Continuous and Residual Effects of Broiler Litter Application to Cotton on Soil Properties

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The residual effect of broiler litter on soil properties is not well documented. Field studies were conducted in Coffeeville on an Ariel silt loam soil and Cruger on a Dubbs silt loam soil to evaluate the residual effect of repeated broiler litter application to cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) on soil properties. Broiler litter was applied at 0, 2.2, 4.5, and 6.7 Mg ha−1 and 4.5 Mg ha−1 plus 67 kg N ha−1 from 2002 to 2007. Phosphorus and K were applied as recommended by the Mississippi Soil Testing Laboratory. After 3 years of consecutive applications, in 2005 each plot was divided into two equal sub-plots where one half continued to receive the same treatments, whereas the other one half was not fertilized from 2005 to 2007. Soil samples were taken from all plots at the end of the experiment in 2007. Continuous broiler litter application over 6 years increased soil total C, N, microbial biomass C, and soil test P levels at both locations. However, soil bulk density was reduced at the highest broiler litter application rates only at Coffeeville. Three years after broiler litter application was terminated, at rates greater than 2.2 Mg ha−1 soil pH, total soil C and N, microbial biomass C, and soil test P levels were still greater than the control at Coffeeville location. In this study, we have shown that after 3 years broiler litter application to cotton resulted in positive residual effects on the soil nutrient pool and maintained soil fertility levels, particularly under no-till system.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles