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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Weed Control and Mineralization of Nitrogen and Phospohorus from Composted Poultry Mulch in a West Virginia Peach Orchard

item Preusch, P - HOOD COLLEGE (GRAD)
item Tworkoski, Thomas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 18, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Improper management of poultry manure and bedding (litter can cause undesi- rable changes in aquatic communities. Poultry waste can be converted to a stable organic fertilizer by composting. This experiment was established to determine the effect of application of poultry litter as a mulch on 1) N&P concentrations in soil & peach leaves, 2) peach yield, & 3) weed cover. In May 1998 plots beneath peach trees (Prunus persica) received 1kg diuron/ha plus 1kg terbacil/ha. The following treatments were installed: commercial fertilizer (15gN/m2), low rate poultry litter (15gN/m2) as 2.9kg composted litter/m2), high rate poultry litter (62gN/m2) as 11.6kg composted litter/ m2), & no treatment control. Weeds were completely controlled during 1998, but by Sept 1999 the high rate poultry litter reduced the % ground area covered by weeds to 27% compared with 86% for the commercial fertilizer- treated plots. Although few weeds grew through the high rate of poultry litter, the weeds were large & would require control in addition to poultr litter mulch. Soil N in plots treated with commercial fertilizer did not differ from the remaining treatments. There was 3.2ug N-NH4 & 0.7ug N-N03 per g soil in the high rate of poultry litter 6 weeks after treatment. Water soluable P in the soil differed among treatments at 47 weeks after treatment. Plots with the high rate of poultry litter had 30ug P per g soil compared with 14ug P per g soil in plots treated with commercial fertilizer In general, acid-soluble P did not differ among the litter/fertilizer treated plots (averaging 45ug P per g soil). Acid-soluble P was lowest in control plots (averaging 21ug P per g soil). Results indicate that poultry litter could be used as a weed suppressant without adversely affecting the nitrogen release to environment. However, P release may be problematic.

Last Modified: 4/17/2015
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