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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND UTILIZATION OF BYPRODUCTS AND ANIMAL WASTES

Location: Southeast Watershed Research

Title: Nitrogen Mineralization of Broiler Litter Applied to Southeastern Coastal Plain Soils

Authors
item Hubbard, Robert
item Bosch, David
item Marshall, Laura
item Strickland, Timothy
item Rowland, Diane
item Griffin, Timothy
item Honeycutt, Charles
item Albrecht, Stephan
item Sistani, Karamat
item Torbert, Henry
item Woodbury, Bryan
item Powell, J Mark
item Wienhold, Brian

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 14, 2007
Publication Date: June 15, 2008
Citation: Hubbard, R.K., Bosch, D.D., Marshall, L.K., Strickland, T.C., Rowland, D., Griffin, T.S., Honeycutt, C.W., Albrecht, S.L., Sistani, K.R., Torbert Iii, H.A., Woodbury, B.L., Powell, J.M., Wienhold, B.J. 2008. Nitrogen Mineralization of Broiler Litter Applied to Southeastern Coastal Plain Soils. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 63(4):182-192.

Interpretive Summary: Broiler litter (BL) is commonly applied to soils as a source of nutrients (N and P) and to improve soil quality. Information is needed on the mineralization of nitrogen (N) from broiler litter to assist farmers and land managers in managing quantity and timing of BL application to crops. A field study was conducted to determine N mineralization of BL in two Coastal Plain soils of differing texture, sandy or clayey. These soils represented the broad range in surface textures commonly found in soils used for agricultural production in the southeastern Coastal Plain. The study was conducted using published protocols designed by the ARS mineralization team. Amounts of N in the soil from BL mineralization were similar for both soils, 46 ug g-1 and 41 ug g-1 for the sandy and clayey soils respectively, but differences occurred in mineralization timing. Mineralization of the BL was complete on the sandy soil in 28 days, while mineralization on the clayey soil was not complete until 70 days or later. Previous research has shown that mineralization rate is positively correlated with sand content and negatively correlated with clay content of soils, and the results of this study concurred with those findings. From these findings it can be concluded that land managers, when possible, should apply BL later on the sandier soils than on the clayey ones to maximize use of mineralized N by crops and minimize potential losses of this N by surface runoff or leaching. Findings from this research are important to both land managers and action agencies which assist in nutrient management plans.

Technical Abstract: A field study was conducted to determine nitrogen (N) mineralization of broiler litter (BL) in two Coastal Plain soils of differing texture, sandy or clayey. The soils were a Tifton loamy sand (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic, Plinthic Kandiudults) and a Greenville sandy clay loam (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic Rhodic Kandiults). These soils represented the broad range in surface textures commonly found in soils used for agricultural production in the southeastern Coastal Plain. Nitrogen mineralization in the Tifton soil was evaluated during the summer of 2004, while that in the Greenville soil was evaluated during spring 2005. Published protocols used for the study were designed by the ARS mineralization team. The 2004 study (Tifton soil) was impacted by excessive rainfall associated with Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. The 2005 study (Greenville soil) was impacted by excessive rainfall associated with Hurricane Dennis. Amounts of N in the soil from BL mineralization were similar for both soils, 46 ug g-1 and 41 ug g-1 for Tifton and Greenville soils respectively, but differences occurred in mineralization timing. Mineralization of the BL was complete on the sandy soil in 28 days, while mineralization on the clayey soil was not complete until 70 days or later. Previous research has shown that mineralization rate is positively correlated with sand content and negatively correlated with clay content of soils, and the results of this study concurred with those findings.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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