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Mineral Nutrition of Cotton Fertilized with Poultry Litter or Ammonium Nitrate

Tewolde, Haile, Adeli, Ardeshir, Sistani, Karamat R., Rowe, Dennis E.
Agronomy journal 2011 v.103 no.6 pp. 1704
Gossypium hirsutum, aerial parts, ammonium fertilizers, ammonium nitrate, cotton, fertilizer rates, nutrients, plant litter, plant nutrition, poultry manure, silt loam soils, soil nutrients, soil pH, Mississippi
Poultry litter is a superior fertilizer for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production in some soils, but whether this superiority is related with its ability to supply multiple mineral nutrients has not been well investigated in the field. The objective of this research was to determine if the yield increasing effect of litter relative to inorganic N fertilizers may be related with better mineral nutrition and to compare the nutrient profile of litter- and inorganic N-fertilized cotton. Cotton was fertilized with six broiler litter rates ranging from 2.2 to 13.4 Mg ha−1 or six NH4NO3–N rates ranging from 34 to 168 kg ha−1 plus an unfertilized control (UTC) in northern Mississippi in a silt loam upland soil. Fertilizing with litter resulted in greater concentration of extractable soil P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, and Na than fertilizing with NH4NO3, but these increases did not always result in greater concentrations of these elements in aboveground plant parts. Only concentrations of K, B, and Na were increased by litter in plant parts. The two fertilizers had the same effect on soil Mn concentration, but NH4NO3, relative to litter, elevated Mn concentration in plant parts by as much as twofold, a result that seemed to be related to soil pH decline. The results suggest that the better yield performance of fertilizing cotton with poultry litter than with NH4NO3–N in this soil may have been due to a more ideal soil pH, favorable tissue Mn concentration, and improved K and B nutrition.