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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 98 No. 1, p. 148-155
    Received: July 10, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): aadeli@msa-msstate.ars.usda.gov
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Effects of Soil Type on Bermudagrass Response to Broiler Litter Application

  1. A. Adeli *,
  2. D. E. Rowe and
  3. J. J. Read
  1. Waste Management and Forage Research Unit, USDA-ARS, 810 Highway 12 East, Mississippi State, MS 29762


A greenhouse study was conducted to determine the effects of soil type on the response of ‘Russell’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] to broiler litter applications. Soils included Leeper clay loam (fine, smectitic, nonacid, thermic Vertic Epiaquept), Marietta silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, active, thermic Oxyaquic Fraglossudalf), and Ruston sandy loam (fine-loamy, siliceous, semiactive, thermic Typic Paleudult). The experimental design was a randomized complete block with a split plot arrangement of treatments replicated three times. Soil was used as main plot factor and broiler litter rates of 0, 4.6, 9.2, and 13.8 Mg ha−1 equivalent to approximately 0, 175, 350, and 525 kg total N ha−1 yr−1 were considered as subplot. The changes in dry matter yield (DMY) decreased in the order of Ruston > Leeper > Marietta. Regardless of soil type, broiler litter rates > 350 kg total N ha−1 did not increase DMY yield and nutrient uptake. Bermudagrass N concentration increased as broiler litter rate increased and the greatest value was recorded for Marietta soil, 24.2 g kg−1 The large DMY observed in Ruston soil diluted plant N concentration to about 23.7 g kg−1 despite high percentage N recovery. Bermudagrass P concentration was not affected by either broiler litter rate or soil type. Bermudagrass K concentration increased as broiler litter rate increased and was greatest on Ruston soil (23.5 g kg−1). Recovery efficiency for N and K was approximately 60% greater in Ruston than in Marietta and Leeper soils and was reflected in residual soil NO3–N and P concentrations that decreased in the order of Marietta > Leeper > Ruston. Application of broiler litter to bermudagrass grown on the Ruston soil appears to be more sustainable.

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