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Implement with adjustable band spacing for subsurface band application of poultry litter

Way, T. R., Watts, D. B., Tewolde, H., Sistani, K. R., Tobert, H. A.
Applied engineering in agriculture 2013 v.29 no.6 pp. 831
band placement, spatial distribution, crop yield, crops, fertilizer application, fiber quality, lakes, land application, lint cotton, losses from soil, nitrogen, nutrient use efficiency, nutrients, pastures, poultry manure, rain, rivers, row spacing, runoff, soil nutrients, soil-plant interactions, streams, surface water
Poultry litter, which is a mixture of poultry manure and a bedding material, is typically land-applied using broadcast application. During rainfall events, nutrients from surface-applied litter may be transported in runoff water, into streams, rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. A four-band implement for subsurface band application of poultry litter and similar solid products in row crops and pastures was developed. A novel feature of the implement is its adjustable band spacing, from 25 to 102 cm (10 to 40 in.) in 2.5 cm (1 in.) increments. Prior to development of the four-band implement, a single-band implement was developed. Using the implements, subsurface band application of broiler litter to row crops and pastures greatly decreased nutrient losses and bacterial concentrations in runoff water compared to surface broadcast application. Compared to surface broadcast application, subsurface band application increased cotton yield, improved cotton fiber length, and improved the efficiency with which cotton plants made use of the litter-derived nitrogen.