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Evaluation of nitrogen retention and microbial populations in poultry litter treated with chemical, biological or adsorbent amendments

Cook, Kimberly L., Rothrock, Michael J., Jr., Eiteman, Mark A., Lovanh, Nanh, Sistani, Karamat
Journal of environmental management 2011 v.92 no.7 pp. 1760
acid treatment, adsorbents, adverse effects, ammonia, bacteria, biological treatment, chemical inhibitors, chitosan, composted manure, crop production, ecosystem services, environment, fungi, microbial physiology, nitrogen, nitrogen content, physical properties, poultry, poultry manure, sustainable agriculture, water treatment
Poultry litter is a valuable nutrient source for crop production. Successful management to reduce ammonia and its harmful side-effects on poultry and the environment can be aided by the use of litter amendments. In this study, three acidifiers, two biological treatments, one chemical urease inhibitor and two adsorber amendments were added to poultry litter. Chemical, physical and microbiological properties of the litters were assessed at the beginning and the end of the experiment. Application of litter amendments consistently reduced organic N loss (0–15%) as compared to unamended litter (20%). Acidifiers reduced nitrogen loss through both chemical and microbiological processes. Adsorbent amendments (water treatment residuals and chitosan) reduced nitrogen loss and concentrations of ammonia-producing bacteria and fungi. The use of efficient, cost-effective litter amendments to maximum agronomic, environmental and financial benefits is essential for the future of sustainable poultry production.