Effects of broiler litter application rate and time on corn yield and environmental nitrogen loss

Rajveer Singh, Rishi Prasad, Beth Guertal, Kipling Balkcom, Jasmeet Lamba
2021 Agronomy Journal  
Use of broiler litter (BL) for agronomic purposes requires balancing the amount of nitrogen (N) needed to maximize crop yield while reducing environmental N footprints. This 2-yr study (2018-2019) compared the effects of N source (BL or urea), application rate [0, 168, and 336 kg total N ha -1 ), and application timing (single or split) on corn (Zea mays L.) yield and environmental nitrogen loss (ENL) on three Alabama soil types. A field-scale partial N budget was developed by accounting for
more » ... wn N inputs and outputs. The difference between the input and output in the partial N budget was considered as ENL, which comprised of N losses via runoff, leaching, volatilization, and denitrification. Application of BL increased corn yield relative to urea at only one site. At the responsive site, BL application rate had no significant effect on corn yield, but pre-plant single application of BL produced 52% greater corn yield compared with split application. At other two sites where yield was lower for corn receiving BL, corn yield increased significantly with increasing BL application rate. Total N loss to the environment ranged between 32 and 52% of the N input. The influence of N source on ENL varied by site however losses increased with increasing N fertilization rates. Application timing did not influence ENL at two of three sites. This study showed that a lower application rate (168 kg ha -1 ) of BL prior to planting was a better management strategy for increasing corn yield, while reducing environmental N loss.
doi:10.1002/agj2.20944 fatcat:5ny747qbprantf5lmutmsiyvwu