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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Reaction in Soil of Phosphorus Released from Poultry Litter


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 60 No. 5, p. 1583-1588
    Received: Jan 23, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): ans3@psu.edu
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  1. J. Stephen Robinson and
  2. Andrew N. Sharpley 
  1. Dep. of Soil Science, Univ. of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 2DW, England
    USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Lab., Curtin Road, University Park, PA 16802-3702



Poultry production generates large amounts of litter or manure, which can be a valuable source of P for crops. However, litter application rates are usually based on data for mineral P fertilizer recommendations. In order to determine if this is agronomically and environmentally sound, the availability, fractions, and sorptivity of P from poultry litter or KH2PO4 were determined in six Oklahoma soils following incubation for up to 28 d. An average 50% more P from KH2PO4-treated (78 mg kg−1) than from leachate-treated soils (52 mg kg−1) was bioavailable, as determined by extraction with Fe-oxide-impregnated paper strips, after 28-d incubations. Conversely, more NaHCO3-extractable P was found in leachate-treated (66 mg kg−1) than KH2PO4-treated soils (42 mg kg−1). Calculated from Langmuir isotherms, P sorption maxima averaged 548 mg kg−1 for leachate-treated and 304 mg kg−1 for KH2PO4-treated soils, while binding energies averaged 0.527 and 0.456 L mg−1, respectively. The higher P sorption maxima and binding energies of leachate-treated soils may result from the formation of Ca-P complexes, given the increased Ca content of these soils. The different reaction in soil of P added as poultry litter leachate to that added as KH2PO4, indicates manure application rates should be based on soil tests that are sensitive to P source-dependent sorption characteristics and/or manure trials, and not just on mineral fertilizer trials.

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