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Nutrient Loss in Leachate and Surface Runoff from Surface-Broadcast and Subsurface-Banded Broiler Litter

Jasmeet Lamba, Puneet Srivastava, Thomas R. Way, Sumit Sen, C. Wesley Wood, Kyung H. Yoo
Journal of environmental quality 2013 v.42 no.5 pp. 1574-1582
Festuca arundinacea, band placement, fiberglass, field experimentation, leachates, losses from soil, lysimeters, nitrate nitrogen, nutrients, pastures, phosphorus, pollution load, poultry manure, rainfall simulation, runoff, sandy loam soils, soil nutrients
Subsurface band application of poultry litter has been shown to reduce the transport of nutrients from fields in surface runoff compared with conventional surface broadcast application. Little research has been conducted to determine the effects of surface broadcast application and subsurface banding of litter on nutrients in leachate. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted to determine the effects of subsurface band application and surface broadcast application of poultry litter on nutrient losses in leachate. Zero-tension pan and passive capillary fiberglass wick lysimeters were installed in situ 50 cm beneath the soil surface of an established tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) pasture on a sandy loam soil. The treatments were surface broadcast and subsurface-banded poultry litter at 5 Mg ha⁻¹ and an unfertilized control. Results of the rainfall simulations showed that the concentrations of PO₄–P and total phosphorus (TP) in leachate were reduced by 96 and 37%, respectively, in subsurface-banded litter treatment compared with the surface-applied litter treatment. There was no significant difference in PO₄–P concentration between control and subsurface-banded litter treatment in leachate. The trend in the loading of nutrients in leachate was similar to the trend in concentration. Concentration and loading of the nutrients (TP, PO₄–P, NH₄–N, and NO₃–N) in runoff from the subsurface-banded treatment were significantly less than for the surface-applied treatment and were similar to those from control plots. These results show that, compared with conventional surface broadcast application of litter, subsurface band application of litter can greatly reduce loss of P in surface runoff and leachate.