An Integrated Approach to Understand the Dynamics of Poultry Litter Use in Corn and Soybean Production Systems

Grants and Contracts Details


A long-term, multi-disciplinary approach has been initiated and involves researchers with specialties in soil and nutrient management, plant pathology, and weed science. This integrated approach is needed to understand the interactions between soybean and corn growth and yield, soil improvements, weed, disease, and poultry litter applications. Results from this research aim to increase productivity and profitability for Kentucky soybean and corn producers by the use of poultry litter (PL) as an economically favorable crop amendment. Profitability is a very important aspect of any soil fertility program, particularly the use of animal manures. Environmental considerations and best management practices (BMP) for the use of animal manures, specifically poultry litter, are equally important. Water is often the most limiting factor associated with crop production in Kentucky. The improvement of soil properties that influence soil water holding capacity becomes increasingly important as plant available water supplies dwindle. Organic matter (OM) in the soil is a storehouse for plant nutrients, promotes factors associated with increased water supply, all which favor improved yields. The OM content will be directly influenced by PL additions. Previous research indicated that PL additions may decrease soybean cyst nematode (SCN) numbers under some, but not all, conditions. Potential concerns that need addressed include if PL additions alter weed and disease dynamics (severity, timing, and numbers). Four field-scale experimental locations have been identified with cooperating producers that will allow us to adequately test our hypothesis. The experimental design for the on-farm studies will be strip plots with alternating treatments of PL and commercial fertilizer with four replications. Plots will be visited and require sample collection as needed throughout the growing season and culminate with yield collection. This detailed study will show the positive and negative (if any) aspects of PL use in Kentucky so that corn and soybean producers can make best, long-term management decisions.
Effective start/end date4/1/163/31/17


  • Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board: $35,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.