Submitted to: Poultry Waste Management Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The manure from chickens grown for meat is commonly disposed of by spreading on a farmer's fields. These fields have to be managed so that nutrients from the manure do not accumulate in the soil and are then washed into streams or into drinking water. Two nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen, can be human health hazards or have adverse effects on algae growth if they accumulate in a lake or river. An obvious solution is to grow plants on these fields which accumulate these nutrients and then harvest the plants as hay and feed it to animals at other locations. In this area of the South, different plant species are grown in the summer and in the winter. Bermudagrass appears to be one of the best for the summer and tests have been made to determine which varieties are the best. Early results indicate the most inexpensive type of bermudagrass, called common, removes just as much of the nutrients s the expensive hybrid varieties. The bermudagrass grows best with single, annual applications of manure in the spring.
Applications of 9 or 18 Mg ha-1 of broiler litter in split or singular treatments during the summer resulted in varied effect on N uptake by the bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers). Split applications were not usually better than single applications. Moisture stress appeared critical and earlier applications were more likely to get the needed rains. Modest irrigation of 1.8 cm wk-1 effected about 20% increase in yield and the inorganic N applications of 45 Kg ha-1 to broiler treatments of 9 or 18 Mg ha-1 resulted in about a 10% increase in yields. Concentrations of P and N in the bermudagrass was constant unless the soil nutrient concentrations were very high. The common bermudagrass may remove as much P as the hybrid bermudagrasses even when it's herbage yield is 10 to 15% less.