Research at Texas A&M University - College Station
Dr. Saqib Mukhtar, P.E.
Professor, Interim Associate Department Head & Extension Program Leader
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
207-A Scoates Hall
College Station, TX 77843-2117
Dr. Jim Heitholt
Professor & Head, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Texas A&M University-Commerce
P. O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
(903) 886-5350, Fax: (903) 886-5990
Department of Agricultural Sciences RealAudio player required)
S-1000 Regional Project:
Professor Department of Agronomy and Soils
202 Funchess Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849-5412
Phone (334) 844-3997 Fax (334) 844-3945
Research at West Texas A&M University
Michael S. Brown, Ph.D., P.A.S.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering
169 Kilgore Research Center
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX 79016-0001
Phone (806) 651-2559
Research at Texas Agricutural Experiment Station - Yoakum
Contact:W. James Grichar
Research Scientist Texas Agricultural Experiment Station-Yoakum
( 512) 293-6326
Project: Sustainable Poultry Litter Management
This project is designed to develop a sustainable poultry litter management practice that will allow producers to apply poultry litter at a rate beneficial to forage production while simultaneously protecting water quality. To accomplish this, soil, forage and litter will be sampled for the primary nonpoint source constituents, nitrogen and phosphorus, to determine the differences between the amount of nutrients needed by the forage crop, the amount of nutrients currently available in the soil, and the amount of nutrients present in the poultry litter to be applied. The project will be comprised of two (2), sixteen (16) acre demonstration sites. One site will be located on a sandy soil type and the other will be located on a clay soil type. The different soil types will be chosen in order to assess the dynamics between nutrient inputs and soil types over time. At each demonstration site, there will be eight (8), two (2) acre sites with the following treatments:
2. Recommended fertilizer rate (N-P-K)
3. 0.5 X the recommended rate of N applied as poultry litter (PL) - 1 application
4. 1.0 X the recommended rate of N applied as PL - 1 application
5. 2.0 X the recommended rate of N applied as PL - 1 application
6. 1.0 X the recommended rate of N applied as PL - split application (0.5X + 0.5X)
7. 1.0 X the recommended rate of P applied as PL - 1 application
8. 2.0 X the recommended rate of P applied as PL - 1 application
In order to develop a sustainable poultry litter management methodology the following data need to be obtained.
1) Composite soil core samples will be collected at depths of 0-3", 3-6", 6-12", 12-24", and 24-36" on all treatment sites prior to the application of poultry litter and annually before application thereafter.
2) Analysis of poultry litter prior to each application to determine nutrient content.
3) Composite forage samples prior to litter application on all treatments, analyzed for nutrient content and yield, and again approximately 3-5 times during the growing season to demonstrate improved nutrient content of forage through uptake of added nutrients.
4) Estimates of forage crop uptake of targeted nutrients based on Texas Agricultural Extension Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service recommendations.
5) Water quality samples collected from the lysimeters randomly located in treatment sites
Soil and poultry litter samples will be analyzed for nutrient content prior to each annual poultry litter application. These data will be used in calculations to estimate proper application rates. Each two acre site will be cut for hay (forage) on a regular basis during the growing season. Forage yields will be determined with a potential of 3-5 cuttings/year. The forage will be analyzed for nutrient content in order to determine the calculation of nutrient removal. Lysimeters will be established in 3 to 4 locations in each of the two acre sites to collect percolated water after each significant rainfall. This date will be collected to assess the nutrient movement through the soil profile throughout the course of this project. Water samples will be analyzed on a monthly basis.
Comments to: Mukhtar@tamu.edu