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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF GYPSUM ON CROP YIELD, SOIL CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, AND THE SOLUBILITY OF PHOSPHORUS

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Application of Composted Poultry Litter as a Fertilizer for Landscape Annual Bedding Plants

Authors
item Marble, S - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Sibley, J - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Gilliam, C - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item TORBERT, HENRY

Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Research Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 2008
Publication Date: August 6, 2008
Citation: Marble, S.C., Sibley, J.L., Gilliam, C.H., Torbert III, H.A. 2008. Application of Composted Poultry Litter as a Fertilizer for Landscape Annual Bedding Plants. In: Proc. Southern Nurs. Assoc. Res. Conf. August 6-7, 2008, Atlanta, GA. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: In recent years there has been a major expansion in the poultry industry, leading to waste disposal problems in many of areas. A study was conducted to determine if the use of poultry litter in the landscape industry could provide an environmentally sound means of disposal for poultry producers as well as an economical alternative to increasingly expensive fertilizers. Composted poultry litter incorporated into landscape planting beds as a fertilizer source resulted in plants equal to or larger than plants grown with traditional commercially available fertilizers. Nitrate and ammonia levels in leachates from the planting beds amended with poultry manure were comparable with the beds amended with commercial fertilizers even when much higher rates of nutrients were applied using poultry litter. This experiment provided evidence that composted poultry litter can be used successfully as a substitute for conventional inorganic fertilizers when used at the same rate and may also be applied at much higher rates than inorganic fertilizers resulting in plants with greater size while minimizing negative environmental impacts.

Technical Abstract: In recent years there has been a major expansion in the poultry industry, leading to waste disposal problems in many of areas. A study was conducted to determine if the use of poultry litter in the landscape industry could provide an environmentally sound means of disposal for poultry producers as well as an economical alternative to increasingly expensive fertilizers. Eleven treatments were applied to 10 feet by 1.5 feet beds: fertilizer 13N-5.6P-10.9K (13-13-13) at rates of 4.9 g N/m and 9.8 g N/m , polyon 13N-5.6P-10.9K (13-13-13) at rates of 4.9 g N/m and 9.8 g N/m and composted poultry litter at rates of 4.9 g N/m , 9.8 g N/m , 19.6 g N/m , 29.4 g N/m , 39.2 g N/m , and 49 g N/m . A bare ground treatment that received no fertilizer was used as the control for comparison to the fertilized beds. Composted poultry litter incorporated into landscape planting beds as a fertilizer source resulted in plants equal to or larger than plants grown with traditional commercially available fertilizers. Nitrate and ammonia levels in leachates from the planting beds amended with poultry manure were comparable with the beds amended with commercial fertilizers even when much higher rates of nutrients were applied using poultry litter. This experiment provides evidence that composted poultry litter can be used successfully as a substitute for conventional inorganic fertilizers when used at the same rate and may also be applied at much higher rates than inorganic fertilizers resulting in plants with greater size while minimizing negative environmental impacts.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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