant height and aboveground biomass) and elevated grain yield compared to PL application alone or the control. The P68U112 treatment resulted in an equivalent or slightly greater aboveground biomass, grain yield, and N uptake compared to the recommended urea treatment. This study suggests that a combination of PL and inorganic N fertilizer could provide sustainable canola yield production in the southeastern US region.