Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Soil Nutrient Accumulation and Corn Grain Yield as Influenced by Tillage and Poultry Litter Application.

W.T. Willian1, R.A. Gilfillen1, B.B. Sleugh1, Karamat Sistani2, and M. Futrell1. (1) Western Kentucky Univ, 1906 College Heights Blvd #41066, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1066, (2) USDA-ARS, 230 Bennett Lane, Bowling Green, KY 42104

Previous research has indicated that broiler litter can increase field corn grain yield but may promote soil nutrient accumulations in excess of crop requirements. Field experiments were conducted in 2005-2006 to investigate grain yield response and soil nutrient concentrations following application of organic and inorganic nutrients in conventionally tilled and no-till soils. Three fertility regimes (inorganic fertilizer, broiler litter, and a 1/2 rate of inorganic fertilizer + a 1/2 rate of broiler litter) were applied in both tillage systems. Each fertility treatment was replicated 3 times in both tillage regimes.  Soil samples (to a 15 cm depth) were collected prior to crop establishment and following grain harvest and analyzed for pH, organic matter content, and available nutrients. Grain yield was collected at crop maturity by harvesting the 2 center rows of each 4 row plot.  Data were subjected to analysis of variance and treatment means were separated at the 5% level of significance.