Cropping System and Broiler litter Application impacts on soil Nutrient dynamics and Soil quality.
Ardeshir Adeli1, Karamat Sistani2, Haile Tewolde3, and Dennis Rowe2. (1) USDA-ARS Waste Mngmnt & Forage, 810 Hwy 12 East, 810 Hwy 12 East, Mississippi State, MS 39762, United States of America, (2) USDA-ARS, 230 Bennett Lane, Bowling Green, KY 42104, (3) USDA-ARS-NPA-SPNRU, USDA-ARS, 810 Hwy. 12 E, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5367
Crop rotation and broiler litter applications influence and maintain high yield production of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and corn (Zea mays L.), but relative impact of these management practices on soil nutrient dynamics and soil quality is lack in the literature particularly in Mississippi agro-ecosystem. The effects of broiler litter fertilization rates (0, 4.5, 9.0 and 13.4 Mg ha-1) in three cropping systems: CCC, continuous cotton; MCC, corn-cotton-cotton; CMC, cotton-corn-cotton was investigated for three years. The experimental design was a split-plot with factorial arrangement of treatments in which treatments were replicated four times. Soil surface (0-15 cm) total carbon (C) and microbial biomass carbon increased with increasing broiler litter applications and at high broiler litter rate (13.5 Mg ha-1) inclusion of corn into the cropping system significantly increased soil total C and microbial biomass C by 20% and 34% as compared to continuous cotton system, respectively. At high broiler litter application, inclusion of corn into the system significantly decreased soil total N by 25% as compared to continuous cotton system. Post-harvest soil NO3-N at the top 15 cm soil depth decreased by 24% with inclusion of corn into the cropping system. Regardless to the cropping system, soil surface (0-15 cm) copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) concentrations increased with increasing broiler litter applications and more Cu was removed from the soil with inclusion of corn into the system as compared to continuous cotton. In terms of crop management, broiler litter application with inclusion of corn in the rotation with cotton may improve soil quality and crop production.