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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Effect of Poultry Diet on Phosphorus in Runoff from Soils Amended with Poultry Manure and Compost


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 1845-1854
    Received: June 25, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): Peter.Vadas@ars.usda.gov
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  1. P. A. Vadas *a,
  2. J. J. Meisingerb,
  3. L. J. Sikorab,
  4. J. P. McMurtryb and
  5. A. E. Seftonc
  1. a PSWMRU, Building 3702, Curtin Road, University Park, PA 16802
    b USDA-ARS-ANRI-GBL, B-200, BARC-East, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705
    c Alltech Canada, 20 Cutten Place, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 4Z7


Phosphorus in runoff from fields where poultry litter is surface-applied is an environmental concern. We investigated the effect of adding phytase and reducing supplemental P in poultry diets and composting poultry manures, with and without Fe and Al amendments, on P in manures, composts, and runoff. We used four diets: normal (no phytase) with 0.4% supplemental P, normal + phytase, phytase + 0.3% P, and phytase + 0.2% P. Adding phytase and decreasing supplemental P in diets reduced total P but increased water-extractable P in manure. Compared with manures, composting reduced both total P, due to dilution of manure with woodchips and straw, and water-extractable P, but beyond a dilution effect so that the ratio of water-extractable P to total P was less in compost than manure. Adding Fe and Al during composting did not consistently change total P or water-extractable P. Manures and composts were surface-applied to soil boxes at a rate of 50 kg total P ha−1 and subjected to simulated rainfall, with runoff collected for 30 min. For manures, phytase and decreased P in diets had no significant effect on total P or molybdate-reactive P loads (kg ha−1) in runoff. Composting reduced total P and molybdate-reactive P loads in runoff, and adding Fe and Al to compost reduced total P but not molybdate-reactive P loads in runoff. Molybdate-reactive P in runoff (mg box−1) was well correlated to water-extractable P applied to boxes (mg box−1) in manures and composts. Therefore, the final environmental impact of dietary phytase will depend on the management of poultry diets, manure, and farm-scale P balances.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA