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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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Reaction in Soil of Phosphorus Released from Poultry Litter

  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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