Broiler Litter Application Effects on Yield and Nutrient Uptake of ‘Alicia’ Bermudagrass
- Geoffrey E. Brink *,
- Dennis E. Rowe and
- Karamat R. Sistani
Broiler litter should be applied to coincide with crop growth to maximize nutrient uptake. We determined the influence of rate and date of litter application on bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] yield and nutrient uptake. Litter was applied to ‘Alicia’ hybrid bermudagrass on a Savannah fine sandy loam (fine-loamy, siliceous, semiactive, thermic Typic Fragiudult) at 9 and 18 Mg ha−1 as a single application in early April, May, and June or as a split application in early April and June, May and July, and June and August. Increasing application rate increased yield and P uptake when litter was applied in April [12.8–15.6 Mg ha−1 dry matter (DM); 43.3–49.9 kg P ha−1] or June (14.3–16.9 Mg ha−1 DM; 45.4–51.3 kg P ha−1) but not in May (mean of 15.0 Mg ha−1 DM and 48.4 kg P ha−1). Delaying application of 9 Mg ha−1 until May or 18 Mg ha−1 until June increased annual yield and N, K, and Cu uptake compared with applications in April. Split application improved yield and nutrient uptake only when litter was applied in April and June compared with April application. Phosphorus uptake was unaffected by application date, possibly due to high soil P levels (351 mg kg−1) and to the small quantity of P required by the grass relative to that applied. The results suggest that litter should be applied to bermudagrass only after minimum temperatures exceed those necessary for optimum growth.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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