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Tree Growth Benefits and Water Quality Impacts of Using Animal Manure to Fertilize Pine Plantations: Project Summary

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  032157,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14022) @2003
Authors:   J.P. Chastain, E.D. Dickens, W.D. Lucas, J.J. Camberato, K.P. Moore
Keywords:   Manure management, Land application, Swine, Poultry

The objective of this project was to observe the water quality impacts and tree growth benefits associated with annual and one-time fertilization of commercial loblolly pine plantations using irrigated swine lagoon effluent and surface applied poultry litter. Annual application rates ranged from 60 to 150 lb PAN/ac in the months of March, May, July, November, and December. One-time applications of turkey litter were made in May and December at rates of 300 lb PAN/ac. Major results at the end of this 4-year study are listed below. No detrimental effects were observed in soil or groundwater for any application level at the two sites. Spring application of 120 lb PAN/ac yielded $253 per acre more in wood value than the control trees (79% more). Surface application of turkey litter at all rates provided significant increases in wood value due to the poor initial soil fertility and low stand density. The increase in wood value as compared to the control trees ranged from 75 to 150%. Soil data indicated that 38% of the total N in the irrigated effluent appeared as available-N on soil test. The increase in the available N in the soil from surface application of litter ranged from 12% to 20% of the total N applied depending on the month of application. The amount of total P applied that appeared as available-P in the soil ranged from 21% for surface applied turkey litter to 54% for irrigated swine lagoon effluent.

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