Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2008
Publication Date: October 5, 2008
Citation: Endale, D.M., He, Z., Schomberg, H.H., Honeycutt, C.W., Jenkins, M. 2008. Total copper, manganese, and zinc levels in a Cecil soil during ten years of poultry litter application [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings, October 5-9, 2008, Houston, Texas. CD-ROM. Technical Abstract: Heavy metals in poultry litter (PL) can cause environmental problems despite the cost-effectiveness of PL as source of plant nutrients. We compared total Cu, Mn, and Zn levels in a Cecil soil near Watkinsville, GA, in a 5-yr of cotton and 5-yr of corn study under conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT), with source of N as either PL or ammonium nitrate or sulfate, depending on availability (AN). For cotton, PL application rate was 4.5 Mg ha-1 yr-1. This increased 2 to 4 times for corn, partly because of corn’s greater nitrogen requirement and also due to inclusion of a water quality study component related to hormones. Poultry litter did not affect mean Cu (13 to 18 kg ha-1), Mn (219-413 kg ha-1), or Zn (35-50 kg ha-1) levels in the surface 15 cm of soil during the cotton phase. During corn, however, Cu and Zn levels rose to 49 kg ha-1 (X 3) and 70 kg ha-1 (a 57-96% increment), respectively, due to PL, whereas, Mn levels remained in the same range as before. No PL impact was observed in the 15-30 cm depth with levels ranging 14-23 kg ha-1 for Cu, 187-289 kg ha-1 for Mn, and 35-56 kg ha-1 for Zn. Stratification by depth was observed for Cu and Zn with respect to levels in the 0-2.5, 2.5-5.0, and 5.0-15.0 cm depths. Highest Cu levels were observed in the 0-2.5 cm depth (44, 72, 199 kg ha-1 for NTAN, CTPL, and NTPL, respectively), compared to levels in the 5.0-15.0 cm depth (19, 42, 37, respectively). Similarly, Zn levels in the 0-2.5 cm depth were 91, 98, 243 kg ha-1 for NTAN, CTPL and NTPL, respectively, compared to 32, 64, and 45,in the 5.0-15.0 cm depth, respectively. An alternative approach for PL use in Cecil soils for corn production needs to be developed to avoid build up Cu and Zn.