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Fertilizer Efficacy of Poultry Litter Ash Blended with Lime or Gypsum as Fillers

Bauer, Philip J., Szogi, Ariel A., Shumaker, Paul D.
Environments 2019 v.6 no.5
Lolium multiflorum, applicators, biomass, fertilizers, flue gas desulfurization, gypsum, land application, phosphorus, plant growth, potassium, poultry manure, power plants, seeds, soil
Ash from power plants that incinerate poultry litter has fertilizer value, but research is lacking on optimal land application methodologies. Experiments were conducted to evaluate calcitic lime and flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) as potential fillers for poultry litter ash land applications. The ash had phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) contents of 68 and 59 g kg−1, respectively. Soil extractable P and K were measured in an incubation pot study, comparing calcitic lime to FGDG at filler/ash ratios of 1:3, 1:2, 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1. After one month, soils were sampled and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seeds were planted to investigate how plant growth and uptake of P and K were influenced by the fillers. Application of ash alone or with fillers increased soil extractable P and K levels above unamended controls by 100% and 70%, respectively. Filler materials did not affect biomass or P and K concentration of the ryegrass. A field study with a commercial spinner disc fertilizer applicator was conducted to compare application uniformity of ash alone and filler/ash blends. Overall, test data suggested that uniform distribution of ash alone or with fillers is feasible in field applications using a commercial fertilizer spreader.