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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371505

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

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Effect of a new manure amendment on ammonia emissions from poultry litter

Author
item ANDERSON, KELSEY - University Of Arkansas
item Moore, Philip
item Martin, Jerry
item Ashworth, Amanda

Submitted to: Atmosphere
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2020
Publication Date: 3/5/2020
Citation: Anderson, K., Moore Jr, P.A., Martin, J.W., Ashworth, A.J. 2020. Effect of a new manure amendment on ammonia emissions from poultry litter. Atmosphere. 11(3):257. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030257.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030257

Interpretive Summary: Treating manure with alum (aluminum sulfate) is a best management practice (BMP) which reduces ammonia emissions and phosphorus runoff and leaching from poultry litter. However, alum prices have dramatically increased in recent years, creating a need for less expensive products to control ammonia in chicken houses. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of a new litter amendment, alum mud litter amendment (AMLA) made from alum mud (a waste product from alum manufacturing), bauxite, and sulfuric acid on ammonia emissions and poultry production in a pen trial. Three separate flocks of 1000 broilers were used for this study. The first flock of birds was used to produce the poultry litter needed for the experiment. The birds in the second and third flocks were allocated to 20 pens in a completely randomized block design with four replicates of five treatments. The treatments were: (1) control, (2) 49 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (3) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (4) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 surface applied, and (5) 98 kg alum/100 m2 incorporated. Ammonia fluxes and poultry litter samples were collected from each pen at day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42. The average litter pH for both flocks was higher in untreated litter (7.92) compared to incorporating alum (7.32) or AMLA (7.18). The two flock average ammonium concentrations at day 42 were 38 and 30% higher for high rates of incorporated alum and AMLA compared to untreated litter. Compared with untreated litter, AMLA reduced overall ammonia emissions by 27 to 52%, which was not significantly different from reductions in emissions by alum (35%). Alum mud litter amendment reduced the cumulative ammonia losses as much as, and in some cases more than alum applied at the same rate. The data from this study indicates that AMLA, which can be manufactured for a much lower price than alum, is a very effective litter amendment for reducing ammonia emissions from poultry litter.

Technical Abstract: Treating manure with aluminum sulfate (alum) is a best management practice which reduces ammonia (NH3) emissions and phosphorus (P) runoff from poultry litter. However, the price of alum has increased markedly in recent years, creating a need for less expensive products to control NH3 volatilization. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a new litter amendment made from alum mud, bauxite, and sulfuric acid (alum mud litter amendment or AMLA) on NH3 emissions and poultry production in a pen trial. Three separate flocks of 1000 broilers were used for this study. The first flock of birds was used to produce the poultry litter needed for the experiment. The second and third flocks of birds were allocated to 20 pens in a completely randomized block design with four replicates of five experimental treatments: (1) control, (2) 49 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (3) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 incorporated, (4) 98 kg AMLA/100 m2 surface applied, and (5) 98 kg alum/100 m2 incorporated. Ammonia flux measurements and litter samples were collected from each pen at day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42. The average litter pH for both flocks was higher in untreated litter (7.92) compared to incorporating alum (7.32) or AMLA (7.18). The two flock average NH4-N concentrations at day 42 were 38 and 30% higher for high rates of incorporated alum and AMLA compared to untreated litter. Compared with untreated litter, AMLA reduced overall NH3 emissions by 27 to 52%, which was not significantly different from reductions in emissions by alum (35%). Alum mud litter amendment reduced cumulative NH3 losses from litter as much as, and in some cases more than, alum applied at the same rate. The data from this study indicates that AMLA, which can be manufactured for a much lower price than alum, is an effective litter amendment for reducing NH3 emissions from poultry litter.