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Surface transport of nutrients from surface-broadcast and subsurface-banded broiler litter

Lamba, J., Way, T. R., Srivastava, P., Sen, S., Wood, C. W., Yoo, K. H.
Transactions of the ASABE 2012 v.55 no.3 pp. 979
Festuca arundinacea, ammonium nitrogen, application rate, band placement, eutrophication, manure spreading, nitrate nitrogen, nutrients, pastures, phosphorus, poultry, poultry manure, rain, runoff, soil nutrients, surface water, United States
Nutrient buildup, mainly phosphorus (P), and loss from fields fertilized with poultry (broiler) litter contribute to eutrophication of surface waters. In the U.S., broiler litter is typically surface-applied, but recently, to reduce surface transport of P and other nutrients, subsurface-banding of broiler litter has been promoted as a new manure application method. The objective of this study was to evaluate differences in nutrient transport between subsurface-banded and sur- face-applied broiler litter in a tall fescue pasture. Treatments were surface-applied and subsurface-banded broiler litter at a rate of 5.0 Mg ha-1, and no application of litter (control). Results showed that runoff concentrations and loadings of total P (TP), ortho-P (PO4-P), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), and ammonium-N (NH4-N) were reduced by 83%, 88%, 74%, and 80%, respectively, for the subsurface-banded litter as compared to the surface-applied litter. Concentrations and loadings of all nutrients in surface runoff from the subsurface-banded treatment were similar to those from the control. This study showed that subsurface banding of broiler litter can substantially reduce nutrient losses in surface runoff. However, since unoff (more than 90% rainfall infiltrated), subsurface transport of nutrients from surface-applied and subsurface-banded litter needs to be studied in field research.