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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 2, p. 538-544
    Received: Apr 17, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): ingrid.thomsen@agrsci.dk
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Nitrogen Use Efficiency of 15N-labeled Poultry Manure

  1. Ingrid K. Thomsen *
  1. Danish Inst. of Agric. Sci., Dep. of Agroecology, Research Centre Foulum, P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark


The timing between poultry manure N mineralization and crop N uptake as influenced by manure application time (winter or spring) and bedding material [barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) straw, wood chips, or no bedding] was investigated with 15N-labeled poultry manure. Reference plots received either a high or low dose of 15N-labeled mineral fertilizer in spring or were without manure and fertilizer N. The 15N recovery was measured for 1 yr in spring barley and for the two following years in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Barley grain yield and N uptake were significantly higher when poultry manure had been applied in spring compared with application in winter. The barley 15N recovery was 15% for winter-applied manure and 38% for manure applied in spring. The recovery of manure 15N from spring-applied poultry manure corresponded to 82% of what was taken up by barley in the fertilizer-amended soil, where 15N recovery averaged 46%. Bedding in poultry manure had no effect on crop 15N uptake. Ryegrass recoveries of 15N from manure and fertilizer were 4 to 6% in the second year and 1 to 2% in the third year. After 3 yr, 94% of 15N of spring-applied poultry manure and 88% of mineral fertilizer were recovered in crops plus soil. Total recovery of 15N from winter-applied poultry manure averaged 56%. The bedding had no influence on total 15N recovery. It is concluded that although poultry manure contains bedding with high C:N ratios which potentially could immobilize N for a period, optimum time for manure application is in the spring.

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