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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT & SOIL & PLANT ANALYSIS

On-Farm Evaluation of Poultry Manure as a Nitrogen Source for Corn


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 2, p. 729-737
    Received: Mar 8, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): ruizdiaz@ksu.edu
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  1. D. A. Ruiz Diaz *a,
  2. J. E. Sawyerb and
  3. A. P. Mallarinob
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506-5501
    b Dep. of Agronomy, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011-1010


Poultry manure in Iowa is primarily used for row crop production. However, producers question the proportion of total manure N that is available for plant uptake under local conditions and using local manure types. The objectives of this study were to estimate the first-year supply of plant-available N to corn (Zea mays L.) from three poultry manure types under producer crop management conditions across environments in Iowa, and to evaluate alternative soil and plant parameters as tools to assess N availability of poultry manure. Manure was applied at two rates, a low and high rate based on total N analysis of the manure (intending to supply approximately 84 and 168 kg total N), in addition to a no-manure control. The study was conducted at 18 locations from 2004 to 2006. Fertilizer equivalency determined from four rates of fertilizer N was used to estimate first-year poultry manure N availability. Across all manure types and sites, and using grain yield (GY) response, statistical confidence intervals indicated 38 to 55% of the total N applied with poultry manure was available to corn, with a mean 46% plant-available N. Analysis of postmaturity lower corn stalk NO3 –N concentrations indicated 41% N availability, while leaf chlorophyll meter (CM) readings may be unreliable for estimating plant N availability as results indicated only 34% N availability. Soil NO3 –N concentrations in early June appeared to vary with added NH4 +–N from the manure. This on-farm field study provided estimates of poultry manure plant-available N to corn with producer management systems and would include any volatile N losses during or after land-spreading.

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