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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT AND USE OF ANIMAL MANURE TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Cotton response to poultry litter applied by subsurface banding relative to surface broadcasting

Authors
item Tewolde, Haile
item Armstrong, S - PURDUE UNIV.
item Way, Thomas
item Rowe, D - MS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sistani, Karamat

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 2008
Publication Date: March 16, 2009
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/27244
Citation: Tewolde, H., Armstrong, S., Way, T.R., Rowe, D., Sistani, K.R. 2009. Cotton response to poultry litter applied by subsurface banding relative to surface broadcasting. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 73:384-389.

Interpretive Summary: Poultry litter which is a mixture of chicken manure and bedding materials has been shown to be a valuable cotton fertilizer. Dry litter typically is land-applied by broadcasting on the soil surface, but this method of application exposes certain litter nutrients to volatilization. The most important of these nutrients is N part of which is lost as ammonia during or after broadcast application. Applying litter with a new, experimental implement that places the litter in narrow bands below the soil surface may reduce or eliminate such losses but has not been tested experimentally. In this research we evaluated the yield and fiber quality performance of cotton fertilized with broiler litter applied in narrow subsurface bands at planting or after crop establishment compared with the traditional surface broadcast. The results showed that cotton fertilized with litter applied in subsurface bands produced more lint and seemed to have received better nitrogen nutrition than cotton fertilized with the same amount of litter applied by surface broadcast. Applying the same litter rate by subsurface banding one month after planting had added benefits of improving fiber quality, fiber length in particular. These results demonstrate that applying dry poultry litter in narrow subsurface bands with this implement conserves litter-derived nitrogen and may lead to a reduction of the litter rate by ˜24% relative to the conventional surface broadcast method.

Technical Abstract: Dry poultry litter is typically land-applied by surface broadcasting, a practice that exposes certain litter nutrients to volatilization loss. Applying litter with a new, experimental implement that places the litter in narrow bands below the soil surface may reduce or eliminate such losses but has not been tested experimentally. The objective of this research was to quantify cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) lint yield and fiber quality improvements when fertilized with broiler litter applied in narrow subsurface bands at planting or after crop establishment compared with the traditional surface broadcast and standard inorganic fertilization. Applying 6.7 Mg ha-1 litter increased lint yield from 982 kg ha-1 when applied by surface broadcast to 1042 kg ha-1 when applied by subsurface band at planting. Applying the same litter rate by subsurface banding 1 mo after planting had added benefits of improving fiber properties, fiber length in particular. Chlorophyll index measurements showed that plants received greater N nutrition suggesting that litter-derived N was conserved when the litter was applied by subsurface banding relative to surface broadcast. These results demonstrate that applying dry poultry litter in narrow subsurface band with this implement is an efficient application method and may lead to a reduction of the litter rate by ˜24% relative to surface broadcast with an added benefit of improved fiber quality when litter is applied after crop establishment.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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