Corn response and soil nutrient concentration from subsurface application of poultry litter

Jason R. Simmons, Karamat R. Sistani, Daniel H. Pote, Edwin L. Ritchey, Marcia Jn-Baptiste, Haile Tewolde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Nitrogen fertilizer management is vital to corn (Zea mays L.) production from financial and environmental perspectives. Poultry litter as a nutrient source in this cropping system is generally surface broadcast, potentially causing volatilization of NH3. Recently a new application method was developed allowing subsurface banding of poultry litter with minimal soil surface disturbance. However, there are limited data with this application method on corn production. In this study, we used farm-scale plots (7.6 by 91.2 m) to evaluate the response of no-till corn growth and post-harvest soil nutrient concentrations from subsurface poultry litter application. All treatments were applied pre-plant at a rate of 168 kg N ha–1 and included (i) a standard commercial fertilizer surface broadcast, (ii) poultry litter surface applied, and (iii) poultry litter applied in subsurface bands placed 30 cm apart and 8-cm deep below the soil surface. Results showed that poultry litter subsurface banded plots resulted in corn grain and above ground biomass yields similar to plots treated with commercial fertilizer. In 2011, corn grain yield of 11.35 Mg ha–1 produced by the subsurface banded poultry litter treatment was significantly higher when compared to surface applied poultry litter that yielded 10.10 Mg ha–1. Poultry litter application method did not have a significant effect on post-harvest soil pH, total C, total N, NH4+-N, NO3–N, P, and K concentrations. Results from this study suggest that subsurface banding of poultry litter can be utilized as an alternate application method in no-till corn without detrimental impacts on productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1674-1680
Number of pages7
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the American Society of Agronomy.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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