Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2008
Publication Date: May 22, 2008
Citation: Tewolde, H., Armstrong, S., Way, T.R., Sistani, K.R., Rowe, D.E. 2008. Subsurface Banded Broiler Litter Improves Cotton Yield and Quality. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. P1664-1667 Technical Abstract: Broiler litter is typically land-applied as a fertilizer by surface broadcasting, a practice that results in volatilization loss of N as NH3. This loss may be drastically reduced or eliminated by the use of a newly developed precision litter implement designed to apply the litter in bands just below the soil surface with little or no exposure to the air. Whether litter applied in bands to the side of the row improves yield and by how much has not been tested. The objective of this research was to determine cotton lint yield and fiber quality improvement by broiler litter applied in narrow subsurface bands compared with the traditional surface broadcast application. The results showed litter applied in subsurface bands increases cotton lint yield over litter applied as surface broadcast, which suggests subsurface band application may conserve nutrients that typically are lost during broadcast application. Lint yield of 6.7 Mg/ha banded litter treatment was equivalent to a calculated yield of 8.8 Mg/ha broadcast litter based on fitting a curve. Measurement of chlorophyll index further confirmed that litter application in subsurface band conserves litter-derived N in the soil. Fiber quality and leaf area index were not affected by subsurface band litter application compared with broadcast application. However, subsurface banding about a month after planting improved fiber quality and chlorophyll index over banding 0 to 5 d before planting.