Subsurface application of poultry litter in pasture and no-till soils

D. H. Pote, T. R. Way, Peter J A Kleinman, P. A. Moore, J. J. Meisinger, K. R. Sistani, L. S. Saporito, A. L. Allen, G. W. Feyereisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poultry litter provides a rich nutrient source for crops, but the usual practice of surface-applying litter can degrade water quality by allowing nutrients to be transported from fields in surface runoff while much of the ammonia (NH 3 )-N escapes into the atmosphere. Our goal was to improve on conventional litter application methods to decrease associated nutrient losses to air and water while increasing soil productivity. We developed and tested a knifing technique to directly apply dry poultry litter beneath the surface of pastures. Results showed that subsurface litter application decreased NH 3 -N volatilization and nutrient losses in runoff more than 90% (compared with surface-applied litter) to levels statistically as low as those from control (no litter) plots. Given this success, two advanced tractor-drawn prototypes were developed to subsurface apply poultry litter in field research. The two prototypes have been tested in pasture and no-till experiments and are both effective in improving nutrient-use efficiency compared with surface-applied litter, increasing crop yields (possibly by retaining more nitrogen in the soil), and decreasing nutrient losses, often to near background (control plot) levels. A paired-watershed study showed that cumulative phosphorus losses in runoff from continuously grazed perennial pastures were decreased by 55% over a 3-yr period if the annual poultry litter applications were subsurface applied rather than surface broadcast. Results highlight opportunities and challenges for commercial adoption of subsurface poultry litter application in pasture and no-till systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-411
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

Fingerprint

Poultry
poultry
Nutrients
pasture
litter
Soils
Runoff
soil
nutrient loss
Crops
runoff
Watersheds
Vaporization
Water quality
Phosphorus
Ammonia
Productivity
nutrient use efficiency
Nitrogen
nutrient

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Pote, D. H., Way, T. R., Kleinman, P. J. A., Moore, P. A., Meisinger, J. J., Sistani, K. R., ... Feyereisen, G. W. (2011). Subsurface application of poultry litter in pasture and no-till soils. Journal of Environmental Quality, 40(2), 402-411. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2010.0352
Pote, D. H. ; Way, T. R. ; Kleinman, Peter J A ; Moore, P. A. ; Meisinger, J. J. ; Sistani, K. R. ; Saporito, L. S. ; Allen, A. L. ; Feyereisen, G. W. / Subsurface application of poultry litter in pasture and no-till soils. In: Journal of Environmental Quality. 2011 ; Vol. 40, No. 2. pp. 402-411.
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Pote, DH, Way, TR, Kleinman, PJA, Moore, PA, Meisinger, JJ, Sistani, KR, Saporito, LS, Allen, AL & Feyereisen, GW 2011, 'Subsurface application of poultry litter in pasture and no-till soils', Journal of Environmental Quality, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 402-411. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2010.0352

Subsurface application of poultry litter in pasture and no-till soils. / Pote, D. H.; Way, T. R.; Kleinman, Peter J A; Moore, P. A.; Meisinger, J. J.; Sistani, K. R.; Saporito, L. S.; Allen, A. L.; Feyereisen, G. W.

In: Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 40, No. 2, 01.03.2011, p. 402-411.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Pote DH, Way TR, Kleinman PJA, Moore PA, Meisinger JJ, Sistani KR et al. Subsurface application of poultry litter in pasture and no-till soils. Journal of Environmental Quality. 2011 Mar 1;40(2):402-411. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2010.0352