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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #381033

Research Project: GxExM Systems Approach to Crop Disease Management

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Poultry litter application rate and time impacts on corn grain yield and environmental nitrogen loss

item SINGH, RAJVEER - Auburn University
item PRASAD, RISHI - Auburn University
item Balkcom, Kipling
item GUERTAL, ELIZABETH - Auburn University
item LAMBA, JASMEET - Auburn University

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2020
Publication Date: 12/15/2020
Citation: Singh, R., Prasad, R., Balkcom, K.S., Guertal, E.A., Lamba, J. 2020. Poultry litter application rate and time impacts on corn grain yield and environmental nitrogen loss [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Meeting.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: For efficient use of poultry litter (PL) as a nutrient source, it is critical to balance the amount of N needed for optimal crop growth while reducing the N loss to the surroundings. This 2-year study (2018-19) investigated the effects of N source [poultry litter (PL) and conventional fertilizer (CF)], application rate [168 (low rate) and 336 (high rate) kg N/ha), and time (single and split application) on corn (Zea Mays L.) grain yield and environmental N loss (ENL) at three locations (EVS, WREC, and TVREC) for a total of five site-years. In single application, target N rate was applied pre-plant, and in split application, one-fourth of the target N rate was applied pre-plant and the remaining three-fourth side dressed at V6 stage. Partial nitrogen budget was generated to quantify ENL. N inputs included N contribution from added PL or urea, and background soil N contribution calculated from the plant N uptake in the control plots whereas N outputs included plant N uptake in the treated plots, residual soil inorganic N (NH4-N + NO3-N) and nitrogen lost to the environment i.e. ENL. Soil samples at 0-15 and 15-30 cm depths were taken at harvest each year for residual soil inorganic N content. Application of PL did not increased grain yield relative to CF at all locations except EVS. However, higher application rate of PL resulted in greater grain yield at WREC and TVREC compared to a low rate. No response to application timing on grain yield was observed at WREC but split application of PL reduced grain yield compared to single application at other two locations. Conflicting results for ENL related to N source were reported at the study sites. However, ENL increased with increasing N rate ranging from 30 to 56% of the total N input.