See more from this Session: Managing Nutrients in Organic Materials and by-Products
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Use of broiler litter as an alternative source of nutrients for no-till corn and cotton production has been increasing in southeastern states. Surface application of broiler litter to no-till system, however, exposes the litter and its nutrients to potential loss in runoff, volatilization, and wind erosion. Placing the litter in narrow bands below the soil surface has been shown to be agronomically and environmentally sound. Many researchers have reported the benefit of subsurface banding of broiler litter mainly in forages. Related to the row crops, the effect of subsurface banding of broiler litter has been evaluated on cotton under conventional tillage system but the effect of this practice on row crops under no-till system is lacking in the literature. On a private farm, a study was conducted in a silt loam soil in 2008 and 2009 to evaluate the effect of broiler litter type (Fresh vs. pelletized litter) and placement (Band, broadcast, and combination of band and broadcast) under a no-till system on corn grain yield, N utilization and recovery, harvest index and residual soil N. The experimental design was a split plot in which broiler litter type was used as the main plot and combination of broiler litter rate and placement used as the sub-plot. Broiler litter applied to corn after plant establishment. At the same total N rate and averaged across year, pelletized litter resulted in greater grain yield than fresh litter either placed in a subsurface band (6.2 vs. 5.4 Mg ha-1) or applied as surface broadcast (5.9 vs. 4.2 Mg ha-1, respectively. No significant difference was obtained between subsurface and surface applications when pelletized litter was used (6.2 vs, 5.9 Mg ha-1, respectively). However, with fresh litter, surface application produced 22% less grain than subsurface (4.2 vs. 5.4 Mg ha-1, respectively). At equivalent available N rate, grain N recovery was in the order of inorganic fertilizer>pelletized litter>fresh litter, indicating N loss from pelletized litter is less than fresh litter. Regardless of broiler litter type, combination of band and broadcast was more effective in increasing corn grain yield than either method alone.