Water Extractable Trace Elements in Poultry Litters and Granulated Products
Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Poultry litter contains many trace elements such as As, Cu, and Zn, and its land application may lead to the accumulation of these elements in soils, especially near the soil surface. The objectives of this study were to determine the total amount of trace elements and evaluate the effect of litter granulation and various litter to water extraction ratios on water extractable trace elements in 8 raw and granulated litter products. Granulated litters that contained urea, dicyandiamide, or
... ndiamide, or hydrolyzed feathermeal had significantly lower contents of total As, B, Cu, Mn, and Zn than untreated litters because of the dilution of litters with additives. Trace element concentrations (mg/L) in the water extracts of the various poultry litters generally decreased when extraction ratios (litter to water) shifted from 1:10 to 1:250, or as the amount of poultry litter decreased with a constant water volume (200 mL). But, the water extractable content of trace metals (mg/kg) generally increased from an extraction ratio of 1:10 to 1:200, with values similar at 1:200 and 1:250 extraction ratios. Based on our results, we suggest using a 1:200 extraction ratio when evaluating water extractable As, Cu, and Zn in poultry litters. The estimated land application rates of trace metals, when poultry litter is applied on the basis of total P content, were considerably lower than the trace metal loadings allowable under the current environmental regulations governing biosolids and other materials with measurable amounts of trace metals. The laboratory water extractions of poultry litters and granulated products have increased our understanding of the potential risks to water quality posed by the land application of poultry litter and will contribute to the development of base knowledge needed to define land application practices that are protective of soil and water quality.