Main content area

Broiler litter type and placement effects on corn growth, nitrogen utilization, and residual soil nitrate-nitrogen in a no-till field

Adeli, Ardeshir, Tewolde, Haile, Jenkins, Johnie N.
Agronomy journal 2012 v.104 no.1 pp. 43
Zea mays, corn, fertilizer rates, field experimentation, grain yield, harvest index, manure spreading, mineral fertilizers, nitrate nitrogen, nitrogen, no-tillage, nutrient use efficiency, plant growth, pollution, poultry manure, silt loam soils
Broiler litter is generally land applied by surface broadcasting, a practice that exposes litter nutrients to volatilization and surface runoff losses potentially contaminate environment. Placing litter in narrow bands below the soil surface may eliminate such losses but this practice has not been evaluated. Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 on a private farm in Caledonia, MS on a Caledonia silt loam (fine-loamy, siliceous, semiactive, thermic Typic Paleudalf) to determine the effects of broiler litter types and placements on corn (Zea mays L.) grain yield, N utilization, postharvest stalk nitrate (NO3–N) and residual soil NO3–N. Six treatments were used in a randomized complete block with four replications. Treatments were an unfertilized control, inorganic N fertilizer at the rate of 180 kg ha−1, subsurface and surface broadcast of nonpelletized and pelletized litter at the rate of 11.2 Mg ha−1. No differences in grain yield, total N uptake, and apparent N use efficiency were obtained between pelletized and nonpelletized litter when subsurface banded. However, for surface broadcast the values were greater for pelletized than nonpelletized litter. Nonpelletized litter applied in a subsurface band had 16% greater grain yield, 9% higher harvest index, 19% more N used and 56% greater in apparent N use efficiency compared with surface broadcast. Subsurface banding of nonpelletized broiler litter is an effective manure management strategy for corn production under no-till systems.